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Jubilee Square hosts garden party fit for a Queen

Published on Monday, June 6, 2016

HUNDREDS of people are expected to gather in Leicester’s Jubilee Square this weekend to celebrate the 90th birthday of Her Majesty The Queen.

The city and county will mark the occasion with a garden party in the square on Sunday 12 June, complete with a cake fit for a Queen, a live link to the celebrations in London, and a rousing sing-along of ‘Happy Birthday’.

Archive footage – showing the Queen throughout her life – will be shown on the big screen from 11am, interspersed with live coverage of the Patron’s Lunch on The Mall, where 10,000 guests will join the Queen for the final event in her birthday celebrations.

There will also be a packed programme of live entertainment on the Jubilee Square stage, plenty of free activities for children, and stalls selling delicious hot food and home-baked cakes and confectionery.

Assistant city mayor Cllr Piara Singh Clair said: “We’re very proud to host this garden party on behalf of the city and the county and we’re delighted that people from across Leicestershire will come together in Leicester to celebrate this very special occasion.

“I hope that the weather will be kind to us, and that hundreds of people pack up a picnic and join us in Jubilee Square for what should be a very memorable day.”

Around 60 picnic tables and benches will be set up in Jubilee Square – available for anyone to use on a first-come, first-served basis – and there will be plenty of room for people to bring their own picnic blankets.

Anyone without a picnic can buy food, drinks and snacks from two stalls in the square. Leicestershire-based Picks Organic Farm will be selling hot food – and cupcakes, brownies and other teatime treats will be available from Anstey-based Debbie Campbell Cakes.

Music from the Contrast Steel Band and La Bella Ukulele will help create a party atmosphere in the square – and there will also be a set by the five-piece Swinging Bass Band, who will lead a rousing rendition of ‘Happy Birthday’ at around 2.15pm.

A giant iced sponge cake – measuring 2’ x 2’ – will be cut up and shared with the crowd shortly afterwards. Lady Gretton, Lord-Lieutenant of Leicestershire, will be joined by the Lord Mayor of Leicester, Cllr Stephen Corrall, assistant city mayor Cllr Piara Singh Clair, and Chairman of the County Council, Bill Liquorish, to cut the birthday cake.

The Lord-Lieutenant, Lady Gretton, said: “I am very much looking forward to joining in our city and county celebration to mark the Queen’s 90th birthday.

“After 64 years as our serving monarch, the Queen is held in high esteem. She unites the Commonwealth and the United Kingdom – and that unity is reflected so well here in our own inter-cultural city and county. So let’s all come together to celebrate this great occasion.”

The Queen’s 90th birthday celebrations in Jubilee Square will start at 11am on Sunday 12 June and continue until 4pm.

The people of Leicester and Leicestershire are also invited to join a special Choral Evensong at Leicester Cathedral at 3pm on Sunday 12 June to celebrate the Queen’s birthday.

The Very Revd David Monteith, Dean of Leicester, said: “Please join us in the service which will have glorious regal music and an opportunity for us to offer heartfelt thanks to God for a long life and a long reign still being enacted with great steadfastness.”

Staff in the city council’s festivals team would like to hear from anyone who has photographs of the Queen on her visits to the city and county – or anyone with memories of meeting the Queen. The photos will be shown on the big screen in Jubilee Square on 12 June and will also form part of an exhibition that will be on display at BBC Leicester.

Anyone with photographs they’d like to share should email them to festivals@leicester.gov.uk – or for more information, call the city council’s festivals team on 0116 454 3600.