LONDON — 2012 is a big year for England.  In addition to being the host of the summer Olympics July 27 to Aug. 12, the country is also celebrating the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee June 2 to June 5.

This festivity commemorates Elizabeth II’s 60th year as queen.

Elizabeth II has led a powerful life.  She was born on April 21, 1926 to The Duke and Duchess of York, who would later become King George IV and Queen Elizabeth.

Since taking the throne following her father’s death, her reign has been filled with political, economic and social progress.  Not only has their currency, the British pound, gained value, but Britain's foreign policy has improved with other European and international nations.

In the months leading up to the big events, the Queen and her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, are touring the United Kingdom, along with other members of the Royal Family who are also traveling throughout the world to promote the Diamond Jubilee.

Though the excitement will last the entire year, the primary events will occur June 2 to June 5.  In honor of this national holiday, banks will be closed June 4 and 5, and schools will also close June 5.

During the course of this weekend, there will be numerous events.  On June 3, the Thames River Pageant will be held, where thousands of boats will assemble with the Queen leading the way.  A concert at Buckingham Palace will be held June 4, featuring artists such as Jessie J, Elton John, Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder.

To conclude the weekend, a Service of Thanksgiving will take place at St. Paul’s Cathedral June 5, where the Queen and members of the Royal Family will be in attendance.

Sarah Worely, a sophomore studying at the Elon Centre in London, she said is excited about the events.

“I am so happy to be in London this semester in order to see the preparation being made for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee,” she said. “It is amazing to see how the country is coming together to celebrate this occasion from formal parties to students learning songs for the event. It is impressive that someone who has been in the public eye for so long can still achieve this level of bonding and respect from fellow members of her country.”

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