royal fever

England Kicks Off Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee

EPSOM, ENGLAND - JUNE 02: Queen Elizabeth II walks out to present the trophies for the winning horse St Nicholas Abbey in the Diamond Jubilee Coronation Cup race on Derby Day on June 2, 2012 in Epsom, England. For only the second time in its history, the UK celebrates the Diamond Jubilee of a monarch. Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II celebrates the 60th anniversary of her ascension to the throne. The Queen along with all the members of the royal family will participate in a River Pageant with a flotilla of 1,000 boats accompanying them down the Thames, a star studded free concert at Buckingham Palace, and a carriage procession and a Service of Thanksgiving at St Paul's Cathedral. (Photo by Ben Stansall - WPA Pool /Getty Images)
Photo: WPA Pool/2012 Getty Images

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.

England Kicks Off the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee