Platinum Jubilee – The Pageant

The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Pageant

What a wonderful end to the long weekend celebrating the Queen’s seventy years on the throne. The Pageant was spectacular, with four acts that wowed the crowds. Pageantry is a time-honoured tradition, and it was wonderful to see it on display again in honour of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. We certainly put on a good show with all the pomp and splendour.

The crowds gathered from 10.30 am in the morning until the start at 2.30 pm, it was worth the wait as the bells tolled at Westminister Abbey for the start of the Pageant procession. Much like the coronation seventy years ago.

Below are the various acts and I will add the photographs I took of the pageant acts and the various other sections. I will also add some comments from the people who took part in the pageant and what it meant to them. I have uploaded over 1000 photos on the Flickr link at the end. If you were performing at the Pageant there might be shots of you in there.

Act 1 – For Queen & Country

For Queen and Country is the opening act of the Platinum Jubilee Pageant. It was a military spectacle, celebrating the UK Armed Forces from all three Services, along with military personnel from across the Commonwealth including Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Pakistan, Ghana, Belize, Jamaica, Sri Lanka, and beyond.

First up was the  Mounted Band of the Household Cavalry leading the Pageant then follows the magnificent Gold State Coach with all its splendour being pulled by eight beautiful Windsor grey horses. The coach weighs four tonnes and is 3.6 meters high, because of its age (1762) it travels at a walking pace. Footmen walk on either side dressed in red tunics, with their distinctive scarlet coats. These are the Queen’s Bargemaster and three Royal Watermen.

There were around 1,750 individuals and 200 horses taking part across the Army, RAF and Royal Navy. The Pageant also honoured the role of the military who play a fundamental part in the fabric of society, most recently distributing the Covid vaccine across the country.

You can find lots more photos on the links at the end of the article.

Act 2 – The Time of our Lives

The jubilant procession showcases the 70 years of the Reign of Queen Elizabeth from 1952 to 2022. With 2500 people taking part and the oldest being 99 years old they tell the story of how British and Commonwealth creativity and culture have evolved through the seven decades. With a showcase of youth culture, popular music, dance styles, changing fashion and all the trends, fads and crazes that defined the times. It will be a nostalgic demonstration of transforming society and take spectators on an epic journey through time, iconic British moments and extraordinary change and progress. 

The James Bond cars will appear and the once derided Sinclair C5 is resurrected, I wonder where they found all of them from. 500 Vintage cars, motorcycles and bikes make an appearance. Although one of them broke down.

Open-top buses appear each decade with celebrities of the times on top. Creating a scrapbook of the decade.

The 1950s

What was the 1950s known for? The start of the reign of Her Majesty, The Queen. Post-war rationing finally came to an end in 1954, and new technology and trends such as rock and roll and the miniskirt were taking off.

Rocker motorcycles, Morris Minors, Landrovers, The Lambeth Walk, Bill and Ben the Flower Pot Men, and Jive are amongst the themes.

Celebrities: Anita Harris, Anthony Van Laast CBE, Bonnie Langford, Chris Eubank, Cliff Richard OBE, Sir Giles Terera MBE, Gloria Hunniford OBE, Hayley Mills, Juliet Mills, Katherine Jenkins, Laura Main, Lesley Garrett CBE, Paul Gambaccini, Rustie Lee and Wayne Sleep OBE

The 1960s

The 1960s were a time of huge social change, with young people leading the way. It was the decade of the mini skirt, the Beatles and flower power.

Scooters, Minis, Jaguar E-types, the Mods, Hippies, The Daleks, and Vespas are the themes. Also seven decades of James Bond cars.

Celebrities: Alan Titchmarsh MBE, Anthea Turner, Basil Brush, Caroline Quentin, Kate Garraway MBE, Peter Duncan, Peter Purves, Rudolph Walker CBE, Tony Blackburn (Bus MC) and Valerie Singleton OBE

The 1970s

The 1970s was a decade of many firsts – man landed on the moon, the first personal computers were invented, and disco music took over the world.

Count Indigo, Space Hoppers, Two-toners, Rude Boy, Glam Rockers, Punks, Northern Soul, Gay Pride, Mama Mia, Abba & seven decades of JCB.

Celebrities: Angela Rippon, Chris Tarrant OBE, Christine Staple, Craig Charles (Bus MC), Debbie McGee, Esther Rantzen, Dame Heather Small, John Craven OBE, Johnny Ball, Lorraine Chase, Neville Staple, Noddy Holder MBE, Patrick Mower and Rick Stein CBE

Stories from the Pageant

Hula hooping through the path of 1952’s Coronation has been overwhelming both physically and emotionally. I live in Budapest and received my invitation via Instagram to participate in the pageant, it was about 2 months ago. Since then I was preparing nearly every day, changing my routine from playing in one spot to walking around the dyke with my hoop.
In retrospect, I notice that no preparation could have been enough. Trying to bring the flow while running through the most iconic streets of London has been one of the most difficult things in my life. The pace was high to keep up with the vehicles and the adrenaline rush kept me going without noticing that I’m overrunning. At some point, I felt like my heart was gonna jump out 😀
Right now, cannot imagine any other event to top this, surely my dearest memory for life.
Miss K Hoops from Budapest (Photo 3)

To be part of such a special day blew my mind. I met so many wonderful people, connecting, helping and inspiring each other. Even though it was for just one day, the memories will stay with me forever.
Donna from Langport, Somerset (Photo 2)

The 1980s

The 1980s was a time of big hair and shoulder pads, as well as huge economic changes with the rise of Thatcherism.

Only Fools and Horses, Mario & Luigi, Sinclair C5, Rubik’s Cube, Pac-man, Aerobics, New Romantics, Electro, Gothsm Breakdancing. 

Celebrities: Anthony Head, Christopher Dean OBE, Daley Thompson CBE, Duncan Goodhew, Gary Davies (Bus MC), Gary Lineker OBE, Jayne Torvill OBE, Lee John, Nigel Planer, Pete Waterman OBE, Pudsey, Sharron Davies MBE, Simon Callow CBE, Tessa Sanderson CBE, Timmy Mallett and Tony Hadley MBE

The 1990s

The 1990s were a time of great change, with the fall of the Berlin Wall and the introduction of the internet.

Ford Cortina, Skateboarding, Ravers, Brit Pop, Girl Power, Bhangra, 90s Fashion and Supermodels, Drag Race.

Celebrities: Bryanboy, Charlotte Tilbury, Courtney Love, Erin O’Connor MBE, Kanya King CBE, Kate Moss, Katie Grand, Laura Bailey, Nile Rodgers, Patsy Kensit, Phoebe Dynevor, Riccardo Tisci, Rosemary Ferguson, Sam McKnight, Val Garland and  Vanessa-Mae.

The 2000s

The 2000s was a decade of technological advances, with the launch of the first-ever iPhone in 2007.

Notting Hill Carnival, Emos and Seven decades of Childhood.

Celebrities: Brian Conley, Chris McCausland, Dave Myers, Deborah Meaden, Gok Wan MBE, Heston Blumenthal OBE, Katherine Grainger, Dame Kelly Holmes, Dame Lara Lewington, Martin Lewis, Sir Mo Farah, Sally Gunnell OBE, Si King and Sonique. 

The 2010s

The 2010s was a decade of political upheaval, with the Brexit referendum and the election of Donald Trump.

Young Activists, Jaguar I-Pace.

Celebrities: Blondey McCoy, Holly Willoughby, Joe Wicks MBE, Katie Ormerod, Max Whitlock, OBE, Naughty Boy, Professor Green, Rosie Jones and The Vivienne.

You can find lots more photos on the links at the end of the article.

Act 3 – Lets Celebrate

These are twelve chapters and they tell the story of Queen Elizabeth’s reign over the seventy years. From her wedding to Prince Philip in 1947 to the Coronation in 1953. It involved her charities that are dear to her heart and horses and corgis.

With each section being unique, they combine street theatre, music-on-the-move, urban dance, and the very best of Carnival, May Day, Mela, Fiesta and Mardi Gras. It has been conceived as an interpretation and celebration of The Queen’s extraordinary life experience. 

The Twelve Chapters

The Princess and the Dragon

Created by Trigger from Bristol and the City of Plymouth. A princess meets a dragon which is a symbol of power and wisdom across mythology. You will see a hatchling a giant dragon puppet. Unfortunately I didn’t get shots of this as it didn’t go down Admiralty Arch.

The Queens Beasts

Created by Shademakers UK from the Isle of Wight, Portsmouth and Edinburgh for the Platinum Jubilee Pageant. The costumes represent the four nations, England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Each part is led by a lion with the region’s heraldry. Then comes farmyard creatures, beasts of the field and mythical creatures.

The Wedding Party

This is created by Nutkhut a performance company. It features a four-tier wedding cake, backed by acrobats on the move. Following on are children from the George Dixon Academy in Birmingham. The dancer’s outfits which are platinum Sari are designed by a fashion designer and Bournemouth University fashion students.

The Coronation

This is created by a Brent-based Mahogany, it features a wired frame structure of the Queen. The coronation robe is made up of 80 dancers in purple & white flanked by twirling “baianas” and mobility scooters modified into flamingos and ridden by elder members of the community.

From Tiny Acorns

Created by Mandinga Arts and Emergency Exit Arts they are based in London, Blackpool, Preston and Southend. It celebrates the diversity of the UK and the strong community spirit. At its centre is an oak tree which has a Maypole rising out of its branches. There are 200 performers of various ages celebrating the cultures and experiences of this country.

Jubilation

Created by Bridgwater Guy Fawkes Carnival. It represents jubilee street parties, royal celebrations and the pomp and splendour of the Monarchy. There is an amazing cart which is 30m long and 5m high with 32 costumed performers singing and dancing on board. There are 110 costumed performers dancing on the street in front of the float.

Have Faith

Created by Same Sky and Jeni Cairns based in London, Brighton and Peterborough. This is celebrating the religious diversity in the country and promotes inter-faith harmony. These are important hallmarks of the Her Majesty’s reign.

Sharing of Gifts

Created by Global Grooves from Greater Manchester, this part represents the Queen as the most travelled of all Monarchs throughout her reign.

River of Hope

Created by Thames Festival Trust, Kinetika Bloco & Oi Musica. Inspired by the Queen’s love and respect for the natural environment, it is a celebration of street band music, youth creativity and dance. There are 350 performers who are aged 14 to 25 years old. There are processional flags designed by 5 thousand young people and led by artist Shona Watt.

The Queens favourites

Created by Imagineer from Coventry, this is an interpretation of the Queen’s favourites. The Queen’s horses are tricylc-powered sculptures. There are 20-foot Godiva puppets, swans, and a Cyclopaedia powered by 20 bikes and carrying a platinum crown. Lots of misbehaving Corgis appear as well.

Unity

A Bristol-based circus company called Cirque Bijou have produced the “Unity” chapter.  The future is projected through fashion, music and the physical prowess of elite athletes and performers, both disabled and non-disabled. 

The Thank you Dance

Created by Kinetika & Jeanefer Jean Charles from London, Thurrock and Milton Keynes. This final part celebrates the seventy years of public service by the Queen and is a Thank You. Hundreds of performers adorned in silk were drawn from across generations.

You can find lots more photos on the links at the end of the article.

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Act 4 – Happy & Glorious

The final part is where everyone gathers around the Queen Victoria Memorial and the National Anthem is sung by a gospel choir and by the audience. The music is performed by the Band of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines. Ed Sheeran then sang a few songs before the Queen appeared on the balcony of Buckingham Palace with some of the rest of the Royal Family.

As a final lasting legacy goal for the Platinum Jubilee Pageant, several schools and organisations are building skills for the future. These include The Ideas Foundation, Engineering Development Trust,

The George Dixon Academy, Steppaz, E14 Dance School, schools involved in The River of Hope, Queen’s Park Community School in Brent, House of Wings, Marcus Rashford’s youth project, Wardle Academy brass band and many more.

This was the final event of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee weekend, you can find out more about Trooping the Colour which was the first event on Thursday. It was followed by the platinum jubilee beacons being lit. On Friday was the service at St Pauls’s Cathedral, then the Platinum Jubilee lunches at various street parties around the country. Next was the concert down the Mall and in front of Buckingham Palace and then is Pageant. The Queen wasn’t able to get to all events due to her poor mobility.

Thanks for reading, you can catch more of my photographs on the Flickr link below and you can purchase images on Alamy News Agency. Plus sign up for my newsletter for events each month in London and the surrounding area just like this Pageant.

Jubilee hashtags to use are #HM70 and #PlatinumJubilee

All photographs are copyright to Andrew Lalchan, if you want to use them for social media please contact me.

Links

Platinum Jubilee Pageant website

Platinum Jubilee Pageant photos on Alamy News Agency to purchase

Flickr Jubilee Pageant Photos

My Instagram

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