The Platinum Jubilee celebrations start today with the traditional Trooping The Colour ceremony in London. It allows the troops of the Household Division – a group of seven army regiments – to pay a personal tribute to the sovereign. More than 1,500 officers and soldiers and 250 horses will stage the display on Horse Guards Parade, with the colour trooped by the 1st Battalion, Irish Guards.
Some 400 musicians from 10 military bands and corps of drums will march amid pomp and pageantry. After that, a special fly past is due to take place, with around 70 aircraft from the Royal Navy, the Army and Royal Air Force soaring over Buckingham Palace.
The action will also be broadcast live on the BBC. Trooping The Colour begins at 10am , with the fly past expecting to soar over Buckingham Palace for around 1pm .
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It will take six minutes to fly over the crowds and is expected to include more than three times the number of aircraft which took part in the Queen’s last birthday parade fly past in central London in 2019. The display will also include aircraft recently seen responding to events in Kabul and Ukraine and the coronavirus pandemic. Aircraft will include the RAF Red Arrows, as well as the Lancaster Bomber, Supermarine Spitfire and Hawker Hurricane.
Highlights from the history of the RAF, including aircraft from the Royal Air Force Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, will also be seen. The Queen is expected to watch the fly past from the palace balcony with other members of the royal family.
But the monarch has limited the Trooping The Colour balcony appearance to working members of her family, with the Duke of York and Duke and Duchess of Sussex missing out.
The fly past will start in the vicinity of the Wash, and travel over the North Sea, Southwold, parts of Suffolk and Southend. The fly-past will then head to London via Swaffham, Thetford and Colchester, before flying over Buckingham Palace.
The dispersal will occur to the south and west of the London control zone over Kent, Surrey, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire.
The timings for that are:
- Area A (The Wash): 11.45am-1pm
- Area B (Suffolk): 12.15pm–1.15pm
- Area C (Southwold): 12.30pm–1.15pm
- Area D (Southend): 12.30pm–1.15pm
- Area E (London): 12.40pm–1.15pm
- Area F (Kent): 12.50pm–1.30pm
- Area G (Berkshire): 12.50pm–1.30pm
- Area H (Oxfordshire): 12.50pm–1.30pm
- Area I (Wiltshire): 12.50pm–1.30pm
In Cardiff, an outdoor concert in the Welsh capital featuring some of Wales’ biggest stars will lead the celebrations on Saturday. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are also due to be at Cardiff Castle on Saturday. You can follow events live here.
Other events planned include the lighting of more than 1,500 beacons around the country tonight to celebrate the milestone.