Inside London’s celebrations for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee

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This is one for the history books! Her Majesty The Queen Elizabeth II is officially the longest reigning monarch of the United Kingdom, having sat on the throne for 70 years this year. As you can imagine, this is an event worthy of the greatest celebrations, and after Her Majesty’s Sapphire Jubilee -which had marked her 65th year on the throne- was celebrated with far less fanfare, it goes without saying that the organizing committee is holding nothing back for the Platinum Jubilee. As always, we know that this is the kind of experience that our clients love to be a part of, and so Lartisien has got you covered. Consider this your Intro 101 to the Platinum Jubilee celebrations, and to really get the insider perspective in this matter, we took a chance to sit down with Jason Laker-Jones, Head Concierge at the Corinthia London, to get his expert input on the matter.

What’s all the fuss about?

Putting aside the simple fact that the Platinum Jubilee marks the first time a monarch has reigned for 70 consecutive years over the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth countries, the event is being allocated the astronomical sum of £28 million for all the planning and celebrations, which means… this is indeed big! The Platinum Jubilee will be taking place over the extended bank holiday, from June 2 to June 5, and will see parties and celebrations all over the country, and especially London, which really comes together to honor the Queen.

“It’s a huge event really. Everyone wants to be a part of this, everyone wants to have a memory of this, and everyone wants to say “I was there!”” Jason tells us. “With regard to London, I think the city has changed a little bit over the years, as in more London probably resides outside of the city, and therefore what you do see is a lot of street parties, a lot of families, communities celebrating in their own ways, but you also have a huge amount of people from outside of London coming to celebrate.”

Indeed, the organising committee estimates around 37,000 people attending the official celebrations, which includes the such events as the iconic Trooping of the Colours, the Platinum Jubilee Flypast, the Derby-Epsom Downs Racecourse, the BBC Platinum Party at the Palace, the Big Jubilee Lunch, and -perhaps the most awaited event- the Platinum Jubilee Pageant, where the Queen will make the trip back to Buckingham Palace from Westminster Abbey aboard the Gold State Coach.

“The Trooping of the Colours is what kicks this whole weekend off. You have 1400 soldiers, 200 horses, 400 bandsmen, all parading down the Mall, where they kind of come in the Horse Guard’s Parade, and the ceremony takes place for 2 hours. It’s an amazing experience which you really feel in your bones.”

Meanwhile more than 10 million individuals across the UK will be partaking in local festivities in honour of the Queen. London, itself, will witness an outpouring of its residents in the streets and public areas to attend the festivities and parties. Mayfair, Totteridge, Hyde Park are only a few of the hundreds of places that will be hosting special events for the Jubilee. And we’ve even heard rumours of a one-day only Corgi (the Queen’s iconic pets) Café opening for the occasion!

“The piazza at Covent Garden hosts a very special afternoon Jubilee celebration throughout the course of the weekend, so the whole place will be decorated with bunting, Union Jack flags, you’ll have street food, street parties, live entertainment… So, you’re really going to feel like you’re actually part of the celebration.”

Moreover, there will also be a significant number of visitors will be making the trip from abroad to witness the historic event. And the folks across the Atlantic are known to be the most enthusiastic bunch when it comes to showing some love to Her Majesty!

“If it’s something about culture or history or just a memorable experience, our American clients are definitely the ones that show the most enthusiasm for this sort of things. These are things that really want to be a part of. They are the ones that book guides, they want to see Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace, they want to take these memories and souvenirs home with them.”

The luxury hotel experience during the Platinum Jubilee

Now, we know that what our clients love the most is some well-deserved quiet time, where they can just sit back and just be pampered. However, for the Jubilee celebrations, you will have to come in with a different mindset. Over the course of this 4-day weekend, the name of the game is absorbing as much of the effervescent atmosphere and festive mood as possible. However, worry not, for no matter how loud and exciting things get, the hotel staff have got your back. In fact, the Jubilee is exactly the kind of event that they will have trained for, for months in advance, as Jason tells us. And the goal is to ensure that the guest’s experience is as seamless and hassle-free as possible.

“The thing is, guests will still want to go about their routines. They’ll still want to visit museums, go to restaurants, have tours, have guides, and those that wish to attend the event, that’s really where we come into our own, being in the location where we are, and that’s also when our expert knowledge allows us to put them at the forefront.” The Head Concierge at the Corinthia, a member of the prestigious Clef d’Or Association, explains. “This particular event comes with a lot of infrastructure and logistical issues. First of all, we have to put forward a very comprehensive guide so our guests are aware of how and where they can move in and out of these processions on the days of the celebrations. We have a very specific list of all the events that are taking place, from right outside of the hotel to all the other areas, all the details, some history behind each event, and how our guests can be involved in those events.”

Moreover, the Platinum Jubilee also gives the hotels the perfect opportunity to go all out and treat their guests to the very best in town. Corinthia London, for instance, will be dressing up to the nines to welcomes its guests for the Jubilee, with gorgeous flower arrangements from McQueens and other decorations in the red, blue, and white. Guests will also have the chance to relish the cuisine of Executive Chef André Garett who will be putting together a seasoned menu of traditional English recipes, prepared with the very best of local produce. And let’s not forget the most English of traditions… the Afternoon Tea in the Crystal Moon Lounge, complete with Victoria Sponge cakes! And if ever you want to feel even more close to London, the hotel will be more than happy to pack you a picnic basket for your trip to one of the Royal Gardens or even book you a Brompton Bike tour of the Royal Monuments to brush up on your history before the Jubilee!

London, right, sure. But what else?

Well, you could always take a day trip to some other destinations during the weekend -although traffic might make this more of a headache than anything else- but if you want a different experience than the energetic London, Jason recommends you take a trip to Petersham Nurseries in Richmond.

Located some 35 minutes from Corinthia London, the Petersham Nurseries welcomes you into a pastoral setting reminiscent of the countryside. Step into the renovated nursery and discover a world of whimsy and magic with a floral garden that will take your breath away, and a café that will remind you of Alice in Wonderland. There, you will still be able to partake in the Jubilee celebrations, but with less crowd and loud noises. It’ll be quiet, peaceful, tranquil.

So, here you go! Now, you know what to expect about the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee!


About Log Pillay

I’ve always been fascinated by the power of stories and storytelling. And stories are made up of people and situations, but also destinations that often become a character of their own. Quirky alleyways with century-old shops, grand hotels that become home to authors and their personages, or even entire cities that leave a mark in history… This magazine is all about telling these unique stories, and taking the readers along for the ride. 

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