A few lucky souls will get the opportunity to see the Gothic roof of Westminster Abbey up close during a 90-minute tour offered as one of the events honoring Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee.
It’s the first time the rooftop, which also offers sweeping views of London including landmarks like the Houses of Parliament and Whitehall, Big Ben and the London Eye.
The rare tours, which are led by the Abbey’s Clerk of Works and the Head of Visitor Experience, are only offered on select weekends from June through August and are limited to just 10 people.
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Tickets were snapped up almost as quickly as they went online. On its website, the Abbey said despite the extraordinary demand, it was not considering offering additional dates at this time.
If you missed out on getting one of these rare tickets, this is just one of several unique events happening around the UK in honor of the Queen’s historic reign
Here are some other experiences you might consider if you plan to visit London this summer.
What is the Platinum Jubilee?
A Jubilee is a special celebration marking the reign of a King or Queen. A Silver jubilee takes place after 25 years, Gold after 50 years, Diamond after 60 years, and Sapphire after 65 years.
In February, Queen Elizabeth II became the first British monarch to celebrate a Platinum Jubilee of 70 years on the throne.
The central weekend of celebrations takes place June 2-5, 2022, with an extended bank holiday weekend for UK citizens but there are many other celebrations happening over the course of the summer.
Queen Elizabeth II is greeted by crowds in London during celebrations of her Silver Jubilee, 7th June 1977 © Hulton Archive/Getty Images.
Other unique events honoring the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee
The opening of Westminster Abbey’s rooftop isn’t the only unique event honoring the Queen’s historic reign this summer. Check out this interactive map of all the events happening in honor of the Platinum Jubilee.
However, here are a few notable ones to keep in mind if you’re headed to London.
The Queen’s Birthday Parade
On June 2, a parade of more than 1,400 soldiers, 200 horses and 400 musicians will honor the Queen. According to the Royal Family’s website, the parade will start at Buckingham Palace and move down The Mall to Horse Guard’s Parade where it will be joined by Members of the Royal Family on horseback and in carriages. The event closes with the traditional Royal Air Force fly-past, which The Queen and members of the Royal Family will watch from the Buckingham Palace balcony.
The Queen & her Abbey tour
Aside from the rooftop tour, Westminster Abbey is offering another special tour during the month of June exploring the milestones the Queen has celebrated there. Tour guides will lead visitors through parts of the Abbey traditionally off limits to visitors including St George’s Chapel, the location of the Coronation Chair. Tickets are £10 and must be purchased along with a general admission ticket which is £25.00 for an adult. Make sure to make reservations in advance and, if you want to make a day of it, reserve a spot for one of the Abbey’s Platinum Jubilee breakfast or afternoon teas
Superbloom at Tower of London
This spring, in preparation for the Jubilee, gardeners sowed more than 20 million seeds in the moat of the historic Tower of London. That means from June to September, the moat will, according to the Tower, “erupt into new colours and patterns creating a dramatic and engaging experience.”
Visitors to the Superbloom also enjoy a sound installation and sculptures in a display that celebrates nature and is designed to attract pollinators like bees and butterflies.
The display will last from June 1 until mid-September. There are a variety of ticket options starting from £12.00 for an adult ticket.
Queen Elizabeth II visits an art installation at the Tower of London on October 16, 2014 © Chris Jackson / Getty Images
Tour the State Rooms of Buckingham Palace
The State Rooms of the Queen’s palace are open for visitors for just 10 weeks during the summer between July 22 and October 2. Tickets are available online. During your visit, you can take in a special exhibit in honor of the Jubilee which features portraits taken by Dorothy Wilding as well as several tiaras gifted to the Royal Family.
Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation dress at Windsor Castle
In a special exhibit from July 7 through September 26, Windsor Castle will display the Coronation Dress and Robe of Estate that Queen Elizabeth II wore during her coronation on June 2, 1953.
The robe of purple silk velvet features the Queen’s monogram and ears of wheat. According to the Royal Collection Trust, it took 12 embroideresses using 18 different types of gold thread gold thread more than 3,500 hours to complete it between March 1952 and May 1953.
Meanwhile, the Palace of Holyroodhouse will host an exhibition featuring outfits worn by Queen Elizabeth II during her Silver, Golden and Diamond Jubilees.
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