Buckingham Palace unveils a list of events to mark the Queen’s Platinum anniversary

The Queen at Windsor Castle in England, October 6, 2021. Buckingham Palace has announced a series of events to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum anniversary, marking her 70th year as monarch.Steve Parsons / The Associated Press

Buckingham Palace has announced a number of events to mark the Queen’s 70 years as monarch, including a national dessert competition and more than 1,400 large anniversary lunches.

The Queen succeeded to the throne on 6 February 1952, when her father, King George VI, died asleep in Sandringham House. She was 25 years old at the time and she is now the longest-serving monarch in British history.

To celebrate her platinum anniversary, several events are planned across the UK, Canada and other Commonwealth countries this year. Most of the activity in the UK will take place during a special four-day long weekend from June 2nd to June 5th.

The events will include a baking competition to develop a special pudding – what the British call dessert – in honor of the Queen, according to a statement from Buckingham Palace on Sunday. Anyone in the UK over the age of 8 can submit a recipe and five finalists will be selected to prepare their desserts for a panel of judges that will include famed British baking expert Mary Berry and Mark Flanagan, head chef at Buckingham Palace.

“The winning recipe will be made available to the public and the pudding will be enjoyed at major anniversary lunches over the anniversary weekend and by future generations,” palace officials said in a statement.

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Royal officials said more than 1,400 people had signed up to hold large-scale anniversary lunches across the UK that weekend – from street parties to picnics in the neighborhood. The Big Lunch initiative started in 2009 as a way to encourage community building by having a day to bring neighbors together. The first major anniversary lunch was held in 2012 to mark the Queen’s diamond anniversary.

This year, more than 200,000 towns, cities and villages across the UK are expected to hold some sort of local party, officials added.

Although the queen was born on April 21 – she turns 96 this year – her birthday is traditionally celebrated on the second Saturday in June with a military parade known as the Trooping of the Color. This year’s troop parade will be held on June 2 and will involve 1,200 soldiers and hundreds of army musicians and horses, officials said. A number of beacons will also be lit throughout the UK and in every Commonwealth capital city.

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There are also plans for a special service in St. Paul’s Cathedral and a concert “bringing together some of the world’s greatest entertainment stars to celebrate some of the most significant moments of the Queen’s reign,” according to the palace.

London is hosting a Platinum competition over the weekend, which will feature street artists, dancers and musicians from across the Commonwealth. About 200 silk flags designed by school children will be set up along The Mall in what the organizers say will look like a “River of Hope”.

In Canada, the federal government provides grants of up to $ 5,000 to local communities to host anniversary events such as concerts, tree planting and parades.

The anniversary comes after a trial period for the Queen. Last year, she lost her husband, Prince Philip, who died on April 9 at the age of 99. She also suffered from health problems last fall that forced her to spend a night in the hospital and curtail many official duties.

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