Jubilee: Let the party begin

THE PEOPLE of Suffolk and Essex will this weekend send a jubilant message to Her Majesty the Queen: “Thank you Ma’am.”

The celebrations to mark her Diamond Jubilee begin in earnst today and are set to last right across the double bank holiday weekend.

Parties will be held and scores of beacons lit as the region joins the rest of the UK in hailing the Queen’s landmark anniversary.

Today she will attend the Epsom Derby to watch the thoroughbreds race but although she will be studying the form she never places a bet.

Tomorrow the spectacular Diamond Jubilee River Pageant will see up to a million people lining the banks of the River Thames and nearby open spaces to watch the 1,000-strong flotilla sail through London.

And on Monday evening pop stars past and present will pay their tribute to her majesty with a concert at Buckingham Palace.

Popular 1980s band Madness will kick off the party playing their hit Our House from the roof of the palace emulating the efforts of Queen guitarist Brian May who famously performed the National Anthem from the same spot during the 2002 concert marking the Golden Jubilee.

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Other stars appearing include Stevie Wonder, Sir Paul McCartney and Sir Elton John, who will perform on a stage in the shadow of the Palace.

On Tuesday hundreds of soldiers will ride on horseback through the streets of London for a State Procession.

Members of The Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment will ride from the Palace of Westminster along Whitehall to Trafalgar Square, then through Admiralty Arch and along the Mall to Buckingham Palace. The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery will fire a 60-gun salute on Horse Guards Parade.

The 1902 state landau carriage, which will transport the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh from a service of thanksgiving at St Paul’s Cathedral behind the mounted regiment.

Other carriages from the Royal Mews will carry members of the Royal family.

Once at the palace the Queen and the Royal family will take to the famous balcony to greet the huge crowds expected to fill the Mall.

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