Four days of events planned to mark UK queen’s 70 years on throne

© Reuters/POOL Britain's Queen Elizabeth visits Dstl near Salisbury

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain will hold “a blockbuster weekend of celebrations” in the summer of 2022, featuring an extra day’s public holiday, to mark Queen Elizabeth’s 70th anniversary on the throne, the government announced on Thursday.

The 94-year-old, the longest-reigning monarch in British history, will add another milestone when she marks her Platinum Jubilee in February 2022.

The government unveiled plans for four days of celebrations later that year to “reflect on Her Majesty’s reign, and her impact on the UK and the world since 1952”.

“Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee will be a truly historic moment – and one that deserves a celebration to remember,” culture minister Oliver Dowden said.

“We can all look forward to a special, four-day Jubilee weekend, when we will put on a spectacular, once-in-a-generation show that mixes the best of British ceremonial splendour with cutting edge art and technology.

“It will bring the entire nation and the Commonwealth together in a fitting tribute to Her Majesty’s reign.”

Elizabeth, who is also the world’s current oldest and longest-reigning monarch, became queen on Feb. 6, 1952 on the death of her father George VI.

In September 2015 she overtook the length of time her great-great-grandmother Queen Victoria had spent on the throne, remarking that the historical moment was “not one to which I have ever aspired”.

“Inevitably a long life can pass by many milestones – my own is no exception,” she said at the time.

The government said the events to mark her Platinum Jubilee would mix traditional British pageantry with cutting edge technological displays, as well as other nationwide fanfare.

A public holiday at the end of May would be moved, with an additional day off added, to allow four days of celebrations from June 2-5.

The plans are similar to those which marked the queen’s 60th anniversary in 2012 when Britain held four days of events in her honour, including a huge flotilla on the River Thames and capped off with a star-studded concert at Buckingham Palace.

It will also be her second platinum anniversary; she celebrated 70 years of marriage with husband Prince Philip, 99, in November last year.

(Reporting by Michael Holden; editing by Stephen Addison)