THE Diamond Jubilee bank holiday weekend will be the focus of celebrations marking the Queen’s 60-year reign.
The extended four-day break will see grassroots community events and national set-pieces to commemorate the milestone.
There will also be global celebrations honouring the Queen – with members of the Royal Family travelling to countries like Canada, Jamaica and Belize, where the monarch is head of state, and the wider Commonwealth.
The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh will also visit every region of the UK from March to July to meet as many people as possible.
The 2012 Diamond Jubilee weekend will be held from June 2-5 and its main highlight is likely to be a river pageant featuring a 1,000-strong flotilla on the Thames.
The Queen’s royal barge will be the centrepiece as her 60-year reign and Britain’s maritime heritage are commemorated with a spectacular procession down the river.
Up to a million people are expected to line the route on Sunday June 3.
The previous day, the Queen, an avid horse breeder and racer, will be at the Epsom Derby, an event she rarely misses, and she is likely to get a big cheer from punters at the racecourse.
On the Sunday of the weekend, the Big Jubilee Lunch will be held and is likely to feature traditional street parties.
It is being managed by the Big Lunch organisation, which has staged similar celebrations across the country since 2009 to encourage residents to sit down and share meals together.
A televised BBC concert at Buckingham Palace is planned for the Monday and is expected to feature British and Commonwealth musicians and is open to the public, with tickets due to be allocated by ballot.
That day a network of Diamond Jubilee Beacons – 2012 in total – will be lit across the UK, Channel Islands, the Isle of Man and the Commonwealth.
As with the 2002 celebrations to mark the Queen’s Golden Jubilee, the monarch will light the National Beacon.
The 60th year of her reign will be formally commemorated on the Tuesday with a service of thanksgiving and carriage procession.