How can we celebrate Queen's Platinum?

North Devon Gazette

North Devon Council has recently received a letter from Rt Hon Michael Gove MP Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, reminding us that this year, Her Majesty The Queen will become the first British Monarch to celebrate a Platinum Jubilee. Â

To mark the Queen’s historic 70-year reign, Platinum Jubilee celebrations will be taking place in 2022, not just in the UK but also throughout the Commonwealth. Â

Hopefully, the Covid pandemic won’t result in the need for more restrictions, so there should be an opportunity for us to participate, at some point during this year. To facilitate the celebrations, the bank holiday weekend has been extended from Thursday 2nd to Sunday 5th June. Â

This will provide opportunities for communities throughout the UK to come together to celebrate this historic milestone. Communities across North Devon are now discussing how best to mark this momentous occasion in a memorable way and it would be good to coordinate an exciting programme of events throughout North Devon. Â

On our website, North Devon Council is keen to help advertise the events, which are being planned for the various parishes and communities, so please get in touch.Â

Obviously, there is the complication of the Covid pandemic and extra care will be needed to keep people as safe as possible. One of the activities being encouraged is the holding of street parties. Â

To me, it brings back memories of some enjoyable street parties, which we have held in the past and, being in the open air, it is safer than large groups of people meeting indoors. For those who are interested, the government website gives tips on how to do this - Â

It includes advice, such as organising a street party just for residents and neighbours, which is very simple and does not need a licence. The number one tip for holding a party is to plan early and to share jobs out amongst residents. Â

If you need a temporary road closure, get in touch with your council at least six weeks in advance. Your first point of contact could be either the council’s highways, licensing, events or communities’ teams. If you encounter any difficulties, speak to your local councillor who will be happy to help.Â

Another idea is the holding of a Big Jubilee Lunch between the dates of 2nd to 5th June. Many readers will recall the success of the first Big Jubilee Lunch, to celebrate HM The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in 2012, and it is hoped that this will be repeated this year. Â

This way of celebrating is likely to take many different forms, from sharing a cuppa with a neighbour to a bigger fun event in the street or park. Let’s hope that the weather is fine and sunny for such occasions.Â

Also, in keeping with the long tradition of celebrating Royal Jubilees, Weddings and Coronations councils are being encouraged to light beacons across the UK in the evening of 2nd June 2022. In 1897, beacons were lit to celebrate Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee. Â

In 1977, 2002 and 2012, beacons commemorated the Silver, Golden and Diamond Jubilees of The Queen, and in 2016 for Her Majesty’s 90th birthday. This time it is anticipated that more than 1,500 beacons will be lit throughout the United Kingdom.Â

Libraries, museums, leisure centres, heritage sites etc are also being encouraged to host their own individual events and projects to mark the Platinum Jubilee. Some National Lottery Funding is being made available to help communities across the country come together to celebrate. For example, Councils are being encouraged to consider using large screens to link up with the BBC’s coverage of ‘The Platinum Party at the Palace’.Â

Another important way of commemorating this special jubilee and help the environment is to plant a tree. Everyone from individuals to community groups, villages, cities, counties, schools and corporations are encouraged to do so. This initiative has already begun and will continue to the end of this year.Â