Carnival spirit to infuse Queen’s platinum jubilee shindig

A giant dragon puppet will be the centrepiece of the platinum jubilee pageant as the story of Queen Elizabeth II’s 70-year reign is told through street theatre, dance, circus acts and marching bands during a central London spectacular.

Described as “something of a reopening ceremony for the United Kingdom”, some 5,000 participants will be drawn from across the UK and Commonwealth, including military personnel, performers, key workers and volunteers for the event on Sunday 5 June next year.

A specially written fairy story, There Once is a Queen by author Sir Michael Morpurgo, will be brought to life on the day, said organisers as plans were unveiled.

The budget, estimated to be between £10m and £15m, will be privately funded through a mix of corporate partners, business and individual sponsors.

The pageant, to be held during the four-day bank holiday weekend, will give a nod to every decade of the Queen’s reign, and incorporate some of her passions including corgis and horses.

Comprising three acts, the first will see both serving troops and veterans march along the Mall in front of Buckingham Palace. The second, entitled Celebration, will feature a puppet dragon larger than a double decker bus with a wingspan the width of the Mall, as well as “colossal ‘Queen’s Beasts” heraldic figures and a trapeze artist suspended underneath a giant balloon.

Acrobats, dancers, musicians, a puppet horse powered by cyclists, and a giant crown will all add to the carnival spirit, said organisers, while the pageant will also pay tribute to “the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh’s most joyous moments”.

Details of the third act are being kept under wraps.

Nicholas Coleridge, co-chairman of the pageant, said: “It will be something of a reopening ceremony for the United Kingdom, following a period of uncertainty and hardship, a catalysing moment of unity and fun.”

Sir Michael Lockett, co-chairman, added: “From the rebuilding of the post-war 50s, the pageant will take us on a journey through to the digital decade of the 90s and onwards to today where we stand on the cusp of new adventures and fresh progress.”

Pageant master Adrian Evans said: “The pageant invites diverse communities to play their part in the celebrations in their own unique, creative way – placing them centre stage. We are commissioning artists and the communities they work with to interpret different chapters of the Queen’s reign in a spectacular unfolding story filled with wonder, warmth, wit and wow factor.”

Comments are closed.