New Thank Holiday is great way to honour Queen – who wants a statue when you can have a street party? says Iceland boss

BRITS are set enjoy a bonus bank holiday this June to mark her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee.

And campaigners are now calling on the government to make the holiday permanent.

A raft of organisations including the Scouts, the Royal Voluntary Service and the Confederation of British Industry and the FA want a new annual bank holiday to recognise the Queen's extraordinary service – and the work of millions of ordinary Brits. 

The new bonus holiday would be dubbed a ‘Thank Holiday’ and would be introduced in 2023 in recognition of how Brits pulled together in their communities during the pandemic.

Backing the campaign Tony Danker, Director General of the CBI, said: “The proposal for a new ‘Thank Holiday’ to recognise the Queen’s selfless service and to extend that notion of service across communities is a really exciting one.

"Business is keen to support and we at the CBI would work to make it a real success.”

The campaign is being led by the Together Coalition founded by the Archbishop of Canterbury.

A new holiday would also provide a huge boost to restaurants, bars and shops.

Kate Nichoills, Chief Executive of UKHospitality, said: “An annual Thank Holiday would give a welcome boost for a recovering hospitality sector.”

Writing in The Sun, here Richard Walker, managing director of Iceland foods explains why a new holiday would be brilliant for workers and business.

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At a time when the news seems to be a daily misery fest of reported rule-breaking, soaring prices, and even rumours of impending war, it’s more important than ever to remember the many things for which we can be truly grateful.

Foremost among these is our return to normality after two long years of Covid lockdowns and restrictions, and the extraordinary 70-year service to the nation of Her Majesty The Queen.

I’m really looking forward to the extended Platinum Jubilee bank holiday weekend at the beginning of June, as a chance not just to celebrate this amazing milestone for our monarch, but to unite communities right across the country.

The Big Jubilee Lunch on the weekend of2-5 June, which Iceland and The Food Warehouse are very proud to sponsor, is a great opportunity for neighbours to come together.

Not just to raise a glass to Her Majesty, but to celebrate the many things we all have in common, and to give thanks for the mutual aid that has helped us through the trials of the pandemic.

But then comes the real genius idea: instead of waiting a decade for a royal jubilee, why not make this an annual event?

Bank holidays may seem a rather tired Victorian concept – particularly now that actual bank branches are such an endangered species – but a THANK HOLIDAY every year will be a tremendous way of bringing people together.

A Thank Holiday offers a lasting tribute to the record-breaking reign of Queen Elizabeth II. Who wants a statue when you could have a street party?

Getting to know our neighbours better, reminding us of all the things we have in common and can do for each other, and thanking those who have served their community during the year.

And, of course, offering a lasting tribute to the record-breaking reign of Queen Elizabeth II.

Who wants a statue when you could have a street party?

The Thank Holiday campaign has already attracted an impressively diverse range of support, right across the spectrum of politics, industry and voluntary service. Anything that gets the thumbs-up from the CBI AND the TUC has surely GOT to happen

An extra annual celebration will bring more people out onto our hard-pressed high streets, supporting their local shops, restaurants and pubs.

More money in their tills will secure and increase the number of jobs they provide, and add to the taxes they can pay to the Treasury.

So bring it on, Boris! Grant us all the Thank Holiday that will add to the happiness of the nation just when it could really do with a boost.

To find out more visit

Richard Walker is on Twitter @icelandrichard.

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