Mayor welcomes Diamond Jubilee celebrations
As the capital prepares to host an unforgettable weekend of spectacular celebrations for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, the Mayor Boris Johnson has urged Londoners and visitors to plan ahead to make the most of the festivities.
Hundreds of street parties and local celebrations will be taking place throughout the city, in addition to major events in central London, which include the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant and Big Jubilee Lunch on Sunday 3 June; the lighting of the National Beacon and the Diamond Jubilee Concert in the Mall on Monday 4 June, which will be watched by large crowds in the Mall, Hyde Park and St James's Park; and the Ceremonial Procession, which will be watched by millions on television and broadcast on the screens in Hyde Park, St James's Park and Trafalgar Square on Tuesday 5 June.
It will be extremely busy throughout the weekend, with large crowds expected and those planning to come into central London should plan their journeys in advance, checking event times and using public transport where possible. There will be road closures over the weekend and people are advised against driving into London unless they have to.
There will be plenty of help on hand - four groups from the Mayor's Team London Ambassadors programme will, for the first time, be located at venues across the capital, including the South Bank, helping visitors find their way around the capital and these unique celebrations.
Boris Johnson will be taking part in the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant on Sunday, as will youngsters from the Mayor's Fund for Young Musicians. Young Londoners, aged 10-21 years, will be performing on a barge in the pageant as part of the recently formed Mayor's Jubilee Band. The band brings together the charity's music scholars, the junior brass departments of London's world famous music colleges (Guildhall, Royal Academy, Royal College and Trinity Laban), and other young brass players from the boroughs in which the colleges are situated.
The Mayor has also sent Union Flags to every school in the capital for displays and any celebrations they are organising associated with the Diamond Jubilee festivities.
The Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: 'The Queen's Diamond Jubilee has truly captured the nation's imagination and we are looking forward to a truly momentous weekend of celebrations that everyone can be a part of. This is an amazing opportunity to show the world how London celebrates its traditions and will be a glorious curtain raiser to one of the most exciting summers we are likely to see.
'There are hundreds of events planned right across London to mark this fantastic milestone and the capital will be extremely busy throughout the weekend. If you're joining the festivities, make sure you plan ahead.'
Whether celebrating close to home, or joining the crowds in central London, people are being invited to dress up for the occasion, taking inspiration from one of the decades from the Queen's reign, from the 1950s to the present day. Those dressing up also have the chance to win fabulous fashion prizes - from Friday 1 June people can upload pictures of their outfits, with the best having the chance to go to London Fashion Week. More details about the competition can be found at www.molpresents.com/jubilee.
Dozens of local beacon lighting ceremonies will be taking place on the evening of Monday 4th June. More information can be found at www.diamondjubileebeacons.co.uk.
In addition to the Big Jubilee Lunch in Piccadilly dozens of street parties will be taking place across the city. There is still time to organise informal celebrations, whether at home or in the great outdoors. Information and ideas can be found at www.thebiglunch.com.
The Mayor's Street Party Ambassador Barbara Windsor said: 'I'm really looking forward to the Diamond Jubilee celebrations and street parties are a brilliant way to bring out our community spirit. They also mean you don't have to go too far to feel a part of it all, so get your gladrags on, be a part of this historic moment and have a party!'
PLANNING YOUR DAY OUT
As well as street parties and other public and private celebrations throughout the city London will host a series of national events, meaning that central London in particular will be very busy throughout the whole of the extended weekend.
Events include the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant of 1,000 boats in an unprecedented flotilla on the Thames, the Piccadilly Big Jubilee Lunch, the Diamond Jubilee concert at Buckingham Palace, and ceremonies to mark the lighting of more than 4,000 beacons around the world. There will be dozens of street parties and it will also be possible to watch The Queen's ceremonial procession from home or live on big screens in Trafalgar Square, Hyde Park or St James's Park.
Anyone thinking of heading into central London for any of the main celebrations over the long weekend should expect large crowds, road closures and alterations to public transport arrangements, so it is important to plan ahead:
- plan your journey in advance and allow plenty of time to get around - buses, tubes and stations will be busier than usual
- don't drive into central London unless it's absolutely essential - many roads and bridges will be closed
- check the times of last trains, and plan to leave London early if you're concerned about getting home
- Be aware that on Monday 4 and Tuesday 5 June Green Park will be closed (Green Park tube station will be open however)
- drink plenty of water and bring sun cream (if it's hot) or waterproofs (if there's a chance of rain)
- bring any medication you're taking
- Use the Transport for London website to plan your journey and for up-to-date travel news and information on road closures www.tfl.gov.uk/diamondjubilee
- For further information to help you plan your weekend, visit www.direct.gov.uk, or www.thediamondjubilee.org; www.royalparks.org.uk; www.thebiglunch.com; www.diamondjubileebeacons.co.uk
- Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant www.thamesdiamondjubileepageant.org
Notes to editors
The Mayor of London's Fund for Young Musicians is an independent charity established in 2011. It has been set up to award four-year scholarships to primary school children from disadvantaged backgrounds who show exceptional musical potential and a real commitment to learning an instrument but whose families cannot afford to pay for private lessons. The award provides the scholar with an instrument, group instrumental tuition during and after the school day and at Saturday morning music school, performance opportunities and mentoring. The first 100 scholars, who come from across the whole of Greater London, received their four-year award at a celebratory reception at City Hall on Friday 27 January. In addition to the Scholarships Programme, the charity funds Partnerships between boroughs and professional orchestras giving thousands of 7-18 year old children musical progression and development opportunities. www.mfym.org.uk
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