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Four days of celebrations in the UK to mark The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee start today

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Mall Pall in London, UK
10,000 people are involved in the events, including the military, volunteers, performers, key workers and members of the general public

Earlier this year Her Majesty The Queen Elizabeth II became the first British Monarch to celebrate a Platinum Jubilee, marking 70 years of service to the people of the United Kingdom, the Realms and the Commonwealth.

To celebrate this unprecedented anniversary, events and initiatives will take place throughout the year, culminating in a four day UK bank holiday weekend from Thursday 2nd to Sunday 5th June.

The four days of celebrations will include public events and community activities, as well as national moments of reflection on The Queen’s 70 years of service.

 

Thursday 2nd June

Trooping the Colour: The Queen’s Birthday Parade will be held on Thursday 2nd June 2022 starting at 11am. The colour will be trooped by the 1st Battalion, Irish Guards, and more than 1200 officers and soldiers from the Household Division will put on a display of military pageantry on Horse Guards Parade, together with hundreds of Army musicians and around 240 horses. This annual event has now marked the official birthday of the British Sovereign for over 260 years.

During the Queen’s birthday parade A Royal Gun Salute will be fired.

Tickets for seated viewing of Trooping at Horse Guards Parade are now sold out but there is an opportunity for people to view the display as the troops parade to and from Horse Guards Parade as it passes on its journey between Buckingham Palace and the parade ground.

During the ceremony, there will be an opportunity to watch the event via large screens, set up in St James’ Park and many more members of the public will be able to watch the spectacle live on BBC and Sky television, not just in the UK but overseas too. Once the parade has ended and the Royal Procession has returned to Buckingham Palace, the Royal Family’s balcony appearance will happen as in previous years.

 

Platinum Jubilee Beacons: The United Kingdom’s long tradition of celebrating Royal Jubilees, Weddings and Coronations with the lighting of beacons will continue for the Platinum Jubilee.

A beacon chain, once used as a tool for communication, has now become a symbol of unity across towns, borders, countries and continents and is often the central point of focus for any outdoor gathering or celebration. In 1897, beacons were lit to celebrate Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee. In 1977, 2002 and 2012, beacons commemorated the Silver, Golden and Diamond Jubilees of The Queen, and in 2016 Her Majesty’s 90th birthday. Over 1,500 beacons will be lit throughout the United Kingdom, Channel Islands, Isle of Man and UK Overseas Territories.

The Principal beacon, involving The Tree of Trees (a 21m high ‘tree’ constructed of 350 smaller trees), will be lit in a special ceremony at Buckingham Palace at 9pm.

There are three kinds of beacon events:

  • Community Beacons – thousands of beacons will be lit by communities, charities and different groups throughout the regions of the UK, Channel Islands, Isle of Man and UK Overseas Territories.
  • Commonwealth Beacons – beacons will be lit in all capital cities of the Commonwealth – 54 in total.
  • Principal Beacon – to be lit on the 2nd June in a special ceremony at Buckingham Palace.

 

Friday 3rd June

Service of Thanksgiving: A Service of Thanksgiving for The Queen’s reign will be held at St Paul’s Cathedral. Great Paul, the largest church bell in the country, will be rung for the Service. It was made in 1882, but fell silent in the 1970s due to a broken mechanism. It was restored in 2021 and has been rung on 8 occasions since, but this is the 1st royal occasion it will be rung.

 

Saturday 4th June

The Derby at Epsom Downs: Her Majesty The Queen, accompanied by Members of the Royal Family, will attend the Derby at Epsom Downs.

Platinum Party at the Palace: Hosts Kirsty Young and Roman Kemp will lead live coverage of the Platinum Party at the Palace and air live on BBC One, BBC iPlayer and across the BBC network. The celebration will see famous faces from the world of entertainment brought together to perform for a night of musical tributes to celebrate the Jubilee. 22,000 people will attend the event including 10,000 allocated in a public ballot and 5,000 tickets for key workers. And now for the first time, the BBC have released artist visuals of the impressive setting and stage where the acts will perform. The full line-up of acts will be announced by the BBC in the coming weeks.

 

Sunday 5th June

The Big Jubilee Lunch: Over 60k people have registered to host Big Jubilee Lunches on the Platinum celebration weekend, with events ranging from world record attempts for the longest street party to back garden BBQ’s and everything in between. Over ten million people across the UK are expected to be joining the celebrations to share friendship, food and fun at Big Jubilee Lunches as part of this nationwide act of community friendship. People across the world are also joining in with over 600 international Big Jubilee Lunches being planned throughout the Commonwealth and beyond – from Canada to Brazil, New Zealand to Japan and South Africa to Switzerland.

The Platinum Jubilee Pageant: The Gold State Carriage, led by The Sovereign’s Escort, will lead the Platinum Jubilee Pageant, embracing the latest in digital technology to evoke the excitement and majesty of her journey to be crowned 70 years ago.

More details will be provided at a later date and while The Queen won’t personally travel in the regal Gold State Carriage,  there will be a fabulous surprise.

The Pageant will serve as an opportunity to gather and pay tribute to Her Majesty. It will culminate with the singing of the National Anthem, ‘God Save the Queen’ and a gospel choir to the sounds of the Band of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines.

The Pageant will bring to life iconic moments from The Queen’s reign as well as showcasing our changing society over the past 70 years.

10,000 people are involved, including the military, over 6,000 volunteers, performers, key workers and 2,500 members of the general public.

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London exhibition portraying unfairly censored communities is open until Friday

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Visitors at the Unseen exhibition in London
Female body and race are amongst the content being censored on social media platforms

An exhibition in the United Kingdom is showcasing images of 13 communities censored and silenced on social media platforms.

Unseen’, part of an online community project aiming to open the discussion around digital censorship, is now a public exhibition featuring posts and several stories submitted by people and small businesses who experienced their content and social media accounts being removed or shadow banned. Created by British photographer Rankin, the initiative is on display at Quantus Gallery in Shoreditch, East London.

“Censorship is a necessary tool to prevent fake news, protect children, and more. But it is often used inadvertently to silence marginalised voices,” says creative founder, Rankin. “We have had an incredible response so far, and we’re just getting started. This is an important issue, and those affected deserve to have a voice in the policies that affect them on the platforms they love and build their businesses on.” – defends the photographer known for his portraits of a variety of celebrities, from Kate Moss, Madonna and David Bowie to Queen Elizabeth II and Britney Spears.

Brands, content creators, and body-positive activists and artists have been clashing with social media networks over overly restrictive publishing guidelines for a while, with platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and TikTok regularly banning content posted worldwide.

“It is a continuous, frustrating game of whack-a-mole with platforms, so much so that I have ended up blending my Ph.D. in the moderation of online abuse with my experiences of censorship,” – Says Dr. Carolina Are, a visiting lecturer at the City University of London whom recent work focused on finding frameworks to effectively moderate social media without affecting freedom of expression, and on platforms’ moderation and censorship of nudity and sexuality.

The exhibition ‘Unseen’ will run until June 24th at Quantus Gallery 11-29 Fashion Street, London, E1 6PX.

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One in five UK adults has started a ‘side hustle’ since March 2020

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38% of people surveyed used the money they earnt from a side hustle to pay for rent, clothes and even food | Photo: Jonathan Borba

One in five (19%) adults in the UK have started a ‘side hustle’ since March 2020 and, almost one in six (16%) claim to earn upwards of £1,000 a month from their new venture, according to new research from insurance provider, Aviva, conducted by Censuswide over 10 days in May, 2022.

However, only two thirds of those who started a side hustle over the past two years are still pursuing them today. 37% have returned to their day jobs being their main source of income now that lockdowns are over, and some companies expect employees to return to the office or work from home only partially.

The most popular ‘side hustle’ people chose to pursue was to ‘sell handcrafted products’ (23%), a phenomenon that saw online marketplaces for crafts and vintage items such as Etsy growing exponentially in 2020 and 2021. One in nine (11%) looking for an extra income turned to art, 9% to photography, while a similar number (10%) tried their hand at being a social media influencer – a popular choice with those aged 16-24 (13%). Other income boosters included becoming a courier (6%), driving a taxi (4%), and offering nutritional advice (4%).

When asked what their original motivation was to start a side hustle in addition to their normal, full-time job during the pandemic, most say it was financially motivated. Two in five (39%) people said they did it because they saw an opportunity to turn a hobby into an income; others to ‘make ends meet’ (30%); become financially independent (21%) or to pay off debts (18%).  Over a quarter (27%) started their new vocation to empower themselves/ gain confidence and improve their mental health, while 16% just wanted to practice the skills they had attained (i.e. photography, counseling, etc.).

“The pandemic has transformed how we relate to work. Aviva’s research reveals two sides to this story. For some, the pandemic has brought greater work-life flexibility. This appears to have fuelled a boom in ‘side hustles’. For others, the pandemic has brought greater financial strain, and this appears to have fuelled a need to look elsewhere to make ends meet.” – says Alistair McQueen, Head of Savings & Retirement at Aviva.

On average, side hustlers make around £497 a month from their secondary income, with more than one in four (28%) earning more than £500 a month.

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Young people increasingly struggling to get on the UK property ladder

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Feeling the pinch: 19% of young people living in Cardiff needed to find additional employment to pay their bills, a survey has revealed | Photo: Karolina Grabowska

Despite a property market boom across the UK in recent years, the average age of a first-time buyer is up by almost two years, meaning the average Briton, now, will be 34 years old by the time they purchase their first home. 20 years ago, the average age of a first-time buyer was 31, while in the 1990s it was approximately 29, according to market analysis by Which.

And a recent survey released by independent finance broker KIS Finance has found that over 22% of 18 to 35-year-olds have been forced to take on an additional job as the cost of living crisis deepens, making home ownership out of reach for an increasing number of people.

Last week the Government’s announced a range of steps to try to help more people onto the property ladder. However, exactly how the proposed schemes will work in practice remains to be seen.

The proposal to extend the existing Right to Buy Scheme to include housing association properties could help large numbers onto the property ladder, who thought that home ownership was beyond their reach. This amendment to the original scheme, which was introduced by Margaret Thatcher in 1980 and allowed people to buy their council house at a discounted rate, could see up to 3 million low paid workers buy their own homes.

“Whilst the announcement of measures to help first-time buyers onto the housing ladder will be welcomed, it remains to be seen how the proposals will work in practice. Accepting housing benefit payments toward a mortgage will be a significant change for mortgage providers and it may take some time for the details to be worked through. However, any steps to help support young people to escape from the trap of rented accommodation will be positive and the industry needs to be ready to adapt to support the proposed changes” – says Holly Andrews, MD at KIS Finance.

Key statistics from KIS Finance’s survey also found that 22% of those aged 18 to 35 have taken on an additional job to help them afford basic items such as rent, heating, and food, and a staggering 57% of young British workers reported they are already struggling financially and expect things to get significantly worse in the near future.

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