Queen Elizabeth’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations next week have an urgency to them – honoring the 96-year-old before the British monarchy changes “dramatically,” according to a leading royal historian.
“If you think about it, this will be the last really huge time to celebrate the Queen publicly and thank her,” Hugo Vickers, who has written extensively on the family, told Page Six.
“This has been an extraordinary golden age that she has presided over and things will change dramatically at a certain point, so I think these few days will be really important. Everyone must get out and celebrate here. ”
The events, which begin Thursday and run through Sunday, June 5, mark the monarch’s 70 years on the throne.
As Prince Harry and Meghan Markle plan to join the celebrations with their two children, Archie, 3, and baby Lilibet, Vickers said he hoped the California-based couple would not steal the Queen’s thunder.
“I would like to hope that it will all be focused on her. The fewer distractions there are, the better, frankly, ”he added.
And while it may seem the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are being slighted in the celebrations – they will not be publicly seen at many of the events – it’s strictly royal business.
“As a mother and grandmother, the Queen takes one view of her family – which is slightly separate from what she’s told to do as the queen,” Vickers said.
It all kicks off with the famed military ceremony, Trooping The Color, on Thursday, which will hopefully see the Queen join other working royals – so no Harry, Markle or Prince Andrew – on the balcony of Buckingham Palace to pose for a historic photo.
There will be a Service of Thanksgiving for Her Majesty at St. Paul’s Cathedral on Friday, which Harry and Markle will definitely attend, along with the rest of the family.
This will include Harry’s dad and the heir to the throne, Prince Charles, and Harry’s brother, Prince William, who is next in line.
Palace aides are working out the best way to ensure the Queen can attend after confirming that she has been suffering from “episodic mobility problems.” She did manage to show up for the Chelsea Flower Show last Monday in a souped-up golf cart.
The Telegraph reported that the Queen will be unable to walk up the many steps at the cathedral’s main entrance, adding that staff are also considering how, if necessary, she can make her way in through a side entrance without being photographed.
The Epsom Derby will be on Saturday, which sources told Page Six the racing-mad monarch hopes to attend, followed by a Party at the Palace Saturday night, with performances by stars including Diana Ross, Sir Elton John, Queen and Lin-Manuel Miranda . Her Majesty is not expected to be there.
Said Vickers: “At the end of the pageant, I’d love to see a photo with the Queen, Charles, William and [William’s oldest child, Prince] George so you can see the future of the monarchy. ”