Queen takes Scottish break ahead of Platinum Jubilee celebrations

The head of state normally spends a week at her Highland retreat at the start of the summer.

27 May 2022

The Queen has travelled to Balmoral for a short break ahead of Platinum Jubilee celebrations which begin next week.

The monarch has attended a number of high-profile engagements in recent weeks and it is understood the head of state is now pacing herself before the national events start.

In past years the Queen has usually visited her private Scottish home at the start of the summer and it is understood she arrived at her highland retreat on Thursday.

Chelsea Flower Show
The Queen toured the Chelsea Flower Show by buggy and was joined by Keith Weed, President of the Royal Horticultural Society (Dan Kitwood/PA)

On Monday the Queen, who has been experiencing mobility problems, toured the Chelsea Flower by buggy, debuting the electric vehicle.

The previous week she made a surprise visit to Paddington station to celebrate the completion of the Elizabeth Line, named in her honour.

A special extended Bank Holiday will see the nation celebrate the Queen’s 70-year reign with pomp, pageantry and a party.

On June 2, Trooping the Colour, the sovereign’s official birthday parade, will kick start the four days of festivities, with the expectation the Queen will join working members of the royal family on the Buckingham Palace balcony.

There will be no ceremonial journey to the service of thanksgiving at St Paul’s Cathedral on Friday June 3, and the 96-year-old monarch will use a different entrance rather than scaling the steep steps.

Crossrail
The Queen and the Earl of Wessex unveil a plaque at Paddington station in London, to mark the completion of London’s Crossrail project (Ian West/PA)

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are expected to join members of the monarchy for the event which is also likely to see the Duke of York make an appearance.

A personal highlight for the Queen will be her afternoon at Epsom racecourse for the Derby, although her three horses have been withdrawn from the race, and that evening Diana Ross, Queen + Adam Lambert and a host of stars will perform at an open-air concert in front of the palace.

The weekend will end with street parties and Big Jubilee Lunches held across the country on Sunday, while in central London the Platinum Jubilee Pageant will see a 3km carnival procession make its way through the streets.

It will feature a cast of thousands, including puppets and celebrities and tributes to the seven decades of the Queen’s reign and for the finale Ed Sheeran will sing the national anthem in front of the Queen’s official residence.

With the Queen expected to appear on the balcony for Trooping, attend the cathedral service and the Epsom Derby, decisions on her appearances across the weekend are not likely to be confirmed until the day.

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