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|Queen Goes Walkabout to Save Jubilee
- Royal tour planned for 50 year celebrations
THE QUEEN will try to strike through the apathy surrounding her Golden Jubilee by having plans for a nationwide walkabout tour announced early, perhaps as soon as tomorrow.
Buckingham Palace officials and government ministers are thought to have become increasingly concerned that celebrations of Her Majesty's 50 year reign will turn out to be a complete flop. So far only 300 applications to hold street parties have been tabled, across the whole of Britain. In 1977, at the time of the Silver Jubilee, some 12,000 street parties were held.
To slough off this apparent public apathy, the government is expected to announce a summer royal tour, starting in May in Cornwall and arriving in Manchester in time for the Commonwealth Games, held in August.
In London, the highlight of the Golden Jubilee will be a huge pop concert held in the gardens of Buckingham palace where the likes of Sir Elton John, Robbie Williams and Sir Paul McCartney are due to perform.
Tony Blair is also to hitch his wagon to the Jubilee celebrations. "The Prime Minister is firmly of the belief that the Golden Jubilee will be a huge success," a spokesperson for Number 10 said.
Some see in Blair's backing an echo of the aftermath of the death of Diana when the premier was credited with saving the royal family's popularity by persuading them to accord the tragic princess full state honours.