Queen Elizabeth II
London – Queen Elizabeth II starts five months of diamond jubilee celebrations this weekend with the promise of pomp and splendour despite the British monarch’s wishes for restraint.
The queen will make a low-key visit to Norfolk in eastern England on Monday, 60 years to the day since she ascended to the throne after her father King George VI suddenly died on February 6, 1952.
The visit kicks off a series of events culminating in a flotilla of 1,000 boats sailing up the River Thames on June 3, led by the queen in a barge decorated in royal scarlet and gold and adorned with flowers.
Palace officials say the queen has ordered that there should be “no unnecessary expenditure of public money” on the celebrations.
Underlining calls for restraint, Prince Charles’ wife Camilla stressed that the queen “likes things very plain” — and launched an appeal for a recipe to mark the occasion, such as the coronation chicken created for the coronation in 1953.
The queen will recall the highpoints of her reign in a speech to parliament on March 20, then her love of horses will take centre stage for a diamond jubilee pageant in the grounds of Windsor Castle over three nights in May.