London: After a spell of exceptionally warm weather, Britain is bracing for showers and an extended Diamond Jubilee weekend to be celebrated by millions with holidays and events to mark Queen Elizabeth's 60 year reign.
Diamond Jubilee celebrations are billed as one of the two major events to showcase the best of Britain, the other being the Olympics.
With most offices closed during the extended weekend from June 02 to 05, many plan to use the period to holiday amidst hopes that Britain’s famously fickle weather will give way to the warmth and sunshine evident during the last week.
London is the hub of Diamond Jubilee celebrations, with thousands expected to arrive in the capital to witness events planned to the last detail, including a unique 1000-boat strong flotilla on the River Thames on Sunday.
One of the flotilla's highlights will be a music performance by a group of 50 musicians from the Shree Muktajeevan Pipe Band and Shree Muktajeevan Dhol Academy playing traditional Indian music and Bollywood songs as the boats sail past the royal family.
A number of viewing areas along the flotilla pageant route will be equipped with big screens along the River Thames.
Street parties have been planned across Britain, when residents congregate and celebrate the occasion with music, dance, and group events.
Tomorrow, the Queen will attend the Epsom Derby, while on Sunday, people across Britain neighbours will celebrate the Jubilee by taking part in the fourth annual Big Lunch.
Local councils have received almost 9,500 road closure applications for the event. On Monday, a concert has been organised at the Buckingham
Palace by the BBC, featuring some of the biggest names in music.
It will be attended by the Queen and other members of the royal family. From 10:00 pm (local time) on Monday, thousands of Jubilee beacons will be lit, culminating in the Queen lighting the national beacon at 10:30 pm.
A network of over 4000 beacons will be lit by communities and others throughout the United Kingdom, Channel Islands and the Isle of Man, along with the Commonwealth and UK Overseas Territories.
The jubilee weekend celebrations will culminate on Tuesday with a service of thanksgiving and carriage procession.
The queen and members of the royal family will attend a national service of thanksgiving at St Paul's Cathedral.
Weather advice is much in demand before the weekend begins.
Tony Waters, chief forecaster at the Met Office, said: "After a spell of such exceptionally warm and fine weather, it may be disappointing that this won't last through to the Jubilee weekend".
He added: "However, many parts of the UK will see some dry and bright spells at times, particularly in the north. In fact, the general weather picture is for some typically British weather."
Queen Elizabeth's Coronation Day on June 02, 1953 saw rain and relatively cool temperatures for the time of year, with a maximum temperature of around 12 degrees Celsius.
First Published: Friday, June 01, 2012, 15:22