Queen endorses plans for jubilee lunches

THE Queen has given her official endorsement for street parties to be held across the UK as part of her diamond jubilee celebrations in June.

She has written to the organiser of the Big Jubilee Lunches, saying she is “delighted” that they are taking place on 3 June as part of events marking her 60 years on the throne.

The project, which will see people share lunch with neighbours and friends in the form of a traditional street party, is modelled the community celebrations that greeted the Queen’s coronation in 1953.

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In a letter to the organiser, the Eden Project tourist attraction in Cornwall, the Queen wrote: “I am delighted that the organisers of the Big Lunch are helping people from across the United Kingdom and further afield to hold Big Jubilee Lunches as part of the celebrations to mark my diamond jubilee in 2012.

“I send my very best wishes to you and all of those who will be present for what I hope will be a most memorable and enjoyable event.”

The events stem from the Big Lunch movement, which started in 2009 and which last year saw almost two million people get together in their communities.

This year, people in all 54 Commonwealth countries are being encouraged to hold events as part of the celebrations.

Peter Stewart, of the Eden Project, said: “Some 10 million people came out in 1977 to celebrate the Queen’s silver jubilee, so we hope a large number of people will take part in the Big Lunch for the first time in 2012 – joining the millions that have been doing it for the last three years.”

It is not just the present Queen who is associated with street parties. When Queen Victoria – the only other British queen to reach her diamond jubilee – marked 60 years on the throne in 1897, her daughter-in-law, Alexandra, Princess of Wales, spearheaded plans to hold the biggest lunch in the world and feed as many of London’s poor as possible.

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