London – British and international luxury brands including Burberry, Charlotte Tilbury and Moët & Chandon play a small but important role in the Platinum Jubilee festivities, which culminate on Sunday afternoon with a street competition – in four seasons – in central London.
These brands are among the “Platinum Partners”, or major supporters of the competition, along with Jaguar, Land Rover, Lloyds Bank and others. They join a host of other supporters such as Sotheby’s, Fortnum & Mason, and Boodles, and collective names such as Meta, McDonalds and Cadbury offer their support as well.
The competition begins at 2:30 p.m. local time in Whitehall and will work its way through Admiralty Arch and into The Mall. The final will take place just outside Buckingham Palace around the Queen Victoria Memorial.
Celebrities from various industries will participate in the three-hour event, including Ed Sheeran, Heston Blumenthal, Jeremy Irons and Gok Wan. In the works for months, the event has been likened to the grand opening and closing of the London 2012 Summer Olympics.
While the British government has set aside £28 million for several Jubilee events, Sunday’s competition is the result of a private fundraising effort by Platinum Jubilee Pageant Ltd. Its cost is estimated at 15 million pounds.
As part of its support for the Jubilee holiday, Burberry has also teamed up with Historic Royal Palaces to support Superbloom, an immersive flower show that surrounds the Tower of London.
The brand contributes two original immersive outdoor installations, including a large floating meadow marked by Burberry moored directly across from the Tower of London, on the River Thames.
Burberry has also funded a wall art by digital artist Jon Emmony displayed at the entrance to Superbloom.
The brand has also collaborated with primary school children to create artwork and messages for the Queen, marking the many decades on the throne. She worked with children at Armley Park Primary School in Leeds, near the Burberry mills of Yorkshire.
Children’s creations have been enlarged and displayed at more than 80 bus stops across central London, where the Platinum Jubilee Pageant competition is held.
Meanwhile, Tilbury is the official Platinum Beauty Partner jubilee Pageant, has also created themed collections and accessories to celebrate the occasion.
The makeup artist and entrepreneur said the Queen’s reign “has witnessed the most incredible transformations in the way we live our lives – and throughout that, our Queen has embraced change, captured our hearts, and proudly led our country through seven colossal decades. I want to celebrate her timeless beauty, grace and dedication.”
Another luxury name provided creative inspiration, rather than financial support, during the jubilee festivities: Queen costume designer Norman Hartnell.
Hartnell’s design of the Queen’s coronation dresses is the centerpiece of the Superbloom in the Tower of London.
The Queen’s Garden, installed in the Tower’s Bowling Green, features a mix of meadowsweet, summer-blooming perennials, bulbs, and ornamental grasses.
Developed by Grant Associates, the lead designers of the Superbloom Project, the garden is based on the colors, shapes, and motifs Hartnell published in a 1953 gown.
The display also features 12 molded glass figures by artist Max Jacquard, which represent the national emblems of the Hartnell design. In the center of these decorations is a glass crown, which is supposed to be a reminder of the tower’s role as home to the crown jewels.
According to Matthew Storey, Curator of Collections at Historic Royal Palaces, the charity that manages government properties including Hampton Court Palace, the Tower of London and Kensington Palace, the garden’s design is inspired by the “layers of embroidery” on the coronation dress.
The glass is supposed to impart a “glitter” to the screen, reflecting the sparkle of sequins and the crystal luster of the original design.
Story said the 27-year-old Queen, who was crowned on June 2, 1953, was adamant that the symbols on her coronation dress were correct. Hartnell had originally suggested floral regalia from Great Britain, but Her Majesty was thinking more and wanted the Commonwealth countries recognized as well.
The result of their conversations was a white satin cloak with floral emblems representing the Queen’s Nine Sovereigns, and the Territories of Britain and the Commonwealth, handpicked with gleaming threads, seed pearls, sequins and crystals.
Hartnell even included matte shallots to represent Wales, and added an extra four-leaf shamrock on the left side of the skirt for good luck so Elizabeth’s hand could rest on it during the historic ceremony.
While luxury brands played a big role during the jubilee, the movie industry, and the Paddington Bear franchise in particular, took on a star role Saturday night in a surprise skit starring the Queen.
“Happy Jubilee, madam, and thank you…for everything,” said the Bear, raising his red hat to the Queen, who discovered she also had a marmalade with her in case of emergency.
The two were photographed having tea at Windsor Castle. At one point, the Queen pulls a large sandwich out of her signature black handbag. “I’ll keep me here for later,” she said to the bear.
The sitcom, presented by Paddington in the voice of Ben Whishaw, kicked off the party at the Palace Gala on Saturday night, which featured musical performances from Quinn, Doran Duran, Alicia Keys, Stivlon Don and Rod Stewart at Buckingham Palace.