Various local venues joined in the weekend festivities for The Diamond Jubilee, which marks 60 years of the Queen Elizabeth’s reign when she was crowned on 6 February 1952. While London’s Buckingham Palace held a multitude of events during 2-5 June 2012, many local hotels and restaurants offered flamboyant fare to fight off the homesickness for those who could not be in Blighty for the joyous celebrations.
“Being 5,500 kilometers away from home, British expats mixed and mingled with UAE residents to celebrate in The Queen’s honour,” said Dubai-based Carol Maddison, UAE Manager of VisitBritain. “The Boulevard in Emirates Towers offered succulent English teas, scones with jam and cucumber and salmon sandwiches while Grand Hyatt threw a traditional street party.”
Meanwhile, in Great Britain, Diamond Jubilee celebrations officially began on Saturday 2 June as the King’s Troop, Royal Horse Artillery fired a 41-gun salute at Horse Guards Parade in Central London. The Queen attended the Epsom Derby and watched a horse named Camelot win the race, which dates back to 1780, and is still ranked the greatest flat race in the world.
The Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant saw one thousand boats gather on the River Thames on Sunday 3 June, the largest flotilla ever assembled on the river in 350 years, which included rowed boats, working boats and pleasure vessels of all shapes and sizes, coming from all round the UK and also from many overseas countries.
Another centrepiece of the celebrations was The Diamond Jubilee Concert on Monday 4 June, which featured Elton John and Paul McCartney, organised by the BBC and attended by the Queen and other members of the Royal Family.
Finally, on 5 June, The Queen and other members of the Royal Family attended a national service of thanksgiving at St. Paul’s Cathedral followed by a Diamond Jubilee lunch at Westminster Hall, given for The Queen by the Livery. Afterward, The Queen, The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry of Wales travelled by carriages from New Palace Yard and process up Whitehall, to Trafalgar Square, through Admiralty Arch and down the Mall, through the Centre Gates at Buckingham Palace. The Queen used the 1902 State Landau in this procession. Prince Philip was unable to partake in all the festivities as he was hospitalized for a bladder infection.
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