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EDITIONS
Friday, 31 May, 2002, 16:31 GMT 17:31 UK
Scene set for Jubilee weekend
One of the Queen's carriage restorers David Evans
The gold state coach is polished for the big occasion
Britons are looking forward to an extended bank holiday as the Golden Jubilee celebrations get under way.

Estimates from the English Tourist Council predict that around one third of Britons will take part in a Jubilee event of some kind.

Major road routes - the M25 and M11 in particular - experienced traffic delays on Friday as travellers began their getaway journeys across the UK.

But with mixed weather reports and the start of the World Cup, many are also expected to mark the two big occasions at home with family and friends.

Staying in Britain

About 1.5 million people are set to leave the country for the weekend, only half as many as had been thought.

Andrea Corr
Corrs tune up for the special party

A spokeswoman for the Association of British Travel Agents said: "The draw of being in Britain this weekend, with the World Cup and the Jubilee celebrations, is quite strong."

In England the holiday stretches to four days whereas in Scotland, people will enjoy three days of celebrations.

The police will be keeping a careful eye that the celebrations do not get out of hand.

More than 10,000 officers will be on duty in a multi-million pound security operation.

While Saturday will see temperatures soar across much of the country, rain and unsettled weather are expected on Monday and Tuesday.

Prom

But the outlook seems unlikely to spoil the party, with street events and official celebrations going ahead whatever the weather.

Temperatures could reach a high of 25C (77F) on Saturday and 20C (68F) on Sunday in the east.

But by Monday an unsettled front will herald rain and sunny spells across much of the country.

The Jubilee weekend begins with Saturday's classical prom in the grounds of Buckingham Palace, hosted by the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh.

Launch new window : LONDON MAP
Click here for a detailed plan of London's celebrations

The People's Party officially begins on Monday with garden and street parties and a three-hour pop concert at Buckingham Palace.

Irish band The Corrs have already been turning the usually serene grounds of Buckingham Palace into a music arena as they rehearsed for the Queen's Golden Jubilee concert on Thursday evening.

The band will be among a star-studded line up of performers invited to mark the Golden Jubilee which includes artists as varied as Ozzy Osbourne and Will Young.

On Friday, an international fleet of warships was due to sail into Chatham in Kent.

The fleet, with vessels from the Royal Navy, France, Belgium, Denmark, Ireland and Poland, is arriving to take part in the maritime and military celebration Jubilee Navy Days.

The Princess Royal will be among tens of thousands of people to visit the Historic Dockyard during the three-day event from Sunday to Tuesday.

On Tuesday, there will be a ceremonial procession in central London, the day the Jubilee weekend celebrations come to an end.

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 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Jenny Bond
"Buckingham Palace will be the focus of the festivities"

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31 May 02 | Entertainment
31 May 02 | UK
31 May 02 | UK
23 Apr 02 | UK
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