McCartney, 1,000 Boats, Jet Flypast Join Jubilee Weekend

Queen Elizabeth II
Queen Elizabeth II. London is getting ready for a four-day weekend of concerts, ceremony, pomp and street parties to mark Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee. Photographer: Lewis Whyld/WPA-Pool/Getty Images

London is getting ready for a four-day weekend of concerts, ceremony, pomp and street parties to mark Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee.

“Much Ado About Nothing” is at the Globe, the home of the bard’s work. Theater group Hypermobile has taken over the riverside venue with a quirky French take on the comedy, set in a restaurant.

“A Midsummer Night’s Dream” comes to Regent’s Park with Matthew Dunster directing a contemporary production.

Shakespeare’s Globe, 21 New Globe Walk, Bankside, SE1 9DT, from today. Information:, +44-20-7902-1400. Open Air Theatre, Inner Circle, Regent’s Park, NW1 4NU, from tomorrow. Information: or +844-826-4242.

Many Regent’s Park theatergoers start their evening with a Champagne picnic. Fortnum & Mason is offering a Jubilee Picnic for 40 pounds ($62), or you might prefer the Wicker for 200 pounds, which includes English sparkling wine and English rose. Delivery is free on orders of 100 pounds or more. Information:


The Queen will be in the Royal Box at Epsom for this year’s Derby tomorrow before her Jubilee celebrations move to London. Bunting, street parties and traffic jams will be taking over the center of town while she enjoys the races.

Many city restaurants are offering Jubilee menus and events for the weekend. One of the best will be at the York & Albany, which is planning a party on June 2 from midday to late, featuring a barbecue and live music. Information: or +44-20-7388-3344.

The Berkeley is offering a special afternoon treat, “Pret-a Portea -- The Diamond Collection.” Biscuits, fancies and choux buns have been transformed to resemble the most memorable hats worn by the Royal Family. These include a praline profiterole inspired by the Philip Treacy fascinator worn by Princess Beatrice at the Royal Wedding last year, as well as Angela Kelly’s Canadian maple leaf hat, worn by the Duchess of Cambridge in Canada.

The price is 36.50 pounds a person and booking is recommended. Information: or +44-20-7107-8866.

Those wanting to celebrate a pop Queen rather than Britain’s monarch may do well to head to the Design Museum.

The French shoemaker Christian Louboutin has his own tribute to Tina Turner in his exhibition: a pair of fringed high-heel boots called “Tina Forever.” It’s one of the more wearable models on show; other pairs have sharp steel studs and bondage handcuffs.

The display features footwear crafted with beer cans, palm bark, and salmon-and-mackerel skin.

“Christian Louboutin” is at the Design Museum, Shad Thames, London SE1 2YD, through July 9. Information: or +44-20-7940-8790.

Saturday Night

A geisha girl falls madly in love with a U.S. navy lieutenant, only to watch him sail off and marry someone else.

Saturday night is your last chance to see “Madam Butterfly” -- in the English National Opera production by the late director Anthony Minghella. Kimonos, paper lanterns and cherry-blossom branches add up to a visually rich and very Japanese-looking spectacle.

Mary Plazas sings Butterfly.

English National Opera, London Coliseum, St. Martin’s Lane, WC2N 4ES. Information:, +44-20-7845-9300.


More than 1,000 vessels, from the Royal Barge to tiny rowboats, make their way down the River Thames on Sunday. They will leave Albert Bridge and head to Tower Bridge.

There are plenty of places to see the all-afternoon pageant, with family events in Battersea Park.

The Blue Elephant, London’s grandest Thai restaurant, has relocated to beside the Thames, at Imperial Wharf. It’s an ideal spot to view the flotilla. Chef Nooror Somany Steppe has created a menu for 45 pounds ($70.50). Information: or +44-20-7751-3111.

Skylon is another restaurant with great river views. Information: or +44-20-7654-7800.


The June 4 diamond jubilee concert organized by Gary Barlow is headlined by pop knights such as Paul McCartney, Elton John and Cliff Richard; veterans such as Stevie Wonder and Dame Shirley Bassey; Robbie Williams, Kylie Minogue and Ed Sheeran.

Expect mass karaoke to songs such as “Hey Jude” and “Angels.”

The show in front of Buckingham Palace will be watched by 20,000 fans, with tickets already allocated by a public ballot. Those with invites also can join a Jubilee picnic in Buckingham Palace Gardens before the evening event.

About 500,000 more people will watch via screens in The Mall, Green Park and St. James’s Park. The show will also be broadcast live by the BBC.


A thanksgiving service at St. Paul’s Cathedral will be followed by a carriage procession to Buckingham Palace.

Crowds along the route will see brass bands, marching soldiers and of course the Royal Family. There will be a Royal Air Force flypast over The Mall at 3:30 p.m.

If you’d like to get out of town, chef Heston Blumenthal’s Hinds Head pub in the village of Bray is recreating a jubilee-style menu first served on April 23, 1963. On that day, the queen hosted a luncheon in the private room, where the guests included the king of Norway and the queens of Denmark and Sweden.

Information: or +44-1628-626151. Blumenthal’s neighboring Crown at Bray will be serving a special Jubilee Ale called “Diamond Reign,” with a floral aroma.

Muse highlights include: Lewis Lapham on history, Zinta Lundborg’s New York weekend.

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