Heart of London Business Alliance today unveils more details of the Piccadilly Big Jubilee Lunch street party on Sunday 3 June, set to be one of the highlights of the central weekend of the Diamond Jubilee celebrations for Her Majesty The Queen.
Princess Elizabeth became The Queen (on her father King George VI’s death) on 6th February 1952 and 2012 therefore marks her Diamond Jubilee, with the central weekend, 2nd-5th June, the focal point of the celebrations. With The Queen now having reigned for 60 years, she is only the second of our monarchs to do so – the other being Queen Victoria. There is only one other monarch alive today, the King of Thailand, who has celebrated a Diamond Jubilee. So this is a very rare and special event.
The news comes as, with three weeks to go, members of the public are now able to book a place for one of the sittings at the 500-seat street party table, which will form the centrepiece of the event.
In return for a £1 donation to The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust, people can book their seat on a first come, first served basis at: www.piccadillybigjubileelunch.org.
On the day they will be able to bring their own food or buy some from the many shops and stalls that will line the street, and join up with other Big Jubilee Lunches happening across the UK.
Open from 11.30am to 6.00pm, the street party will see Piccadilly closed for the first time in its history, decked out in bunting as the trappings of a traditional English summer fete come to the centre of London.
Organised by the Heart of London Business Alliance, many of Piccadilly’s historic shops, hotels and cultural institutions will be running markets stalls and laying on entertainments reflecting their expertise and heritage. Highlights include:
- A show-reel of British cinema and a chance to walk the red carpet from BAFTA
- A craft stall and chance to meet a Battersea Dog from Battersea Dogs and Cats Home
- Vintage cars from the last 60 years from Brookland Museum
- A Best of British tent hosted by Rocco Forte’s Brown’s Hotel, with traditional British games from hoopla to coconut shies, as well as food offerings including scotch quails eggs, British asparagus with herb mayonnaise, jubilee chicken, Eccles cakes and strawberries & cream
- A hog roast from The Cavendish London
- Picnics, a champagne and tea bar and Highgrove beef burgers from Fortnum & Mason
- Luxury Illy coffee ice creams and a British hog roast from Le Méridien Piccadilly
- “Live at The Ritz” – an opportunity to enjoy the music and dance to The Ritz Restaurant’s resident band
- Themed events in the Royal Academy of Arts courtyard
- A community market from the artisans of St James’s Area and Jermyn St, including baked Camembert and cheese platters from Paxton & Whitfield, perfume demonstrations from the master perfumer of Floris London and leather demonstrations from Foster & Son
- And traditional Ice-cream Coupes from The Wolseley.
There will also be musical performances and brass bands, children’s games and face painting at St James’s Church, and traditional fairground rides. A big screen will show live footage from other events across the capital, making this once in a lifetime event a day to remember forever.
The heart of the day will be a 500-seat Big Jubilee Lunch street party table, where members of the public can book a place and time slot to bring their hampers and picnic baskets and join up with Big Jubilee Lunches taking place simultaneously across the UK.
Guests must book one of five time slots allocated for the day at www.piccadillybigjubileelunch.org. To reserve up to 10 places, guests must donate £1 per seat to The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust, the charitable organisation set up to share donations from the Jubilee to a range of good causes. There is no additional booking fee. Visitors will be given colour coded wristbands on the day to distinguish seat allocation and time slots.
Sarah Porter, CEO of Heart of London Business Alliance, commented: “This is the first time that Piccadilly has ever been closed for a street party. A Diamond Jubilee is a once in a lifetime event, and we think this celebration will do it justice.
“We are looking forward to showcasing to the rest of London, the UK and the world what makes this part of the capital so unique, not just for special occasions like this but all year round. We and our partners are working hard to make this a day to remember for everyone who attends.”
The Big Lunch is a simple idea originating from the Eden Project, an educational charity based in Cornwall. The aim is to encourage as many of the 61 million people in the UK as possible to have lunch with their neighbours for a few hours of community, friendship and fun. The fourth annual event will take place on Sunday 3 June 2012. As announced by Buckingham Palace The Big Jubilee Lunch will be a part of the main programme of events over the central weekend of Diamond Jubilee celebrations. Since starting in 2009, thousands of Big Lunches have taken place in all kinds of communities and the best part of two million people have taken part each year. A record number of people are expected to take part in the Big Jubilee Lunch this year.
Interested members of the public can register to attend the Jubilee Big Lunch street party and book a place at the table at: www.piccadillybigjubileelunch.org.