The Queen’s Platinum Jubliee will be marked with a carnival featuring a 20ft puppet of the monarch, a giant four-tier wedding cake baked by acrobatic cooks, and a musical tribute led by Ed Sheeran.
More than 10,000 people will be involved in staging the pageant in central London on the afternoon of Sunday 5 June, as elaborate performances on The Mall mark 70 years since the monarch’s coronation.
The “once-in-a-lifetime” experience, which organizers believe will attract hundreds of millions of global viewers akin to an Olympics opening ceremony, will see a giant oak tree flanked with maypole dancers, a huge moving wedding cake sounding out Bollywood hits , and a towering dragon.
At one stage, the Queen will be imagined in her younger days with a 20ft puppet of a youthful princess, while a pack of mischievous puppet corgis create “humorous chaos” along The Mall.
An aerial artist will also be suspended under a vast helium balloon, known as a heliosphere, bearing the image of the Queen.
A number of “national treasures” are also billed as taking part in the event. While the list of stars remains under wraps – the Spice Girls have indicated they will not be appearing – Ed Sheeran will appear on stage to lead a special tribute.
“I’m proud to be part of the celebration and it’s going to be a great opportunity to bring everyone together,” Sheeran said.
Other celebrities confirmed to be making an appearance include Sir Cliff Richard, Dame Shirley Bassey, Kate Moss, Jeremy Irons, Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean, Gary Lineker, Rosie Jones, Kadeena Cox, Alan Titchmarsh, Heston Blumenthal, James Martin, Bill Bailey and Gok Wan.
But David Zolkwer, the show’s director, said organizers want to “hold some surprises back for the day”.
The event will be split into four acts: For Queen and Country, The Time of Our Lives, Let’s Celebrate, and Happy and Glorious.
For Queen and Country segment will feature a military parade with 1,750 people and 200 horses – one of the largest military spectacles in modern history, according to organizers.
The Time of Our Lives will celebrate seven decades of culture, music and fashion with strolling Lambeth walkers, jivers, hippies, teddy boys, mods, glam rockers, punks, new romantics, ravers, Britpoppers, junglists and breakbeaters.
Daleks, Sinclair C5s and a fleet of iconic cars from James Bond films dating back to the 1960s will have starring roles, as will celebrities who have been “pivotal to the British culture” including Sir Cliff and Dame Shirley.
The third act, Let’s Celebrate, will tell the story of the Queen’s life in 12 chapters, packed with references to the Queen’s love of corgis and horses.
One section will see elite BMX stunt cyclists jump onto moving Land Rovers, while another will see the Paralympic rugby and basketball teams appear as well as disabled and able-bodied performers from Bristol group Cirque Bijou.
During a homage to her 1953 coronation, a huge wire framed bust of the monarch will appear.
This interpretation of the coronation in Afro-Caribbean carnival-style, by Brent-based Mahogany Carnival Arts, imagines the animal kingdom’s response to Princess Elizabeth’s accession to the throne in 1952 whilst on safari in Kenya.
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The Queen’s 1947 wedding to the Duke of Edinburgh, who died last year, will be highlighted with a giant four-tier wedding cake baked by acrobatic cooks on the move, in a performance by Birmingham-based group Nukhut.
The final act, Happy and Glorious, will take place in front of the Palace and will feature the singing of the national anthem as well as a performance by Sheeran.
Mr Zolkwer said: “This is very much a ‘People’s pageant’ – it’s by and for the people.
“It’s about ordinary people coming together from far and wide to do extraordinary things; real people with delightful, authentic stories to tell; taking center stage in a spectacular performance filled with wonder, warmth, wit and so much humanity.
“It will be all about how, through the recollections and stories and experiences we share, we can see how we are all connected – through time; to each other; and to the Queen.”
It is understood organizers have raised £15 million from corporate sponsors and individuals to cover the cost of the event.
A packed schedule of events will take place over June’s Jubilee weekend, though doubts remain over how many of the events the monarch will attend in person.
The Queen has attended only one engagement outside the confines of Windsor Castle in the past few months, a memorial for her late husband Prince Philip.
She has kept up other “light” duties, including some in-person and virtual audiences, where she has occasionally alluded to mobility issues.
Additional reporting by Press Association