The main programme announced by Buckingham Palace for the central weekend to celebrate The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in 2012 took place from Saturday 2nd June to Tuesday 5th June. In addition to national and international events, there were celebratory activities in communities across Surrey.
HM The Queen celebrates in Surrey
HM The Queen and HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, accompanied by other members of the Royal Family, attended the Derby meeting at Epsom Racecourse, at the start of the Diamond Jubilee weekend celebrations. Greeted by the (then) Lord-Lieutenant, Dame Sarah Goad, they were then introduced to representatives from the Surrey community. To commemorate her Diamond Jubilee, The Queen was presented with a gift from the people of Surrey, handmade by craftsmen in the county.
Jubilee Carriage Drive
On Saturday 3rd June, the (then) Lord-Lieutenant and her husband joined the lead carriage for The Brockham Harness Club Diamond Jubilee Carriage Drive. From Denbies Wine Estate, the carriages drove through Dorking where, at the White Horse, Dame Sarah Goad presented a commemorative brass to each of the 24 carriages in the parade, before the carriages returned to Denbies.
Diamond Jubilee ‘Best in Show’
There was a Diamond Jubilee theme throughout the Surrey County Show at Guildford on 4th June. TRHs the Earl and Countess of Wessex were welcomed by the Vice Lord-Lieutenant, Mr Gordon Lee-Steere. The Royal visitors were shown round the cattle lines and the sheep and pig marquees; the Earl presented the prize for Best In Milk Heifer and the Countess presented the Group of Three Sheep Championship to a trio of Southdowns from a flock in Lewes.
The Earl and Countess of Wessex continued to Godalming, where they joined Diamond Jubilee revellers at a Sport for All Day, with the Earl starting the Mayor’s tug of war competition. There were Fun and 5k/10k runs and a Diamond Jubilee Picnic. In the evening, residents joined a procession through the town, the lighting of a beacon, and celebratory fireworks.
Communities across Surrey commemorated the Diamond Jubilee on the evening of 4th June, as part of a network of 2012 beacons lit throughout the United Kingdom. At Betchworth House, the beacon was lit by Mrs Joosje Hamilton (below) while in the village of Hambledon 250 residents attended a pre-lighting party before processing to watch the gorse beacon being lit by the current High Sheriff of Surrey, Mrs Karin Sehmer (far below).
The Queen Elizabeth II Fields Challenge
The Queen Elizabeth II Fields Challenge, headed by its Patron The Duke of Cambridge and operated by Fields in Trust, is a fantastic programme to protect 2012 outdoor recreational spaces in communities all across the country as a permanent living legacy of the Diamond Jubilee and the 2012 London Olympics. Sites across Surrey have been nominated to be preserved in perpetuity: go to this link and type in your postcode to find those nearest you.
Swingbridge for Surrey in Thames Pageant
Surrey was represented by Swingbridge2, one of two canal boats owned by the Surrey Care Trust, in the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant on 3rd June. From Battersea, through Westminster and the City and on to Tower Bridge – in challenging weather and tidal conditions – the valiant crew of seven saluted HM The Queen on the Royal Barge. The Swingbridge Community boats are used for education and training days for young people, with volunteers of all ages and backgrounds – including offenders on community sentences – carrying out vital conservation work along Surrey’s waterways.