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Today could be one of the hottest days of the year as Brits gather to celebrate the second day of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.
The mercury is expected to hit 77F in the south coast today – rivalling the 80F recorded at Heathrow Airport on May 17.
Thousands of Brits are expected to make the most of the Jubilee day off, with beer gardens, parks and beaches set to be packed out.
The south coast will see the warmest temperatures, though Scotland could also see highs of around 70F.
Today will be the peak of the warm weather, however, with the Met Office warning that rain could disrupt Jubilee celebrations over the weekend.
Thunderstorms are also predicted, threatening to washout the Party at the Palace concert tomorrow and thousands of Jubilee street parties on Sunday.
Met Office forecaster Annie Shuttleworth said: ‘It has been a rather fine start to the bank holiday weekend and there will be plenty more of that weather to come but there is also going to be some rain to contend with for most of us over the coming days.
‘Across the far north of Scotland turning drier than it has been through the day but we will see some low cloud pushing in across the Aberdeenshire coast. So on Friday morning a little bit misty and murky here but turning into quite a fine morning.
‘Across the south as well plenty of fine and dry weather and across the north west of England, southern Scotland, turning a bit drier but relatively cloudy especially compared to Thursday.
‘The warmest temperatures will be reserved for the south coast with the most sheltered areas we will see highs of 77F.
‘Across the eastern coast it will be a cooler day with a north easterly breeze and that north easterly breeze will drag some low cloud into Friday evening so turning cloudier for many eastern areas.’
Met Office Deputy Chief Meteorologist Rebekah Sherwin added: ‘It may be an unsettled start to the long weekend for some with showers for Northern Ireland, Wales and western England. However, many parts will see much more settled conditions, with plenty of dry weather and good spells of sunshine.
‘Temperatures could reach 77F in the south on Friday, although this will likely be the warmest day and later in the weekend the highest temperatures are likely to be in the northwest.
‘A plume of warm air, currently across the continent, then pushes north over the UK through the weekend. There remains some uncertainty on how far north it will stretch but southern areas are likely to see a spell of showers on Saturday and Sunday, which could turn heavy and thundery at times.
‘However, there will also be some breaks in the cloud even here, and northern areas are most likely to stay fine and dry.
‘Northern Ireland, Scotland and northern England look like they’ll see the driest conditions from Saturday onwards, most likely enjoying some prolonged periods of sunshine.’
Holidaymakers enjoy sunshine on the first day of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee weekend by heading to the beach in Bournemouth, Dorest yesterday
Queen Elizabeth II points as she stands next to Prince Louis on the balcony at Buckingham Palace in London yesterday afternoon
Today’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations will see a traditional service of thanksgiving held at St Paul’s Cathedral in the City of London from 11am on Friday.
There will be no ceremonial journey to the cathedral.
Wider members of the family are expected to be present including Harry and Meghan, and the service will be followed by a Guildhall reception for members of the royal family.
In a statement, Buckingham Palace said the Queen ‘greatly enjoyed’ her Trooping birthday parade, but taking into account the journey and activity required to participate, she had reluctantly decided not to attend the service.
Prince Andrew will not be attending after testing positive for Covid.
The Archbishop of Canterbury has also tested positive for Covid-19 and will too miss the service. The Archbishop of York, the Most Revd Stephen Cottrell, will give the sermon instead.
On Saturday, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will visit Cardiff Castle to meet performers and crew involved in the special Platinum Jubilee Celebration Concert taking place in the castle grounds later that afternoon.
During their visit, William and Kate will view rehearsals and meet some of the acts taking part in the celebrations, including Bonnie Tyler and Owain Wynn Evans.
Hosted by Aled Jones and Shan Cothi, the concert at Cardiff Castle will feature live performances from some of Wales’ best-known singers and entertainers, alongside choirs, bands and orchestras.
During the extended bank holiday weekend, the Earl and Countess of Wessex will carry out two engagements in Northern Ireland while the Princess Royal, accompanied by Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence, will visit Edinburgh.
The Queen is no longer planning to attend the Epsom Derby during her Platinum Jubilee weekend.
The 96-year-old monarch is said to want to pace herself during her milestone celebrations, with her daughter the Princess Royal representing her at the racecourse instead, The Sunday Times reported.
The Derby on Saturday June 4 was to be a personal highlight for the Queen during the four days of Jubilee festivities.
Saturday is also the first birthday of Harry and Meghan’s daughter Lilibet, amid speculation the youngster could spend the day with her namesake great-grandmother.
In the evening, the BBC’s Party at the Palace – set on three stages in front of Buckingham Palace – will entertain a live crowd of 22,000 people and a television audience of millions.
The line-up includes Diana Ross, Queen + Adam Lambert, Alicia Keys, Nile Rodgers, Andrea Bocelli, Duran Duran, Bond composer Hans Zimmer, Ella Eyre, Craig David, Mabel, Elbow and George Ezra.
The show will also feature appearances from stars including Sir David Attenborough, Emma Raducanu, David Beckham, Stephen Fry and Dame Julie Andrews.
Crowds of revellers attend the Platinum Jubilee celebrations in London yesterday to mark the Queen’s 70 years on the throne
Large crowds of revellers occupy Nelson’s Column in Trafalgar Square for the Platinum Jubilee celebrations yesterday
People attend the celebration of Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee in London on Thursday morning
Charles and William are preparing to deliver public tributes at the concert to the Queen, who will be watching on television from Windsor.
Millions of people are expected to sit down with their neighbours at street parties, picnics and barbecues, with more than 200,000 Big Jubilee Lunches being held across the UK on the Sunday afternoon,
Camilla, patron of the Big Lunch, will join Charles at a flagship feast at The Oval cricket ground in south London, while the Earl and Countess of Wessex will meet people creating the ‘Long Table’ down on The Long Walk leading up to Windsor Castle.
The celebration also coincides with this year’s Thank You Day – originally set up to pay tribute to those who helped people through the pandemic.
Celebrities Ross Kemp, Gareth Southgate, Prue Leith and Ellie Simmonds have urged people to throw the biggest thank you party for the Queen.
The Platinum Pudding, Scotch eggs and fruit platters will feature on a six-metre felt creation by artist Lucy Sparrow which is to be viewed by Charles and Camilla at The Oval. It will be given pride of place in the Grand Entrance of Buckingham Palace later this year.
Members of the local community, 70 volunteers who have been recognised as Platinum Champions through the Royal Voluntary Service’s Platinum Champions Awards, celebrity ambassadors and various charity representatives will be among the guests at the cricket ground.
The royal couple will also present the Platinum Champions with certificates and pins, before cutting a Big Jubilee Lunch cake.
More than 600 international Big Jubilee Lunches are being planned throughout the Commonwealth and beyond – from Canada to Brazil, New Zealand to Japan and South Africa to Switzerland.
Edward and Sophie will join Berkshire residents for their special lunch on the Long Walk, not far from Windsor Castle.
The Long Walk is being reinvented to create ‘the Long Table’ in celebration of the jubilee. This royal pair are also set to meet groups of street performers.
Charles and Camilla will also celebrate with the residents of Albert Square in an EastEnders special. They will be seen attending a Big Lunch in a June 2 episode of the BBC soap.
People take photographs as they attend the celebration of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee in London yesterday
Crowds gathered in front of the Houses of Parliament at Parliament Square as the Jubilee celebrations continue
The Big Lunch is an annual event aimed at celebrating community connections.
The finale on June 5 is the Jubilee Pageant through the streets of London.
Set to be watched by up to a billion people across the globe, more than 10,000 people have been involved in staging the £15million procession.
Puppet corgis, a giant 3D wire bust of the Queen and the Gold State Coach are just some of the sights set to feature in the 1.8-mile (3km) parade.
Stars including Idris Elba, Sir Cliff Richard, Courtney Love and Slade’s Noddy Holder will take to open-top buses in a through-the-ages tribute to the culture and music of the 70 years of the Queen’s reign.
A peloton of 300 cyclists, riding vintage bikes from across the seven decades of her reign, is to travel down The Mall led by Sir Chris Hoy and cycling golden couple Dame Laura and Sir Jason Kenny.
Olympic champions Sir Chris, Dame Laura and Sir Jason will be among six ‘hero cyclists’ who race towards Buckingham Palace ready to complete a 360-degree circuit of the Queen Victoria Memorial on Sunday.
Some 205 vehicles will appear as part of the parade, including 11 Morris Minors, seven Land Rovers, 20 vintage Minis including one in the shape of an Outspan Orange and seven original James Bond vehicles.
RAC traffic spokesman Rod Dennis said: ‘The fact the bank holidays coincide with the end of half-term in many places has the potential to put some extra pressure on the road network, so planning a journey carefully is important to beat the worst of any queues.
‘The best way for drivers to avoid breaking down this week is to check over their vehicles before setting out – yet our research shows less than a fifth do this routinely. Making sure oil, coolant and screenwash are all at the right levels takes just minutes, as does ensuring tyres are free of damage and are inflated properly. A bit of TLC now could make the difference between a straightforward trip and one beset by a breakdown.’
Gabbi Batchelor, Water Safety Education Manager at the RNLI said: ‘We are expecting the Platinum Jubilee Bank Holiday Weekend and the half-term holidays to be incredibly busy at the coast. We want everyone to enjoy their trip, but we also want to make sure people stay safe and know what to do in an emergency.
‘If you get into trouble in the water, Float to Live: lean back, using your arms and legs to stay afloat. Control your breathing, then call for help or swim to safety. In a coastal emergency, call 999 or 112 for the Coastguard.’