For just the second time in history, London will be celebrating a Queen’s Diamond Jubilee from June 2-5 to mark Queen Elizabeth II’s 60 years as queen.

The weekend will be full of events and chances to catch a glimpse of Her Majesty, starting with the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant on June 3. There are expected to be 1,000 boats, led by the Queen and the Royal Family on the Royal Barge, proceeding down the Thames from Putney to Tower Bridge. It will be the largest flotilla on the Thames in over 350 years with the boats ranging from tall ships to steam boats. The public can watch the boats sail down the Thames, and there will be a special festival in Battersea Park with vantage points of the pageant.

The Queen's Portrait on Buckingham Palace The Queen's Portrait on Buckingham Palace

On Monday June 4, 2,012 beacons will be lit around the UK, including the Queen lighting the National Beacon. The BBC Diamond Jubilee Concert will take place at Buckingham Palace, featuring musical legends Paul McCartney, Stevie Wonder, and Annie Lenox among others. Tickets are gone, but it will be broadcast on the BBC and you should still be able to hear the music from the public spaces around Buckingham Palace.

June 5 will feature the Service of Thanksgiving and Carriage Procession. After lunch at Westminster Hall, the Queen will ride in her carriage down Whitehall and the Mall to Buckingham Palace where she will greet the crowd from the balcony. She will also attend a service at St. Paul’s Cathedral.

Besides the special events for the Jubilee, there are some long-term events happening as well. At the National Portrait Gallery, one of the most overlooked gems of London, there is an exhibition on the Queen running from May 17 until October 21. There will be photos and paintings from the likes of Andy Warhol, Lucian Freud, and Annie Leibovitz, ranging from official portraits to experimental takes on the Queen.

At Buckingham Palace the Queen’s Diamond collection will be on display from June 30 until July 8 and then from July 30 until October 7. There will be many different diamonds on display from the Royal Collection, including the Coronation necklace and earrings made of 25 diamonds first worn by Queen Victoria, numerous broaches and a crown worn by Queen Victoria on her Diamond Jubilee.

If all of this is getting you excited, check out these great London vacation rentals: it’s not too late to book an apartment and experience the Diamond Jubilee up close!

A block from St. James Park and Buckingham Palace is this 1 Bedroom Duplex Vacation Rental – Westminster – London (LN-1119). The duplex is furnished with some of the most stylish décor you’ll find in London, and you’ll be surrounded by many of the city’s best historical sites.

We also have this spacious 2 Bedroom Vacation Rental – Battersea – London (LN-595) that has a balcony overlooking the Thames, making it a dream location for watching the Queen’s flotilla pass along the river.

Share your favorite part of the celebration in the comments box below.

Related apartment rental posts from New York Habitat:
  1. Celebrate the Queen’s Birthday in Style—Stay in a Vacation Rental near London’s Tower Bridge
  2. A Touch of the East: the Grand Mosque of Paris
  3. The Myth of Marie Antoinette Grows at the Grand Palais in Paris
  4. The Secrets of Grand Central Station with New York Habitat
  5. London Attraction: Buckingham Palace


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