Britain will be breaking out the bunting and flying the flag with pride this year to celebrate a remarkable milestone for the nation – the Platinum Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II. While celebration plans were formally unveiled by Buckingham Palace at the start of the year, here are a few more ways you might like to “Go Platinum” in the UK this year…
Celebrations to float your boat
The Humber Estuary will provide the stage for a spectacular celebration and re-enactment to mark this year’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations. Seventy vessels will set sail from Hull Marina on Thursday 2 June – the official date of the 70th anniversary of the Queen’s coronation – for the Flotilla Platinum Jubilee Celebrations. Ranging from small craft, including the inshore lifeboat operated by Humber Rescue, to large, the plans include pleasure boats, harbour tugs and even a trawler for a flotilla to mark historic links to other royal celebrations. As well as celebrating the Platinum Jubilee, the event re-enacts the Humber flotilla of 60 boats from 2012, when Hessle Town Council celebrated the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, and one from 1897 in celebration of Queen Victoria’s 60-year reign. The event covers a wide area of the Humber Estuary with viewing points from Victoria Pier and Saint Andrew Quay in Hull, as well as Waters Edge Country Park, Barton upon Humber, and Hessle Foreshore (www.humberjubilee.co.uk). For more Jubilee events in Hull, see https://bit.ly/3wLjCxq
Riotous Royals and yarn bombing
Celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee in East Yorkshire with chivalrous knights and musical monarchs at Riotous Royals, an outdoor performance walk hosted by larger-than-life characters. A Rusticus Adventure featuring plenty of silly interaction and off the wall activities, it will be staged at Burnby Hall Gardens, Pocklington, on 1 June 2022 (www.burnbyhallgardens.com) and Sewerby Hall and Gardens on 2 June (www.sewerbyhall.co.uk). Meanwhile, the Royal Jubilee Seacrow trail in Bridlington (30 May – 12 June 2022), is “yarn bombing” on the theme of ‘Anything Royal’ to celebrate the Jubilee. And Bridlington Old Town, with its historic streets and alleyways, will also be staging A Big Lunch / Street Party in the High Street (5 June 2022).
A celebration crowned with ceramics
Royal Crown Derby can trace its history back to 1750 when the first porcelain was being made in Derby, and it remains one of the most iconic brands of fine bone china in England. Today, the Museum features an exhibition plus a collections tour, which allows visitors to get up close to over 250 years of history (www.royalcrownderbymuseum.com). Since its foundation, the British Royal Family has influenced its heritage, and fittingly it has created a new collection of three luxury handcrafted items to commemorate the Jubilee – a Loving Cup, Gadroon Plate and The Royal Corgi (https://bit.ly/3wb1kW0). Meanwhile, events in Derby city centre will feature a beacon lighting, military parade, and a stage show (2 – 5 June 2022), including a Right Royal Knees Up at the Museum of Making, with swing dancing, music, and making activities plus tea and cakes fit for a Queen at the River Kitchen, or bring your own picnic to enjoy on Cathedral Green (https://bit.ly/3LnHe13).
Platinum honour for Queen’s Green Canopy
Lincolnshire’s Burghley House will be the site of the first of up to 70 new woods being planted as part of The Queen’s Green Canopy initiative to mark her Platinum Jubilee. Built more than 400 years ago by Queen Elizabeth I’s most trusted minister, William Cecil, Burghley is regarded as England’s greatest Elizabethan house, and is now leading the tree-planting scheme from the Woodland Trust. The new forest at Burghley, on the edge of the stone town of Stamford, will be filled with a mix of species “which will grow and fill the landscape for the next 200 years”. The estate is already home to ancient oak trees – estimated to be between 800 and 1000 years old – within its 300-acre deer park landscaped by ‘Capability’ Brown, including one planted by Queen Victoria in the South Gardens during a visit to Burghley in 1844. Burghley will also stage the Living Heritage Game and Country Fair from 3-5 June, featuring equestrian events, clay shooting and rural crafts… plus, horseboarding, an extreme sport combining horse riding and mountain boarding (tickets cost £16 adults, £15 over 65s, and £6 children, 5-15). www.burghley.co.uk
Castle celebrations and seaside sounds
Celebrate the Jubilee with a tribute to Great British Bands in Skegness and Mablethorpe, Lincolnshire, (4 June 2022) when these great British seaside resorts will be entertaining crowds with music spanning the decades of the Queen’s reign. Both events will be free entry and end in a fitting finale of a firework display on the beach (https://visitlincscoast.co.uk). More celebrations are planned in Lincoln, behind the medieval walls of Lincoln Castle where the picturesque grounds will be the setting for The Great British Jubilee Picnic (2 to 5 June). There will be live entertainment from the bandstand and plenty of space to bring your own picnic with the Castle grounds free to enjoy over the Bank Holiday (www.lincolncastle.com).
Going potty for the monarchy
Stoke-on-Trent and The Potteries has been dubbed the world capital of ceramics, and the spiritual home of the UK’s ceramics industry, so it’s no surprise that pottery features in its celebrations. Thanks to the success of TV show The Great Pottery Throw Down, its world-famous brands and heritage attractions have never been more popular. Now two of the area’s leading names have created ceramic tributes. Emma Bridgwater offers a commemorative range of her distinctive designs and has also teamed up with The Queen’s Green Canopy campaign to raise funds (www.emmabridgewater.co.uk/pages/jubilee). Moorcroft – which this year also marks the 150th anniversary of the birth of its founding father, William Moorcroft – has released a special Jubilee Collection featuring Treetops and Kenya designs, inspired by the destination where Princess Elizabeth was staying when she became Queen (www.moorcroft.com/c1/c2/platinum). For more Jubilee events in Stoke-on-Trent, see https://bit.ly/3LIygeh
Light up the weekend
The UK’s only medieval three-spired Cathedral, Staffordshire’s Lichfield Cathedral, will be celebrating with a packed programme over the bank holiday weekend – including lighting up the building in red, white and blue. Known affectionately as the Ladies of the Vale thanks to its unusual spires, celebrations will also feature the Jubilee Choir singing the ‘Song of the Commonwealth’. The Cathedral will be open to visitors Thursday, Friday & Saturday 10-5pm, and Sunday 12-5pm (www.lichfield-cathedral.org). At Stafford’s regally named Victoria Park – over a century old, but fresh from a £2.5 million revamp in 2020 – there will be a weekend of family fun, including a ‘Stafford in the World’ festival, circus entertainer, crafts and music on the bandstand (https://bit.ly/3sHItkt).
Floral tributes and waterfront festival fun
Hampshire’s Sir Harold Hillier Gardens is an arboretum covering 180 acres filled with over 42,000 trees and shrubs, including an almost unparalleled collection of oaks, camellia, magnolia and rhododendron. For the Bank Holiday, 2 – 5 June, the gardens will stage a Platinum Jubilee Weekend celebration featuring events, trails and activities (www.hants.gov.uk/thingstodo/hilliergardens). Over in Southampton – one of four cities shortlisted to become UK City of Culture 2025 – the SeaCity Museum will be Celebrating a Reign from April 2022 showcasing Southampton’s Royal connections of the past on show in the Southampton Stories gallery (https://seacitymuseum.co.uk). And the city’s waterfront Mayflower Park will host The Big Platinum Festival (5 June), with street food, fun fair and a Kids Zone and Circus, while stage entertainment will include The Reign, a musical drama with headlines and hit songs from the Queen’s 70 years on the throne, and The Big Platinum Band performing songs from commonwealth countries (www.thebigplatinumfestival.org).
Emma Bridgwater Jubilee collection, Stoke-on-Trent
Burghley’s Platinum honour for Queen’s Green Canopy
Royal Crown Derby, Royal Commemorative Collection
Stoke-on-Trent's Moorcroft Jubilee Collection - Sagana Lodge