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Friday, 24 November, 2000, 12:35 GMT
'Extra holiday' for Queen's jubilee
The Queen's carriage arrives at St Paul's Cathedral during Silver Jubilee celebrations
The 1977 Silver Jubilee drew huge crowds
Workers will get an extra bank holiday to mark Queen Elizabeth's Golden Jubilee in 2002.

MPs were given details of events planned to celebrate the Queen's 50 years on the throne in a written Commons answer from the Prime Minister, Tony Blair.

He said the one-off extra bank holiday would be on Monday 3 June 2002.

Window decked out for 1977 Silver Jubilee
Celebrations in 2002 could be low-key compared to the Silver Jubilee
The Spring Bank Holiday, which had been due to fall on 27 May, will be moved to Tuesday 4 June to allow four days of celebrations.

Mr Blair said he believed the Golden Jubilee would be a "joyous occasion and a very special milestone".

He said: "It will be a time both for looking back at the central part which the Queen has played in the affairs of this country and the Commonwealth over the preceding 50 years and for looking forward to the continuation of Her Majesty's unique contribution for many years to come."

'Thanks for support and loyalty'

Mr Blair said The Queen had said it was her "express wish that there should be no undue expenditure from public funds on the programme of celebrations."

He said: "The Queen has said that she sees Her Golden Jubilee as an opportunity to express her thanks for the support and loyalty she has enjoyed during her reign.

"She hopes that events surrounding the Jubilee will create numerous opportunities for voluntary and community service and that as many people as possible will have the opportunity to enjoy the celebrations to mark this happy occasion."

The Queen will attend a National Service of Thanksgiving in St Paul's Cathedral on 4 June.

She will travel within the UK "as widely as possible" between May and July with a particularly hectic schedule for the weeks leading up to the bank holiday.

Royal honour for town

She will open the Commonwealth Games in Manchester on 25 July and will visit an as yet unchosen Commonwealth country in the autumn.

The Queen has also agreed to grant city status to a UK town to mark the Jubilee. The current favourite for the honour is Brighton and Hove.

Special lessons for schoolchildren about the Commonwealth and Britain's imperial history are also in the pipeline.

It is possible the public will be given access to the Royal gardens at Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle and Edinburgh's Holyrood House for concerts and receptions.

A special issue of medals for outstanding emergency service workers, teachers and nurses is thought likely.

'Sports fund'

There could also be a new fund set up to sponsor sports stars of the future.

But there has been speculation the Queen wants a low-key celebration with funding mainly targeted at good causes.

Princess Elizabeth was formally proclaimed Queen on 8 February 1952, two days after the death of her father George VI. She was crowned at Westminster Abbey on 2 June 1953.

At 25, she was the same age as the first Elizabeth when she came to the throne.

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