22. Weekly Newsletter
Platinum Jubilee Celebrations
The build up to the Platinum Jubilee, which is officially commemorated on the 5th of June, continues to excite the public with widespread celebrations already beginning across the country. Britain’s largest pub chain, Greene King, has chosen to offer pints for £0.06 at 408 sites as this was the average cost of a pint at the time of Her Majesty’s ascension to the throne in 1952. Britain is set to spend millions on royal memorabilia to celebrate the event with examples including British china manufacturer (Halcyon Days) hiring extra staff to fulfil exclusive orders.
The current estimate on Jubilee spending is around £408m with £281.5m being spent on souvenirs memorabilia and gifts according to the Centre for Retail Research. On Thursday (2nd June) the UK will begin it’s first day of the Bank Holiday with publicly broadcast events over the next four days:
- Trooping the Colour (the Queen’s official birthday parade)
- RAF fly-past watched by Royals from Buckingham Palace balcony
- Lighting of the beacons (1,500 across Britain)
- Service of Thanksgiving (at St Paul’s Cathedral)
- Derby at Epsom Downs (horse race)
- Platinum Party at the Palace (live concert from Buckingham Palace)
- Platinum Jubilee Pageant
Newspapers & COVID
The UK’s front page news cycle this week looked at a wide range of topics with many newspapers discussing what the Daily Star labelled as ‘Holiday Madness’ as airlines grapple with the dramatic surge in holiday bookings. Britain’s largest low-cost carrier, easyJet, has been forced to cancel over 200 flights due to IT errors and TUI faces similar problems. Some of the headlines over the last 7 days were:
- The Independent: PM plans bonfire of EU laws to appease rebel MPs
- Daily Mail: 12m to Share Jubilee Lunch with Queen (estimated number having street parties)
- Financial Times: Global inflation fight spurs widest push to raise rates in two decades
- The Sunday Telegraph: PM’s war on rip-off petrol stations
- Daily Mail: Rishi’s £21bn Splurge (public get >£400 off autumn energy bill plus extra cash)
- The Times: Windfall tax (on oil companies) will fund help for poor families
The UK has recorded a total of 22.2m positive COVID cases since the start of the pandemic with 39,954 new cases recorded in England over the last 7 days. However, ‘monkeypox’ generates more media coverage now with over 100 infections now recorded in the UK. So far, the UK has issued 53.40m first doses on the COVID vaccine, 49.90m of the second dose and 39.59m of the third- bringing the total number of inoculations to 142.88m.
Sweden in the UK
Their Majesties the King and Queen of Sweden walked the red carpet at the premiere of ABBA Voyage in London before the beginning of the ‘ABBAtar’ concert last Thursday (26th May). Following this, they attended the Swedish Chamber of Commerce’s “Impact 2022” on Friday at The Londoner Hotel alongside the BSCC. Impact 2022 discussed many of the key issues and solutions needed to help reduce our global footprint and reach the UN’s sustainable development goals.
On Friday evening the royal couple hosted a Royal Gala Dinner to celebrate the centuries of friendship and trade between Sweden and the UK. During the King and Queen’s stay in the UK they also toured the research centre of one of the most successful Anglo-Swedish companies: AstraZeneca. Sweden’s Minister for Education and AstraZeneca’s non-executive Chairman, Leif Johansson, accompanied Their Majesties. The £1bn research and development site in Cambridge was opened by HRH Prince Charles last year and played a crucial role in the COVID pandemic.