7. Be hypnotized by drag queens
Nothing says 70 years as an engaged queen than a changing lineup of drag performers, burlesque beauties, circus acts, risque comedians and a live thrash band. Or so they say in Woolwich, where immersive events company Shotgun Carousel presents its Grotteaux extravaganza, seemingly with a springtime makeover, as an unforgettable celebration of the Queen’s hard work. Seats or cabaret tables are available for reservation.
8. Peek into the State Rooms of Buckingham Palace
Portraits of the Queen by photographer Dorothy Wilding will be on display in these central rooms at Buckingham Palace this summer, along with the personal jewelery Her Royal Highness wore when seated for the shots. Some of the most important works of art from the Royal Collection, by legendary artists such as Canaletto, Rubens and Van Dyck, are exhibited in these important spaces. Reopening a few weeks after the Platinum Jubilee weekend, the public rooms were originally designed for the Sovereign to receive visiting subjects and dignitaries. Look for the golden piano, originally given to Queen Victoria.
9. Take part in the Zoobilee Festival at ZSL London Zoo
The Queen is Royal Patron of ZSL London Zoo, and to celebrate her decades of support, the world’s oldest science zoo and its 15,000 animals will hold a special Zoobilee Festival during Platinum Jubilee Week, which is also be halfway through in May. There will be a new outdoor photo gallery and exhibition chronicling royal visits to the zoo since 1829, when King George IV first granted it a royal charter, as well as special picnics at the Terrace Restaurant, including cream teas and sandwiches. For the kids, there will be a teddy bear picnic, Q&A sessions about the kings and queens of the animal world, and (less royal-themed) bug hunting, soaking in water. pond, visiting alpacas and dwarf goats and more.