Watch: Queen’s Platinum Jubilee to be celebrated with national events
A giant dragon puppet the size of a double-decker bus will be a focal point of the "spectacular" £15m pageant that will be the focal point of the Queen's Platinum Jubilee.
With the pageant scheduled to take place on 5 June preparations are well under way for the entire jubilee weekend.
More than 10,000 people are expected to be involved in the pageant with thousands of military personal expected to be part of the procession.
The pageant will be one of the final events across a four day weekend celebrating the Queen's 70 years on the throne and will have three acts — ceremonial, celebration and finale.
The ceremonial stage will involve thousands of veterans and serving members of the armed forces marching with military precision in London, followed by a celebration stage including circus acts, street theatre, dancing and flag displays.
Co-chair of the committee organising the pageant Nicholas Coleridge told Yahoo UK: "She [the Queen] has kept well in touch, via Sir Edward Young, her top man. She likes to have reports.
"He is still smiling which makes me think there have been no complaints."
Coleridge told Yahoo UK that the organisers were keenly aware many people are looking forward to the celebration after years of COVID.
He said: "There is going to be so much pent up enthusiasm for celebration and jubilation - we are going to be pushing on an open door."
He added that there is an "extraordinary" appreciation for the Queen and her long reign, "regardless of what views are on society or monarchy".
"I think the market squares of Britain are going to be teeming with folk, the pubs will be staying open late, and people will be in the mood for it," he said.
The budget for the pageant is between £10-15m, which organisers say is in line with the costs of previous celebrations.
Watch: The Queen and Prince Charles Launch Green Canopy Project
It will be self-funded, through partnerships and by donations, with the team "halfway there" on the budget.
Coleridge said: "We do due diligence [on donations] with all our partnerships.
"The sort of people who want to be generous and get behind the event have so far been a marvellous lot, without any problems surrounding them at all.
"We have to be careful."
Sir Michael Morpurgo, author of War Horse, has been enlisted by the pageant team, and has written There Once is a Queen, which has been used to tell the story of the Queen's 70-year reign.
Pageant master Adrian Evans said the pageant would be a "spectacular unfolding" of "her 70-year reign and our transforming society".
Evans said the event would also have references to the late Prince Philip, saying "he is a constant presence".
The pageant will examine each decade of her reign through the eyes of teenagers, looking at the change that happened, and adding her own interests into the mix, like playful corgis and horses.
Her accession will be explored with the use of animals reacting to the news of the new Queen, because she was in Kenya when her father died in February 1952.
The dragon has been chosen to lead the procession, a 6.5m tall ceremonial puppet made by outdoor arts producers Trigger, based in Bristol.
'The Hatchling' dragon debuted in Plymouth last year to help people celebrate freedom after a year of isolation. She unfolded her wings, and flew from a cliff top and over the sea.
It's the largest puppet ever to be operated solely by humans, with a team of 36 puppeteers rotating in teams of 15.
There will also be a thank you dance for key workers, a parade of flags designed by schoolchildren from around the Commonwealth, and a trapeze artist suspended underneath a huge balloon printed with an image of the Queen.
Evans said: "We are inspired by the Queen’s regard for family values, her care for community, her love of the natural environment, her passion for equestrianism and her constant corgi companions."
Although the events of 5 June will take place in London, organisers will be involving people from across the country and the Commonwealth, and hope to create lasting legacies of the jubilee within the artists' communities.
Creative organisations from Plymouth, Coventry, Bristol and more have already been enlisted, including Cirque Bijou and Imagineer Productions.
Schoolchildren in Belfast, Boston, Cardiff, Coventry, the Highlands of Scotland, Liverpool, London, and Stockton-on-Tees, as well as overseas in Bangladesh, Ghana, India, Pakistan, Rwanda and Tanzania, will design flags to be carried by 200 dancers in the parade.