Saturday, June 2, 2012

It's a big week in the UK

Things in the UK are hotting up -- even while the weather is cooling down again.
Today was the Epsom Derby. A big event on the horse racing diary, and one attended by the Queen.
Unfortunately for those of us who happen to live's a day when we don't venture near the town center if we can avoid it. Tens of thousands of people descend on Epsom Downs, and only a complete lunatic ventures into that kind of traffic.
This year, the Derby also signals the beginning of the Diamond Jubilee Celebrations.

Yep, 60 years on the throne. That's no mean feat. The Queen is 85 years old now, and still up and about all the time. You honestly wouldn't know it to look at her.
Heck, Prince Philip turned 90 last year, still supporting her the same as ever.

Tomorrow is the official start, marked by a river pageant along the Thames. I've seen some pictures of the boats moored up overnight...and it's going to be a corker. There were hundreds and hundreds of boats, ships, barges and whatnot. It should be pretty awesome.
Jubilee Beacon
River Pageant
Then on Monday it's the Jubilee Concert outside Buckingham Palace. People like Tom Jones, Elton John, Kylie Minogue, Shirley Bassey and lots of others performing. This is followed at 10:30pm  by the Queen lighting the first of thousands of beacons across Great Britain.
If you happen to fly over England on Monday night -- make SURE you look out of that window.
If you don't know why... take a look at this map here. Because
you'll only see this once in a lifetime.
Throughout the day, there will be entire communities who have a big Jubilee get together, referred to as the "Big Lunch" -- Street parties with all the neighbors. Local councils have received requests for over 9,500 road closures -- because it's a bit of a bother to have cars try to swerve around tables and bunting. ;)

On Tuesday morning, there is a service at St. Paul's Cathedral to finish things up. (My own neighborhood is having "The Big Lunch" on Tuesday instead of Monday.)

And yes -- everything is shut and people are on vacation until Wednesday.
And while I'm a little jealous of my better half because he is covering all those events this weekend, I also feel sorry for him -- because after the concert is finally done tomorrow...he'll get about 2 hours sleep before he has to go to St. Paul's.
I'll probably watch it on TV like millions of other people, join my neighbors for lunch, and generally try to have a good time. Yes, London is 30 minutes by train...but there will be millions of people on the streets and at the events. I might go, I'd love to see the beacons, but I don't fancy being crushed. :)

Have a great weekend, everyone!


  1. Wow. What an exciting time. I would love to see the Beacons, but being a New Yorker, I'll probably catch something on TV. 60 years is quite a feat, and she does look damn good for her age.
    Enjoy your days off!

  2. That is so awesome, Silke!

  3. There are two beacons being lit near us, so I might go there to see it. :)

  4. Its been on TV all weekend here. We don;t have anything that resembles royalty on this side of The Pond so its fun to watch the happenings on the tellie.

  5. BTW - there are 11 Beacons being lit across the US and Canada.
    If you use the interactive map above, you can check if there's one near you -- just drag the map until you see the US :)
    Zoom out to see where they are being lit -- there are some 4000 beacons being lit worldwide, and thousands more in the UK.