Make the Platinum Jubilee bank holiday permanent say campaigners

Make the Platinum Jubilee bank holiday permanent! Businesses leaders and charities demand long weekend becomes annual holiday to help ‘maintain spirit of community in years to come’

  • The ‘Thank Holiday’ campaign wants Jubilee day off to happen every single year 
  • Crowds have gathered early on The Mall today to secure spot for the celebration
  • Royal superfans pictured this morning adorned in Union Jack blazers and flags 
  • Latest Platinum Jubilee news as the Queen celebrates 70 years of service

A coalition of business leaders, broadcasters and charities want tomorrow’s Platinum Jubilee bank holiday to be made a permanent annual break.

The group say in a letter penned to under-fire Prime Minister Boris Johnson the special day off could mark ‘community and service in all its forms’.

Signatories include Tony Danker, director-general of the CBI, Sir Peter Bazalgette, the chairman of ITV, and General Lord Dannatt.

Their ‘Thank Holiday’ campaign would bring the total bank holidays in England and Wales to a whopping nine a year.

The open letter says: ‘As we start a weekend of unprecedented national celebrations we write as a group of leaders from across businesses, charities, trade unions and the arts to urge the government to help maintain this spirit of community in the years to come.

‘The pandemic showed us how dependent we are on each other but too often we take community for granted and don’t recognise the importance it has in both our personal and national wellbeing.

General Lord Dannatt, a former head of the army, wants a new bank holiday to happen

Sir Peter Lytton Bazalgette and Director-General of the CBI Tony Danker have signed letter

Royal fans wait for Trooping the Colour for Queen Elizabeth’s Platinum Jubilee in London today

‘There are of course many ways to address this but one of them is to create a day in our national calendar that recognises community and service in all its forms, from the key workers to volunteers and simply good neighbours.

‘Rather than abolishing this day why not turn it into an annual Thank Holiday where we celebrate community and service in all its forms?’

The Times reports that the Together Coalition has commissioned research by PwC which shows that officials have overestimated the cost of a new bank holiday.

Government experts reckon that each bank holiday costs the economy £2billion.

Royal fans sing the national anthem as they gather along the Mall leading to Buckingham Palace in London

Crowds have gathered early on The Mall today to secure their prime spot for the biggest royal celebration in decades – as four days of events finally begin with Trooping the Colour

A man with a Union Jack suit poses for a selfie with a woman as people gather along The Mall during the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee

Bank holidays around the world: who gets the most? 

Spain technically has the most bank holidays, with over 50, with many specific to a certain region. In reality just six are marked by the whole country.

America have 11 bank holidays after President Biden added Juneteenth to mark emancipation from slavery.

Canada has five nationwide holidays, but each of the provinces also have their own specific days off.

In France there are 11 bank holidays, which include Bastille Day and Armistice Day.

But India appears to have the most genuine bank holidays, with an enviable 40 a year. 

Crowds covered in Union Jack flags have gathered early on The Mall today to secure a prime spot for the biggest royal celebration in decades – as four days of events finally begin with Trooping the Colour.

Royal superfans have adorned themselves in red, white and blue blazers, flags and hats as they lined The Mall this morning to watch the Queen’s historic birthday parade kick off at 10am.

Groups cracked out glasses of bubbly and began singing God Save the Queen as early as 8am today –  waking up the hardcore fans who have slept in chairs, tents and even on the pavement overnight to secure a prime spot for today’s celebrations.

Devoted royalists will watch from the famous street leading up to Buckingham Palace from Trafalgar Square for the traditional Trooping the Colour.

The military ceremony – which has been used to mark a British Monarch’s official birthday for 260 years – will be carried out by 1st Battalion Irish Guards, plus more than 1,500 officers and soldiers from the Household Division. 

Prince Charles will take the Salute, joined by Prince William, a Colonel in the regiment and Princess Anne. 

Royal fans across the country who aren’t lucky enough to have a space along The Mall can watch events unfold on huge screens in nearby St James Park, or in Princes Street Gardens in Edinburgh or Bute Park in Cardiff. 

More than 350 horses and hundreds of military musicians will be involved in the procession, in which members of the Royal Family will travel on horseback and in carriages down the Mall to Horse Guards Parade, where the ceremony takes place. 

In a show of the resilience that has marked her record-breaking reign, the Queen has vowed to make two appearances on the Buckingham Palace balcony on Thursday, the first day of her Jubilee celebrations.

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