How to party with the Queen …without leaving your sofa!

How to party with the Queen without leaving your sofa! Charles and Camilla on EastEnders, Diana Ross at the Palace, all the pomp and pageantry… settle in for a feast of Jubilee viewing right through to next Sunday

  • Britain’s broadcasters are paying tribute to Queen Elizabeth II’s 70 year reign
  • The best TV events will come across the four-day bank holiday starting 2nd June
  • Programmes include an Eastenders Jubilee special and Blue Peter takeover  

Crack open the shortbread, pour yourself a Dubonnet and settle down to enjoy the richest feast of royal telly ever screened. Every day this week and right through to the last triumphant moments of the Platinum Jubilee Bank Holiday weekend, Britain’s broadcasters are paying tribute to Queen Elizabeth II’s astonishing 70 years on the throne. 

The very best of the events will come across the four-day bank holiday, but there’s plenty to whet our appetites before then. The cavalcade begins tonight (Sat 28 May) with Secrets Of The Queen’s Coronation (9pm, Channel 4), giving fresh insights into the event many regard as the start of the television era – because so many families bought a set to watch it. 

Contributors include Andrew Parker Bowles, the former husband of the Duchess of Cornwall, who was a pageboy at the ceremony (bet you didn’t know that). 

Tomorrow (Sun 29 May), incredibly, we’re able to enjoy the Royal Family’s own home movies, with commentary by Her Majesty herself, in Elizabeth: The Unseen Queen (7.45pm, BBC1). Compiled from more than 400 reels of film, as well as previously lost newsreel, highlights include the first extended visit by Prince Philip to Balmoral in 1946 when their engagement was not yet public knowledge. 

Britain’s broadcasters are paying tribute to Queen Elizabeth II’s 70 year reign. The best TV events will come across the four-day bank holiday starting 2nd June

Bursting with excitement, the young princess shows her engagement ring to the camera. There’s footage too of the Queen Mother sailing off the Isle of Wight with her father-in-law George V, nicknamed ‘Grandpa England’ by Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret. 

Talking us through these images is the Queen herself, in snippets of audio excerpted from speeches and broadcasts recorded across eight decades. 

On Monday This Morning (10am, ITV) presents the last of Juliet’s Jubilee Bakes, in which chef Juliet Sear heads to the Deeside Deli near Balmoral, while Morning Live (with Kimberley Walsh and Gethin Jones, below) and The One Show (both BBC1) will bring you Jubilee news during the week. 

In Coronation Street (Monday-Friday, 7.30pm, ITV) they’re hanging out bunting in the Rovers, while on EastEnders royalty drops into Albert Square (see Thursday, right). Also Bargain Hunt and The Repair Shop have Jubilee Specials on Wednesday (12.15pm/8pm, BBC1). 

There may never be another Jubilee like this one. This is history, enjoy watching it unfold.

THURSDAY 2nd JUNE

PLATINUM JUBILEE: TROOPING THE COLOUR (10am, BBC1) 

Huw Edwards, Kirsty Young and JJ Chalmers present this traditional pageant, with more than 1,400 soldiers, 200 horses and 400 musicians

Huw Edwards, Kirsty Young and JJ Chalmers present this traditional pageant, with more than 1,400 soldiers, 200 horses and 400 musicians. The Queen is expected to attend, with members of her family processing from Buckingham Palace to Horse Guards Parade in carriages. 

On Sky News, Kay Burley will be outside the Palace from 7am while Sarah-Jane Mee will be going head-to-head with Huw and co from 10am. The parade concludes with the traditional flypast, watched by the Royal Family from the balcony of the Palace. 

More than 70 Armed Forces aircraft, including the Red Arrows and helicopters, are expected to take part in the display – three times as many as in the Queen’s Birthday Parade flypast three years ago. 

EASTENDERS JUBILEE SPECIAL (7.30pm, BBC1) 

Their Royal Highnesses Charles and Camilla are surprise guests for Walford’s Big Jubilee Lunch organised by the Queen Vic’s Mick and Linda. The gag is that they’re mistaken for lookalikes attending a talent competition which sees locals dressed up as stars such as Ginger Spice and David Bowie. 

Prince Charles, who’s been a fan of silly humour since his childhood spent giggling at the Goons, will have relished the joke.

PLATINUM BEACONS: LIGHTING UP THE JUBILEE (8pm, BBC1) 

The evening concludes with 2,000 beacons being lit across Britain and the Commonwealth, an occasion hosted by Kirsty Young, Jermaine Jenas, Gethin Jones and Carol Kirkwood – with Gillian Joseph covering it for Sky News (9pm). 

Beacons will blaze in towns across the UK, her overseas territories and in each of the capitals of Commonwealth countries. They hark back to Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee in 1887, and poet AE Housman celebrated them in. 

A Shropshire Lad: ‘Look left, look right, the hills are bright/The dales are light between/ Because ’tis fifty years tonight/That God has saved the Queen.’ A light display will project an image of the Queen’s Green Canopy ‘Tree of Trees’ sculpture onto the front of the Palace. 

‘This reflects the Royal Family’s long history of championing environmental causes,’ says a spokesman. 

FRIDAY 3rd JUNE 

THE QUEEN’S PLATINUM JUBILEE: A SERVICE OF THANKSGIVING (9.15am, BBC1) 

St Paul’s Cathedral is the setting for the service of thanksgiving for the Queen’s reign

St Paul’s Cathedral is the setting for the service of thanksgiving for the Queen’s reign. During the service (which is also covered on Sky News from 7am), Great Paul – the largest bell in the country – will be rung. 

It was cast in 1882 but a broken mechanism silenced it in the 1970s and this is the first time the bell has rung for a royal occasion since it was restored in 2021. 

BLUE PETER JUBILEE takeover! (5pm, CBBC) 

Presenters of Blue Peter Mwaksy Mudenda, Richie Driss and Adam Beales present a show devoted to the Queen’s Jubilee 

Mwaksy Mudenda, Richie Driss and Adam Beales present a show devoted to the big event. Blue Peter is almost the only TV show that’s aired in every decade of the Queen’s reign.

The first episode, with presenters Christopher Trace and former Miss Great Britain Leila Williams, aired on 16 October, 1958. 

THE CROWN JEWELS (7.30pm, BBC1) 

Clive Myrie gains exclusive access to some of the 13 crowns and 24,000 gems and explores the stories behind them. Some date back to William the Conqueror, though many were acquired by the Queen’s grandmother, Queen Mary, who had an insatiable passion for gems. 

Today, pieces of the Cullinan diamond which she acquired are affectionately known by her descendants as ‘Granny’s chips’. Clive hears more tales as he travels around Britain, including that of the Scottish Crown Jewels, which were saved from Cromwell’s army in 1651 by a servant who smuggled them out of a castle in a basket.

SATURDAY 4th JUNE

THE EPSOM DERBY (12.40pm, ITV) 

This is one of the Queen’s favourite events of the year, and she will hope to be attending. Wearing the Queen’s racing silks, 40 jockeys past and current will form a guard of honour to welcome her. 

PLATINUM PARTY AT THE PALACE (7.30pm, BBC1) 

Soul legend Diana Ross (pictured) will close the Platinum Party at the palace show. Queen will open this huge concert in front of 22,000 people, with guitarist Brian May

Rather fittingly, Queen will open this huge concert in front of 22,000 people, with guitarist Brian May, who famously played on the Palace roof at the 2002 Golden Jubilee party, teasing he may pop up somewhere even more surprising. Watch that balcony! 

Soul legend Diana Ross will close the show, with Alicia Keys, Duran Duran, Emma Raducanu and David Beckham among the other stars appearing. They’ll take to three stages at Buckingham Palace to celebrate highlights from the worlds of show business and sport over the past seven decades. 

Think of Live Aid, combine that with the opening of the 2012 London Olympics, and you’ll get an inkling of what to expect. There’s also a full orchestra and 3D light displays, and your hosts are Kirsty Young and Roman Kemp. 

Kirsty, who’s been away from the Beeb since leaving Desert Island Discs in 2018 because of her fibromyalgia, said, ‘I’m delighted to be back for such a historic event. It’s going to be quite a weekend and our coverage will bring viewers a front row seat.’

SUNDAY 5th JUNE

THE JUBILEE BIG LUNCH (11am, Sky News) 

Following on from Sky News’s final Jubilee Breakfast show, on which Sophy Ridge will look ahead to the day’s events, The Jubilee Big Lunch features Kay Burley and special guest Dame Joanna Lumley, with help from Sky’s royal commentator Alastair Bruce, who was the historical adviser on Downton Abbey. 

Around the country, 60,000 people have registered to hold events, from barbies on the lawn to a bid for the Guinness Book Of Records with the longest street party ever. Around the world there are more than 600 Jubilee lunches planned. 

THE NATIONAL LOTTERY JUBILEE STREET PARTY (5.05pm, ITV) 

Jason Manford and Fleur East introduce The National Lottery Jubilee Street Party with Kaiser Chiefs (pictured), Steps, Take That’s Mark Owen, Ella Henderson and the House Gospel Choir

Jason Manford and Fleur East introduce an entertainment extravaganza with Kaiser Chiefs, Steps, Take That’s Mark Owen, Ella Henderson and the House Gospel Choir among the many stars breaking into song to celebrate the £22 million raised for community initiatives by the National Lottery’s Platinum Jubilee Fund. 

SONGS OF PRAISE: PLATINUM JUBILEE SPECIAL (12.10pm, BBC1) 

Aled Jones and Pam Rhodes present from the chapel at the Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich. Katherine Jenkins performs.

THE PLATINUM PAGEANT (1pm, BBC1) 

The final hurrah, with both the Beeb and Sky (from 2pm) making the most of it – on one channel you’ll see Kirsty Young, Clare Balding, AJ Odudu, Anita Rani, Sophie Morgan and Anton Du Beke, while on the other it’s Kay Burley and Joanna Lumley. 

The pageant involves 10,000 people, including 1,800 serving members of the Armed Forces and 6,000 volunteers, key workers and artistes, as well as 2,500 members of the public. 

Superstars from the worlds of music and movies are taking part, including Ed Sheeran and Cliff Richard. At the start the bells of Westminster Abbey will chime as they did on Coronation Day, and the mounted band of the Household Cavalry will lead the Gold State Coach back to Buckingham Palace.

The four-ton coach, commissioned by George III in 1760, has recently been overhauled. It’s not been seen on the streets for 20 years… possibly because Her Majesty is none too fond of it. When she used it on Coronation Day, she described the ride as ‘horrible’. 

PLATINUM JUBILEE: WHAT A WEEKEND! (8pm, BBC2) 

Kirsty Young looks back on the extraordinary and unforgettable sights and sounds of the previous few days. 

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