Queen Elizabeth is the first-ever British monarch to celebrate a Platinum Jubilee.

Not only has she been Queen of Britain for seven decades, but she has also been sovereign in more than 30 countries, while overseeing enormous social, economic and political change – including the end of the British Empire.

But it's bittersweet, as The Queen will be without her beloved husband Prince Philip at all of the events, after he passed away aged 99 last April.

And the Queen's former press secretary Dickie Arbiter reveals: “She will find it very difficult not to have him by her side.

"But the rest of the family will rally round, and she’ll be accompanied at various stages by the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall, as well as the Cambridges.”

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The Queen’s loved ones are clearly immensely proud of her 70 years of rule, and Prince Charles, who is next in line to the throne, was quick to congratulate his mother in February.

“The Queen’s devotion to the welfare of all her people inspires still greater admiration with each passing year,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge paid tribute to her achievement on International Women’s Day in March.

They posted on social media, “Her Majesty the Queen celebrates 70 historic years of service in this #PlatinumJubilee year.

"On #IWD2022 we celebrate her life which has been dedicated to serving the Commonwealth and its people.”

The bank holiday line-up includes the traditional Trooping the Colour parade on 2 June, where more than 1,400 soldiers, 200 horses and 400 musicians will combine to mark the Queen’s official birthday.

From Buckingham Palace, the parade will move down The Mall to Horse Guards Parade, before ending with a traditional RAF fly-past, watched by the royals on the famous balcony.

“It will be the first time this has happened properly since 2019 because of the pandemic,” says Dickie – who worked in the Queen’s press office from 1988 to 2000.

“Coincidentally, 2 June is also the 69th anniversary of the Queen’s coronation, so there’s even more reason for a big, full-blown parade.”

Dickie adds further: "For the first time, the beacons will also be lit in capital cities of the Commonwealth, so it’s very significant."

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