Queen Elizabeth II today kicked off her four-day Diamond Jubilee festivities with an appearance at the Epsom Derby, where a crowd of 130,000 cheered her on from the stands named in her honor. Over the weekend, the United Kingdom will celebrate the queen's 60 years of rule with a royal river pageant, star-studded concert — Paul McCartney, Elton John, and Stevie Wonder, to name a few — and an excess of Union Jack flags. We can also look forward to cucumber sandwich–noshing and Pimm's Cup–swilling Jubilee parties, solid gold carriages, a lot of fancy over-the-top hats, and silly homages to Her Majesty (including this slightly disturbing balloon sculpture). Royal fever is officially upon us ... again.
Photo: WPA Pool/2012 Getty Images
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