Britain’s streets are decked out with flags, tea parties have been planned and cakes baked as the country marks Queen Elizabeth II’s unprecedented 70 years on the throne.

The country is hailing its highly popular monarch with four days of pageantry and parties as she becomes the first to celebrate an anniversary billed as the Platinum Jubilee. As her reign enters what is likely its closing act, the jubilee represents a moment of light for the queen, her family and the nation after two dark years marked by the Covid-19 pandemic, the death of Prince Philip and royal scandals.

Join us as we follow along with the royal festivities in London and beyond.

What’s happening today:

  • Celebrations began with the queen’s birthday parade, known as Trooping the Color.
  • A Royal Air Force flypast was watched by crowds in London and four generations of the royal family from the famed Buckingham Palace balcony.
  • Later in the day, more than 2,000 towns and cities in Britain and overseas will light beacons to mark the jubilee.

 


Not everyone is joining in the royal razzmatazz

While jubilee fever may seem ubiquitous, there are plenty of people in Britain and its former colonies who won’t be celebrating. #AbolishtheMonarchy was trending on British Twitter on Thursday morning, backed by the anti-royal campaign group Republic.

It’s not just ardent anti-monarchists left cold, however. Last month, the pollster YouGov found more than half of Britons, 56 percent, said they wouldn’t be celebrating the jubilee — and only 14 percent said they definitely would.

The queen herself remains popular among around three-quarters of Brits, polls consistently show. But fewer than two-thirds say they want to keep the monarchy, with more than 1 in 5 saying they want to replace it with an elected head of state, YouGov found in a survey this week.

Prince Charles is far less popular than his mother, and many experts say his ascension to the throne will be a moment of extreme uncertainty for the future of the royals. Anti-royal disquiet is bubbling in Britain’s former colonies across the Caribbean, with young people in particular demanding reparations for the monarchy’s historic links to the slave trade.

By 4difm

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