Portsmouth set to mark Queen’s jubilee with Guildhall Square party

CELEBRATION Residents of Chesterfield Road in Copnor held a street party for the Royal Wedding last year.  Picture: Sarah Standing (111532-1547)

CELEBRATION Residents of Chesterfield Road in Copnor held a street party for the Royal Wedding last year. Picture: Sarah Standing (111532-1547)

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PORTSMOUTH is set to celebrate the Queen’s diamond jubilee in spectacular style next year with a host of exciting events.

A lavish public party will be held in Guildhall Square to coincide with television coverage of the national event on the BBC big screen.

Beacons will be lit at Southsea Castle and Portsdown Hill as part of a celebratory nationwide chain.

They are among 2,012 beacons which will be lit by communities and individuals from Land’s End to Buckingham Palace.

And roads across the city will have the chance to host their own street parties.

Cllr Lee Hunt, who is responsible for culture, leisure and sport at Portsmouth City Council, hopes £15,000 will cover the cost of the eagerly-awaited celebrations planned for the city between June 2 and 5, 2012.

Cllr Hunt said: ‘Portsmouth is a city that adores the Royal Family and we are very lucky they want to come and visit us every so often.

‘The Queen is much-loved around the world.

‘These events will help raise the profile of the city and will go in hand with it moving forward.

‘A lit beacon coming from Southsea Castle will look fabulous.’

The government is consulting on plans to relax licensing hours for the sale of alcohol in licensed premises across England and Wales during the celebrations to mark the Queen’s 60th year on the throne.

The council said it was too early to say what celebrations will take place in Guildhall Square, but has promised to lay on a big party for the city.

It is also hoped that fees will be waived for street parties like they were for the Royal Wedding celebrations this year – but that is still to be confirmed.

Cllr Hunt said there was a ‘real buzz’ coming to Portsmouth next year which also has events planned to mark Charles Dickens’ 200th birthday, the build-up to the Olympic Games in London and the opening of the Mary Rose Museum in the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard.

Cllr Hunt added: ‘I am pleased and proud to be a part of this project and a lot of hard work has gone into it from officers, partners, the council and businesses.

‘What they are doing is just phenomenal.’

Anybody with further ideas to celebrate the Queen’s diamond jubilee can e-mail Cllr Hunt at cllr.lee.hunt@portsmouthcc.gov.uk

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