Even in a normal year, this would be a busy time for the Queen: the State Opening of Parliament, Trooping the Colour, Garter Day and Royal Ascot fill her diary every May and June. But this year (and you’d have to be living in a cave not to know this already) is far from normal. It is Diamond Jubilee year, and in the weeks leading up to the Jubilee celebrations at the start of June, the Queen has been travelling around the country. By the end of the summer only the Olympic Torch will have reached more corners of the British Isles than she has.
With such a demanding schedule it’s important to get enough rest. So I hope she isn’t being woken up these mornings by the workmen right outside her bedroom window. And when she opens the curtains to see where the noise is coming from, this is what she sees:
It’s a 20,000-seat stadium erected for the Diamond Jubilee Concert on the 4th June. Free tickets have been allocated by ballot and the performers cover several generations, from tweeny X-factor finalists JLS to alleged Prince Philip favourite, veteran Welsh chanteuse Shirley Bassey. Four singing knights will revisit the Palace: Sirs Tom Jones, Cliff Richard, Paul McCartney and Elton John.
But in her 60 years on the throne, Her Majesty has seen most things, including concerts in her front garden. It will take something spectacular to beat the highlight of the Golden Jubilee Concert ten years ago: Brian May of Queen, with his Restoration courtier’s hairstyle, standing on the roof of Buckingham Palace playing the national anthem on his Red Special.
See a full list of performers here. They represent an enormous range of ages and styles and it’s fun to speculate which member of the Royal Family requested which act. And why…