What the Brits are doing to celebrate the Jubilee and how to join in
The UK is preparing to celebrate the platinum jubilee weekend in style, with 1,458 public events and 1,775 street parties or private events officially registered to take place from 2 to 5 June. Plus one or two unregistered as well.
The Royal Family’s jubilee website is asking for more people to get involved. “There are lots of ways you can take part in the Queen’s platinum jubilee celebrations, whether you are a local authority, school, business, community group, or want to get involved yourself,” said a spokesperson for the site.
The Jubilee website is offering a celebration starter. Included in the pack are free photographs of the queen, children’s games, recipes and a free-to-download platinum playlist that includes Ed Sheeran, the Spice Girls, Kylie Minogue and Elton John.
Waitrose has reported sales of Pimm’s (a floral gin-based liquor) are up by more than 260% on last year, while searches for “jubilee” are up 176% on their website in the past two weeks. On top of that searches for platinum jubilee food and drink are up 114% and garden party recipe up 59%.
Another great British tradition is back. B&Q said it had sold 100,000 metres of bunting, while Sainsbury’s reported sales of union jack cake stands were up by 2,783% week on week.
During the Platinum Jubilee Pageant, a River Of Hope - made up of 200 silk flags decorated with images of hope drawn by children - will adorn the Mall in central London.
As part of the Queen's Green Canopy initiative, 60,000 trees have already been planted to mark the year, as the country has been encouraged to "plant a tree for the jubilee".
During the festivities, Sandringham and Balmoral will be open for visitors to enjoy the celebrations across the long weekend in June.
The traditional British sense of humour can be seen among the memorabilia available to mark the historic royal event: Mattel has launched a Barbie doll in honour of the Queen and several gnomes shaped like the Queen have gone on sale on eBay.
You can also get mini-sculptures of the Queen inside a snow globe that plays the national anthem.
There is even a “Pin the Diamond on the Crown” game available. The classic party game ‘pin the tail on the donkey’ has been entertaining both children and adult UK parties for decades.
Knitting has been a popular British pastime for centuries. To commemorate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, wonderful designs are displayed in Saltburn by the Sea. The knitted pieces appeared overnight and are made by a group of secret local knitters called the Saltburn Yarnbombers.
The tradition of coming up with new dishes to celebrate royal occasions became popular during Queen Elizabeth II’s reign, with the creation of coronation chicken to feed hundreds of guests at the Queen’s coronation in 1953. A cold, tasty and filling dish. It was also served to attendees at the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Party at the Palace concert in 2002
For the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, at the picnic at Buckingham Palace, Royal Chef Mark Flanagan and famous British chef Heston Blumenthal created the Diamond Jubilee Strawberry Crumble Crunch.
For this year’s celebration of the Platinum Jubilee, residents of the United Kingdom were invited to enter the Platinum Jubilee Pudding Contest to create their perfect dessert for the Jubilee Lunch.
The contest, ran by renowned institution Fortnum and Mason, narrowed 5,000 wonderful entries down to just five finalists. Jemma from Southport was crowned the victorious winner with her Lemon Swiss Roll and Amaretti Trifle. You can get this wonderful recipe from the Fortnum and Mason website.
Royal jubilees have always been great opportunities for families, neighbours and friends to get together and celebrate with food and drink, not only from Britain but from all over the world. It’s common to see huge tables erected in the streets as the festivities continue - this year with two bank holidays (a full four day weekend) to mark the occasion.
Immigrants of the United Kingdom, the Commonwealth and beyond brought their own culinary traditions and delights to the celebrations, and street party food took on an increasingly international flair, influenced by Indian, Caribbean and African cuisines.
On June 3, Platinum Jubilee Beacons (ceremonial torch flames) will be lit in each of the Commonwealth capitals.
Expect to see Platinum Jubilee street parties across Canada this summer, which will feature fireworks and musical performances as well as communities coming together for a celebratory meal. Communities have been encouraged to apply to the Department of Canadian Heritage for funding for local celebrations.
Before the pandemic, masks took on a different meaning. In the UK, you may find many donning the popular Royal Family masks - made of card and secured with an elastic. On many websites, these are all now sold out, so expect to see thousands of Royal replicas swarming the streets.
That’s right, to honour this historic event, a new emoji has become available. Paying tribute to Her Majesty’s love for her dogs, PJ the Corgi has appeared on the Royal Family’s official Twitter page. It will automatically come up on the social media site when using jubilee hashtags such as #PlatinumJubilee, #HM70, #PlatinumPartyatthePalace, #PlatinumJubileePageant, and #TheBigJubileeLunch.