National Geographic: All the Queen's Castles: Celebrating a 60-Year Reign

Check out my latest piece for National Geographic here - I still desperately miss England (2 weeks of fun adventures and no rain will do that!) and feel like I could write 20 more pieces about my time there.

Photo courtesy of All the Queen's Castles: Celebrating a 60-Year Reign

Queen Elizabeth II is celebrating her Diamond Jubilee this year, with key events taking place the first week in June. Queen Victoria is the only other English monarch to earn the distinction — and, given Elizabeth’s spirit and good health, she’s poised to out-reign her predecessor. If you’re headed to England, you’ll soak up spirit simply by walking the streets. But if you have to settle for being an armchair spectator, there are plenty of ways to join in from abroad.

The Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant on Sunday, June 3 is a spectacle of massive proportion — and one to watch on TV if you’re not in London. More than a thousand ships of all shapes and sizes will float down a seven-mile stretch of the river, with the royal family waving to the crowds from the sparkling Royal barge. That day, thousands of picnics and parties will be held to honor the Queen, including the Big Jubilee Lunch. Then, on Monday, June 4, the stars will really come out, as the feted royal attends the Diamond Jubilee Concert in front of Buckingham Palace, with Elton John, Paul McCartney, and others performing.

In addition, the Royal Family occupies several royal residences — and many more are uninhabited, such as Hampton Court Palace and the Tower of London. Here are a few places that will be hosting special Jubilee events and exhibits to celebrate the occasion.

Read more and about those castles here!