2012 is a special year for the UK. Not only do we have the Olympics coming up this summer but it is also the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, when she will celebrate 60 extraordinary years on the throne. But where can you celebrate and what are the best events going on in West London this summer?

Guest author Tara McKenzie lives in Putney, South West London, close to the river Thames. A regular blogger, travel writer and expert on all things London she imparts her tips on where to see the Diamond Jubilee and more via regular blog posts.

To celebrate 60 years of the Queen’s reign in the UK, events will be taking place across the summer. But the main focus of the celebrations will be on the weekend of the 2, 3, 4 and 5 June.

Queen Elizabeth II came to the throne on 6 February 1952, and has seen extraordinary changes both at home and around the world during that time. Yet for 60 years, she has remained one of the only constants in all our lives. She has done an incredible job and deserves these celebrations this summer.

The Key Events

The main events of the weekend include a concert being held at Buckingham Palace on Monday 4 June, attended by the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, as well as other members of the Royal Family. There are 10,000 tickets up for grabs to UK citizens in a public ballot. But even if you’re not one of the lucky ones, head down to the palace gates for what is sure to be a festival atmosphere.

The following day there will be a Service of Thanksgiving at St. Paul’s Cathedral, again attended by the Royal family. Churches around the country will also be holding similar services.

Thames River Pageant

But before all of this is perhaps the most public event of the weekend. At high water in the afternoon on Sunday 3 June, nearly a thousand boats will sail together down the Thames. The Queen, in a specially-commissioned Royal Boat will lead the Diamond Jubilee Pageant.

Arrive in West London early to book your spot on the river as crowds are expected to be huge. It’s expected to be a great day so let’s hope the notoriously unreliable British weather holds out. The Queen really deserves a beautiful day for the occasion.

Hit the Galleries

As well as the main events of the weekend, various galleries will be holding exhibitions to do with the Jubilee. The Victoria and Albert Museum is holding an exhibition of portraits of Her Majesty by photographer Cecil Beacon. This will later tour around the UK.

The National Portrait Gallery is staging ‘The Queen: Art and Image’, an exhibition of images of the Queen.

But whatever happens, the country is sure to be gripped by celebratory fever, as we all give thanks to the Queen for all the extraordinary work she has done for the nation.

Even if you can’t make it to any of the special events, just enjoy what is sure to be an historic weekend for the UK. Or find your nearest street party, bake a Victoria sponge or some scones and go and join in the festivities. It’s what Her Majesty would want after all.