Celebrations in the city

See London at its ceremonial best

This year sees Queen Elizabeth II achieve a landmark 60-year reign and, in celebration of this, a host of Diamond Jubilee activities have been planned for the extended bank holiday weekend in June.

A chance to see Britain at its traditional best, abounding with pomp, ceremony and patriotism, the atmosphere over the weekend is set to be charged with excitement as the crowds share this moment in history.

Why not head to London and take part? Here's what's on.

Fun in the city

Saturday 2 June
The Queen will be in attendance at the Epsom Derby.

Sunday 3 June
At high water during the afternoon, the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh will be seen on the Thames in the Royal Barge as up to 1,000 boats from across the UK, the Commonwealth and around the world assemble for the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant.

Comprising rowing and working boats, representatives from the Armed Forces, the Police and the Fire Service, and passenger boats carrying members of the public, the flotilla will be one of the largest ever to be seen on the river.

At least one million people are expected to line the route and make use of the parks and public areas given over to the jubilee celebrations on the day. There are some great vantage points along the riverbank from which to view the procession – find out more.

Why not try Battersea Park on the southern bank of the Thames, where there’ll be screens showing live coverage of the pageant, plus entertainment throughout the day?

Monday 4 June
Held outside Buckingham Palace, and broadcast live, the BBC Diamond Jubilee Concert will bring together stars from throughout the Queen’s
60-year reign and will be attended by the Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh and other members of the royal family.

The concert will feature hits and collaborations from such artists as Shirley Bassey, Jools Holland, Tom Jones, Annie Lennox, Madness, Paul McCartney, Jessie J, JLS and Ed Sheeran. They'll be playing to an audience of 10,000, selected to receive free tickets from a national ballot. Successful applicants will also be invited to attend a Jubilee Picnic held in the gardens of Buckingham Palace.

In the evening, the Queen will light the National Beacon in a central London location as a total of 2,012 beacons across the UK, the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man and the Commonwealth are lit by communities, individuals and charity representatives.

The Jubilee

Why not hold a traditional street party?

Tuesday 5 June
The Queen and other members of the royal family will travel in a formal carriage procession along the streets of London to St Paul’s Cathedral, where a national Service of Thanksgiving will be held.

Plan your own Jubilee weekend

Take a peek at how royals past and present lived, by visiting the many London royal residences and historic houses that will be open over the bank holiday weekend. Windsor Castle, Hampton Court, the Banqueting House, the Tower of London, Kensington Palace and Kew Palace are all open to visitors and several have jubilee-themed exhibitions and celebrations leading up to the jubilee bank holiday weekend. Please note that it is advisable to check opening times and booking information before arrival, in case of closures.

Museums and galleries across London, including the National Maritime Museum, the National Portrait Gallery and the Victoria and Albert Museum, will also hold a series of exhibitions opening in the spring to mark the Diamond Jubilee.

Unable to make it to London for the weekend? Why not celebrate with friends, family and neighbours by holding a traditional street party or picnic lunch? Find out how with the Big Lunch initiative.

Planning your trip to London

Make sure you plan your route and check the traffic news before you set off.

AA members receive discounts on a range of travel products and more, including:

  • Save up to 53% on attraction tickets
  • 10% off marked prices on travel books, maps and guides
  • Save up to 60% on theatre tickets for London shows

Find out more