Kenyan-traditional-dancersKenyan traditional dancers will be among groups invited to entertain Queen Elizabeth at the Windsor Castle during an elaborate ceremony to mark her Diamond Jubilee. Maasai warriors, Samburu herdsmen with their cows, Luo and Kikuyu groups, and Nairobi Chambers Chorus choir will perform at the glamorous event.

Organisers told a news conference at the Buckingham Palace that horse-riders from Africa will, however, not be invited due to strict quarantine regulations.

The three-day ceremony will take place in May next year and aimed at celebrating the more than 250 state and Commonwealth visits that the queen has made during her 60-year reign. Themed, “The World Comes to Windsor,” the show will involve over 500 horses and 800 performers and will take the audience on a journey around the world in “60 years and 90 minutes”.

The celebration will include military and equestrian displays, musicians and dancers across the globe. More than 12,000 visitors and the queen will only grace the occasion on the last Sunday of the celebration.

Other events include a concert at Buckingham Palace, Beacon Lighting, the River Thames Pageant and the Big Jubilee Lunch, where people will be encouraged to share lunch with friends and neighbours. The organisers said more than 17 countries from around the world will come to Windsor to perform for the Queen.

A selection of pageant performers, who included Maasai warriors, a Mexican dancer, a Chilean Huaso, Maoris, a Marwari horse and groom, a Russian Cossack, and an Indian Dhol drummer, assembled at Buckingham palace on Wednesday for a colourful photo opportunity.

Mr Simon ward, a TV Director and Producer told the Press: “We are enormously excited by the plans for the Diamond Jubilee Pageant and have been overwhelmed by the support and goodwill for the event across the globe. Queen Victoria was the only other British Monarch to celebrate a Diamond jubilee in 1897, some 114 years ago, so for this to be happening within our lifetime is a truly unique and historic occasion.”

In 1952, the then King of England, George VI died in his sleep while the Queen was on holiday in Kenya. The news of his death was given to the then Princess Elizabeth while at Tree Top Hotel in Nyeri and that has always been a joke that she went up the tree as a princess but came down as a queen. A Diamond Jubilee is a celebration held to mark a 60th anniversary in the case of a person (e.g. wedding anniversary, length of time a monarch has reigned) or a 75th anniversary in the case of an event.

The latest Diamond Jubilee was in 2006 when Thailand celebrated the 60th Anniversary of the accession of King Bhumibol Adulyadej.

Elizabeth II (Queen of several independent realms including the UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Jamaica and Her other Realms and Territories) is scheduled to have her Diamond Jubilee next year when she will also celebrate her 86th birthday.

Source: The Standard

Photo REUTERS/Thomas Mukoya (KENYA)