How the Platinum Jubilee Pageant will unfold stage by stage
Here is the rundown of the acts which make up the Jubilee Pageant, being staged on Sunday June 5 as the grand finale to the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee weekend:
– ACT I: FOR QUEEN AND COUNTRY
The pageant will begin with the ringing of the Westminster Abbey bells as they did on the Queen’s coronation day.
A military parade will follow featuring all three services – the Army, the RAF and the Royal Navy – and include the Household Cavalry, Life Guards, Blues and Royals and the Royal Marines, and massed bands and pipers.
With 1,750 people and 200 horses, organisers say it will be one of the largest military spectacles in modern history.
Personnel from across the Commonwealth including Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Pakistan, Ghana, Belize, Jamaica and Sri Lanka will take part.
The Act gives thanks to the Queen for her role as Head of the Armed Forces, and honours the military, particularly the support it offered helping with the Covid vaccine rollout.
– ACT II: THE TIME OF OUR LIVES
The nostalgic through-the-ages celebration will explore seven decades of music, fashion, trends, fads and culture from 1952 to 2022 – with a cast of 2,500 members of the public – the oldest being 99.
Lambeth walkers, jivers, hippies, teddy boys, mods, glam rockers, punks, new romantics, ravers, Britpoppers, junglists and breakbeaters and other “tribes” will take to the streets in the segment masterminded by designer Wayne Hemingway.
Some 150 ‘national treasures’ – musicians, chefs, TV personalities, sportsmen and women and artists who have been pivotal to the culture over the last 70 years – will join a continuous 1.5 km “river of time”.
Sir Cliff Richard, Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean, Jeremy Irons, Heston Blumenthal, Ed Sheeran and Gary Lineker are among those confirmed.
Eleven-year-old drumming phenomenon Nandi Bushell, whose online performances have made her a social media star, will play a major part as one of the “icons of the future”.
Five hundred vintage cars, motorbikes and bicycles, as well as Daleks, Sinclair C5s, James Bond cars, and an open top double decker bus wrapped in historic graphics will feature.
– ACT III – LET’S CELEBRATE
A series of 12 chapters will tell the story of the Queen’s reign and her likes and loves.
Chapter One: The Princess and the Dragon
A giant puppet dragon the size of a double decker bus with a wingspan the width of The Mall will meet a young dancing princess, representing “the princess’s innocence set against one of power and wisdom”.
The 6.5 metre (21.3 feet) tall female dragon known as The Hatchling and created by arts group Trigger from Bristol will be the largest ever puppet to be solely human-operated, with a team of more than 18 puppeteers.
Chapter Two: The Queen’s Beasts
A menagerie of farmyard animals and mythical creatures will parade, representing the four nations of the UK – Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland – featuring the Queen’s beasts.
Among the costumes will be lions, unicorns, a dragon, peacocks, swans, chicken, pigs, sheep and a snake.
Performers aged from 12 to 70 will take part in the segment by Shademakers of the Isle of Wight.
Chapter Three: The Wedding Party
This Bollywood take on Princess Elizabeth’s wedding to the Duke of Edinburgh in 1947 includes a giant four-tier wedding cake, inspired by the Queen and Philip’s, which will be ‘baked’ by acrobatic cooks on the move.
Bollywood dancers will wear special Platinum saris in the set by Birmingham-based art organisation Nukhut.
The cake will house a sound system playing a medley of Bollywood tunes, and rickshaws will also blast out music.
Chapter Four: The Coronation
An Afro-Caribbean carnival-style interpretation of the Queen’s 1953 coronation of Brent-based Mahogany Carnival Arts imagines the animal kingdom’s response to Princess Elizabeth’s accession while on safari in Kenya.
A huge wire framed bust of the monarch will appear, trailed by 80 dancers in purple and white to create a bird’s eye view of her coronation robe.
The bust will be flanked by twirling ‘baianas’ and elder members of the community riding mobility scooters modified into ‘flamingos’.
Drummers will lead the procession, followed by an array of animal costumes including elephants and giraffes.
Clary Salandy and Carl Gabriel, two of the key artists from the Notting Hill Carnival, have designed the chapter, and it features 300 costumes made by members of the Haringey community, some of which which will be dedicated to family members lost to Covid.
Chapter Five: From Tiny Acorns
Showcasing the spirit and longevity of the Queen’s reign, the centrepiece is a huge oak tree with a 12 metre maypole rising out of the branches as maypole dancers weave ribbons in and out to form an image of the Queen.
Thirty older women chosen from Clapham and Preston and dubbed the “Gangsta Grannies” will dance as baianas to hits such as “I Feel Good”.
The four nations are represented by flora and fauna with large puppets including a Tongan lion, dragon fish, sea horses and tropical frogs, and a floral “Pineapple Queen”.
Chapter Six: Happy & Glorious
Bridgwater Guy Fawkes Carnival in Somerset is staging a representation of Jubilee street parties and festivities, with a 100ft carnival float, with nods to Beefeaters, crowns and the Royal Yacht Britannia.
Some 2,000 volunteers are working together on the celebration of the traditional British carnival.
Chapter Seven: Have Faith
A willow and steel sculpture by Peterborough-based sculptor Jeni Cairns of open hands, offering up flowers and butterflies, depicts the nine interfaith religions and heralds the Queen’s commitment to religious diversity.
Children who have made painted lanterns will proceed with their families.
Chapter Eight: Sharing of Gifts
The monarch’s cultural exchanges, gifts and friendships will be celebrated with a Carnival Queen played by drag artist Cheddar Gorgeous who will be presented with flags by giant puppets and flag bearers to form an elaborate costume.
Commonwealth ties will be highlighted using cotton and silk-print costumes with an emphasis on Africa, South Asia, the Caribbean and Manchester in the section by Global Grooves from Manchester.
Chapter Nine: River of Hope
Two hundred designs by school children from across the Commonwealth will be made into flags to be processed and danced in a “River of Hope”.
The element hails the Queen’s appreciation of the natural world and youngsters’ hopes for a greener future.
Chapter Ten: The Queen’s Favourites
A 20-feet high puppet of a young Princess Elizabeth, carefree and barefoot and surrounded by a pack of mischievous puppet corgis causing comic “chaos” on The Mall, leads a playful procession representing the Queen’s favourite things amid quirky British humour.
There will also be representations of the Queen’s beloved childhood pony Peggy and her favourite horses including Royal Ascot Gold Cup winner Estimate.
A pedal-powered crown which elevates and lowers and a nod to the late Prince Philip with performers waving pennants representing his award scheme and costumes referencing his naval service will also be included in the chapter by Coventry arts organisation Imagineer.
Chapter Eleven: Unity
A large-scale mobile stage with a diverse cast of able-bodied and disabled circus artists, street dancers and urban athletes will see an aerial artist suspended beneath a vast helium balloon bearing an image of the Queen.
BMX stunt cyclists will jump onto moving Land Rovers, and performers will carry out feats against a trampoline wall.
There will be live music from a celebrity DJ, hip hop dancers, and appearances from the Paralympic rugby and basketball teams in the set by Cirque Bijou from Bristol.
Chapter Twelve: The Thank You Dance
Key workers will feature with six-metre high hand-painted scrolls showing the roles they played during the pandemic in the section highlighting service.
Outfits will each feature a scrap of the NHS logo’s shade of blue and thank you will be seen in different languages written in the NHS font.
A queenly central character, with a dress and train printed with 70 endangered species from across the Commonwealth, will also make an appearance.
– ACT IV: HAPPY AND GLORIOUS
A musical finale will take place around the Queen Victoria Memorial in front of Buckingham Palace, with a rendition of the national anthem and the nearby public invited to become part of the performance.
Ed Sheeran will lead a special tribute to the Queen, with the royals most likely looking on from the balcony and the pop star joined by other stars and artists.