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Queen Elizabeth’s 70-year reign of the British Monarchy will be celebrated Sunday with the Big Lunch.
Communities across the United Kingdom will sit down and share lunch with neighbors and friends to honor the queen. The Big Lunch is one of many events used to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee.
It follows Silver, Gold and Diamond Jubilee celebrations in 1977, 2002 and 2012, which marked 25, 50 and 60 years on the throne. Jubilees are usually marked with a combination of ceremonial military displays, a church service and street parties.
Events began on June 2 and will conclude on June 5.
Queen Elizabeth II smiles as she’s photographed amid the Trooping the Colour ceremony on Thursday. (Photo by Chris Jackson)
WHAT IS THE BIG LUNCH?
The Big Lunch is a celebration of community connections and the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee weekend. Citizens of the United Kingdom are encouraged to get together with their neighbors and friends for the Big Lunch.
Events on the big day will range “from world record attempts for the longest street party to back garden BBQ’s and everything in between.”
Queen Elizabeth II is joined on the balcony of Buckingham Palace by senior members of the royal family for Trooping the Colour. (Photo by Chris Jackson)
HOW DO PEOPLE CELEBRATE?
Over 60,000 people have registered with the monarchy to host Big Lunches, according to the royal website. Hosts were able to apply for free packs from the Monarchy to jump start their big lunch.
Ten million people are expected to join in on Big Lunch celebrations. At least 600 international Big Jubilee Lunches are also being planned in countries including Canada, Brazil, New Zealand, Japan, South Africa and Switzerland.
Queen Elizabeth II lit the principal beacon on Thursday night as part of the festivities for her Platinum Jubilee weekend. (Photo by Steve Parsons-Pool)
WILL THE ROYALS BE ATTENDING?
While the royals have made appearances at some Big Lunches in the past, they are not expected to attend any this weekend of the queen’s Platinum Jubilee.
Queen Elizabeth herself has backed out of multiple events throughout this weekend as she deals with “episodic mobility issues.”
The queen did not attend the Service of Thanksgiving on Friday morning after experiencing “some discomfort” during Thursday’s events. She also backed out of the Epsom Derby set to take place Saturday.
“The Queen greatly enjoyed today’s Birthday Parade and Flypast but did experience some discomfort,” a statement from Buckingham Palace said Thursday. “Taking into account the journey and activity required to participate in tomorrow’s National Service of Thanksgiving at St Paul’s Cathedral, Her Majesty with great reluctance has concluded that she will not attend.”
“The Queen is looking forward to participating in tonight’s Beacon lighting event at Windsor Castle and would like to thank all those who made today such a memorable occasion,” the statement concluded.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.