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Platinum Jubilee – Seventy years on the throne

Few can be unaware that this summer marks the Platinum Jubilee celebrations for the reign of Queen Elizabeth II – hundreds of all types across the country ranging from tree planting to street parties to full blown events – with a high concentration taking place during the special extended bank holiday weekend from 2-5 June. LBM focusses on two – HM’s role in World War II and the cultural offering at the South Bank and, in addition, lists a few of the classic events of which readers will want to be aware

War and peace

The Imperial War Museum (IWM) London is presenting a programme that, for the first time in the museum’s history, explores the role of the Royal Family in conflict, tracing the Queen’s personal experience of war through poignant items, including rarely seen film and photography. As Princess Elizabeth, the Queen’s first public duties were during the Second World War, which broke out when she was 13 years old. On joining the Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS) in 1945, she became the first woman in The Royal Family to enlist as a fulltime member of the armed services. Since then, the Queen has supported those who serve and veterans of conflict in her role as Head of the Armed Forces, a post that continues a long royal military tradition.

Crown and conflict

New research into IWM’s photography archive demonstrates just how keenly the Queen’s role as monarch has been shaped by her wartime experiences. This relationship between crown and conflict is explored through IWM’s collections, bringing human stories to the foreground and providing a unique lens through which to join the national moment. The programme includes Crown and Conflict: Portraits of a Queen in Wartime. Drawing from IWM’s extensive image archive, this closely focused exhibition of 18 photographs will chart The Queen’s experience of war, from growing up in the Second World War and serving in the ATS, to carrying out important public duties involving the armed forces. Newly digitised photographs include an image of the Queen dressed in overalls and cap while working on a vehicle during her time in the ATS.

On the South Bank

The Southbank Centre have announced their programme to mark the jubilee. Taking place across Wednesday 1 - Sunday 5 June 2022, it is an eclectic programme of events encompassing both ‘official’ and ‘alternative’ Royal Command Performances alongside classical music, punk, dance, performance and parties.

It includes a live screening of Danny Boyle’s new series Pistol, which charts the rise of the Sex Pistols and the punk revolution in Britain, as well as a panel discussion with Boyle about the series, the punk movement’s explosion in the summer of 1977 – the year of the Queen’s Silver Jubilee.

The Queen’s Birthday Parade Trooping the Colour

Usually held on the second Saturday in June, this has been moved forward a week and will feature more than 1,400 parading soldiers, 200 horses and 400 musicians in the traditional parade to mark HM The Queen’s official birthday. It will begin at Buckingham Palace and move down The Mall.

Platinum Jubilee Pageant

Taking place at Buckingham Palace on Sunday 5 June, this will tell the story of The Queen’s 70-year reign in four parts: For Queen and Country; The Time of Our Lives; Let’s Celebrate; and Happy and Glorious. It will combine street arts, theatre, music, circus, carnival and costume.

Platinum Party at the Palace

Broadcast live, this takes place on Saturday 4th June, and promises “the world’s biggest entertainers to perform at Buckingham Palace with state-of-the-art technology and a stunning stage design”. George Ezra appears to have been confirmed while rumours abound of appearances from Ed Sheeran, Stevie Wonder and Elton John.

This article originally featured in the May/June issue of London Business Matters Magazine.