Last month, the world’s focus was on the coronation of King Charles III and Queen Camilla. This month the King will be fulfilling one of the monarch’s roles at Trooping the Colour. This is a celebration of the sovereign’s official birthday (Charles will celebrate his actual birthday on 14 November). It was his great great grandfather, Edward VII, who decided to mark his November birthday when there was better weather so moved it to June.
Trooping the Colour is on Saturday 17 June 2023. It’s a colourful display of military pageantry featuring impressive officers and men on parade in ceremonial uniform, as well as horses and musicians. The royal family always attend the ceremony, which takes place on Horse Guards Parade behind Whitehall, London.
The parade leaves Buckingham Palace at 10am and The Mall will be lined with spectators, just as it was for the coronation. At Horse Guards Parade, the King will carry out an inspection of the troops, before leading the guards in a parade back to Buckingham Palace. There are royal gun salutes fired in Green Park and at the Tower of London, and then members of the royal family wave from the palace balcony and watch the Royal Air Force flypast at 1pm.
Every year visitors from around the world gather at Stonehenge overnight to celebrate the Summer Solstice and watch the sun rise over the ancient stones. On the evening of 20 June and the morning of 21 June 2023, the solstice celebrations at Stonehenge take the form of a druid ritual at dawn and a New Age party. Sunrise is at around 4.45am but many revellers make a night of it.
Usually, visitors can only circumnavigate around the roped-off stones but for this special event, you can go inside the stone circle. Don’t expect it to be a quiet, spiritual affair though as tens of thousands attend. Stonehenge is open on 21 June for visitors later in the day.
William Murdoch (1754–1839), the Inventor, is famed for the innovation of the use of coal gas in lighting as a replacement for oil and tallow. He lived in Redruth in Cornwall and his house was the first in the UK to be lit by gas lighting in 1792. The town now has an annual day dedicated to the legacy of his innovation plus the town’s heritage, history, industry and community.
On 17 June 2023, the town will be packed with events and entertainment throughout the day for families and the community to enjoy. There will be a parade with local children carrying colourful artwork they have made on this year’s theme: Innovation and Creativity. There will also be all-day music, Redruth Town Market and street stalls up and down Fore Street, a traditional fair, workshops and performances dotted all around. And it’s all completely free.
The Royal Highland Show
Bringing the best of farming, food and rural life to Edinburgh every June, the Royal Highland Show is on from 22 June 2023 to 25 June 2023.
This year’s show sees the return of the Golden Shears World Championship. Who will reign supreme as the chief sheep shearer and wool handler?
Free Classical Concert in Trafalgar Square
Sir Simon Rattle and the London Symphony Orchestra (LSO) will perform live in Trafalgar Square on Saturday 10 June 2023 at 5pm.
This free summer concert highlights the continued partnership between BMW Group and the London Symphony Orchestra. For the last twelve years, this collaboration has brought live orchestral music to audiences in one of the world’s most iconic public spaces, Trafalgar Square, and to thousands more around the globe watching on YouTube.
The 2023 BMW Classics concert programme opens with Igor Stravinsky’s four-minute ‘short orchestral fantasy’ Fireworks, followed by the first movement of John Adams’ energetic and explosive masterpiece for large-scale orchestra, Harmonielehre. For the central section of the concert, the LSO play the world premiere of Eloise Gynn’s new work, Light Dancing, specially commissioned for this occasion. This dance-inspired piece written for a mixed-ability orchestra brings together LSO musicians with 55 young musicians from east London as part of the LSO On Track partnership, and 18 students from the Guildhall School of Music & Drama. For the final half of the concert, Sir Simon and the LSO will perform two popular French Impressionist masterpieces, Claude Debussy’s La Mer and Maurice Ravel’s Boléro.
Falmouth International Sea Shanty Festival
Popular with visitors from all over the world, the Falmouth International Sea Shanty Festival in Falmouth, Cornwall, is an excellent reason to enjoy the sun, sea, atmosphere and music. This year it’s on from 16 to 18 June and it is the largest free nautical music and song festival in Europe.
Falmouth has a proud and long history as a first safe port of call for deepwater sailing ships. It was here that sailors filled the waterside alehouses with their songs and it is here that those shanties and stories are kept alive to this day.
It would be worth a trip to the Falmouth Art Gallery while in the area too as it is staging a major touring exhibition telling the story for the first time of the links between Arthurian legend, PreRaphaelite artists and UK locations linked to the story of King Arthur. The Legend of King Arthur: A Pre-Raphaelite Love Story is on from 17 June until 30 September 2023 and provides an exclusive opportunity to see the entire Lady of Shalott series of paintings by John William Waterhouse together for the first time.
Henley Royal Regatta
Henley Royal Regatta is the most prestigious regatta in the world. It is the highlight of the summer rowing calendar and the social season in the UK. Henley Royal Regatta boasts over 300 races across six days of elite sporting competition and there are more than 300,000 visitors each year.
The 2023 Henley Royal Regatta will take place over six days from Tuesday 27 June to Sunday 2 July 2023.
If you find yourself up on the north coast, set against the backdrop of a spectacular heritage sight, the 190th Durham Regatta is on 10 and 11 June 2023. Attracting over 10,000 spectators every year, as well as the racing there is bank-side entertainment from bands and performers too.
National Portrait Gallery Reopening
After a three-year closure for an internal transformation, the National Portrait Gallery in London reopens on 22 June 2023. The main change is a new entrance, located on the north side of the building. The redevelopment project – titled Inspiring People – has included a comprehensive redisplay of the collection from the Tudors to today, which will be displayed in beautifully refurbished galleries, and the restoration of the Grade I listed building and many historic features.
The first exhibition will explore the life and career of the twentieth-century photographer, Yevonde, who pioneered the use of colour photography in the 1930s. Yevonde: Life and Colour (22 June – 15 October 2023) will survey the portraits and still-life works that the artist produced throughout her sixty-year career, positioning Yevonde as a trailblazer in the history of British portrait photography.
Opening one week later is the major exhibition, Paul McCartney Photographs 1963-64: Eyes of the Storm (28 June – 1 October 2023). This unprecedented display will share, for the first time, an extraordinary archive of rediscovered and never-before-seen photographs taken by Paul McCartney using his own camera between December 1963 and February 1964. This was the period in which John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr were propelled from being the most popular band in Britain to an international cultural phenomenon.
Blenheim Palace Flower Show
Held on the grounds of Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire, the Blenheim Palace Flower Show is all about the best of British gardening. From 23 to 25 June 2023, green-fingered visitors can delight in plant shopping and the chance to hear from celebrity guests sharing hints and tips.
25th Anniversary of Liverpool Biennial
The 12th edition of the Liverpool Biennial marks the 25th anniversary of the UK’s largest contemporary visual arts festival. It’s taking place across Liverpool’s public spaces, galleries and museums from 10 June to 17 September 2023. With curator Khanyisile Mbongwa at the helm, the festival, titled ‘uMoya: The Sacred Return of Lost Things’, will showcase 30 international artists and collectives.
Since it began, the event has involved the commission of almost 400 new artworks including Antony Gormley’s Another Place (2005) seen below and Peter Blake’s Everybody Razzle Dazzle (2015).
Throughout the 14-week festival, there is a public programme of free events and performances. And a series of ambitious outdoor works will be installed at locations across the city including Liverpool ONE, Stanley Dock, Princes Dock, St John’s Gardens and Liverpool Parish Church (St Nicholas’).
Jane Austen Regency Week
This nine-day festival is packed with all things Austen. It takes place in and around the market town of Alton and nearby Chawton in Hampshire, the home of Jane Austen’s House & Museum. From 17 to 25 June 2023, for the Jane Austen Regency Week, you can expect Regency-style music, dining, drama, singing, talks and guided walks and tours, as well as the famous Regency Ball.
Broadstairs Dickens Festival
Usually a quiet coastal town, Broadstairs in Kent comes to life for the Broadstairs Dickens Festival from 16 to 18 June 2023.
Charles Dickens (1812–1870) was a regular visitor to the Kent seaside escape on summer holidays between 1837 and 1859, and he even wrote David Copperfield on one such break. “You cannot think how delightful and fresh the place is and how good the walks,” he rejoiced.
In 1937, to commemorate the centenary of the author’s first visit, Gladys Waterer, the then resident of Dickens House, conceived the idea of putting on a production of David Copperfield and of having people about the town in Victorian dress to publicise it. Each year highlights include spotting the marvellously costumed ladies and gentlemen strolling around town, the festival play, a Victorian country fayre, a Victorian banquet and the unforgettable Dickensian beach party.
Chariots of Fire Race
Do you remember the 1981 British historical drama movie Chariots of Fire? It was the fact-based story of two athletes in the 1924 Olympics. The Vangelis music conjures up images of athletes running on a beach. Well, that beach was West Sands in St Andrews, Scotland, and they have an annual Chariots Of Fire Race.
This is the eleventh year, and on Sunday 4 June 2023 St Andrews’ cinematic past is celebrated with a fun day on the sands. There’s a children’s race at 11.30am and an adult race at midday. Runners all wear white and the race attracts both new and returning runners from across the world who love the friendly welcome they receive in this enchanting corner of Fife.
The organisers say if you have ever imagined you were running in the iconic beach scene at the opening of Chariots of Fire, they can make that dream a reality. All runners receive a free beer and a fudge doughnut. Because that’s how every run should end in their world. Come and join the beach party.
Unfortunately, these monthly round-ups will not be continuing but thank you for reading and please continue to support Anglotopia.