Are we celebrating the Golden Jubilee or what

01:00 Fri 22nd Feb 2002 |

asks Ursula:
It's debatable. The Palace itself is organising events over a long weekend, from Saturday June 1 to Tuesday June 4. There will be a ceremonial royal procession to St Paul's Cathedral for a service of thanksgiving, followed by a lunch at Guildhall in the City of London and a carnival pageant. The Palace has also expressed a desire to see community events, but it may already be too late to plan many of those.

Q. Why
Buckingham Palace's jubilee website advises people to start planning parties nine months ahead. A senior courtier is reported as saying that the Palace is nervous about the public response compared to the huge success of the Silver Jubilee celebrations in 1977. The Palace is holding meetings to find ways of inspiring the public to celebrate the occasion.

Q. So what's the problem
A. Millions of people celebrated the Silver Jubilee with street parties. However, this time around, there's lots of red tape to deeal with: party organisers now have to take out public liability insurance - costing �150 for even the smallest street event. They also have to get planning permission to close roads - which adds another �150 to the bill.

Q. Is there no way around this
A. MPs are so worried about this turning out to be a damp squib - despite culture secretary Tessa Jowell telling them that the Jubilee would be a 'tremendous draw' for tourists - that they are considering emergency legislation to limit party organisers' liability for people attneding their events.

And Barry Peek, chairman of the Golden Jubilee Summer Party, is encouraging people to hold a party in their garden to try to circumvent the red tape and cut the costs.

Q. Where can I find out more
Visit the official Golden Jubilee website or call 0845 000 2002.

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