Set the alarm. And the coffee maker. Tuesday’s events start early in London, which means at the crack of dawn here in Canada.
Coverage starts at 4:30 a.m. (all times ET) on CBC and a slightly more civilized 5 a.m. on CTV with the service of thanksgiving at St. Paul’s Cathedral. Everyone will be there, including the entire royal family (except poor Philip who is in hospital with a bladder infection) and even Prime Minister Stephen Harper. In the official schedule released by the palace, Queen Elizabeth II leaves Buckingham Palace for the cathedral at 5:15 a.m. The service lasts exactly an hour—5:30 to 6:30. Then it’s off to Mansion House, home of London’s lord mayor, for a reception before going onto Westminster Hall (the oldest and most historic part of the Houses of Parliament) for lunch.
While she and the rest of her clan are getting a bite to eat, crowds will gather along the parade route from Parliament back to Buckingham Palace to see the horse-drawn procession that starts at 9:30 a.m.
If the carefully choreographed itinerary comes off the rails, it will be back at the palace, when millions of Londoners make their way down the Mall to watch the traditional balcony appearance—timed for 10:25 a.m.—which concludes with a flypast by the RAF and feu de joie (described as a “celebratory cascade of rifle fire given as a salute by the Queen’s Guard, interspersed with the National Anthem played by the Band of the Irish Guards.”
Then in the evening, CTV will air the Monday night concert where Grace Jones and Elton John will both perform.
Apparently the Queen always wears ear plugs to these events.
Keep track of it all at Maclean’s Diamond Jubilee web headquarters.