EAST Cowes is preparing to celebrate the bicentennial anniversary of Queen Victoria's birth this weekend — and there are several spectacular events planned including a horse and carriage procession through the town, a seafront festival and even a modern day grand exhibition.

Guests at the event will include international dignitaries — the Indian high commissioner and the Mayor of Coburg — and the descendants of Abdul Karim, one of Queen Victoria's favourite attendants, as told in the film Victoria and Abdul.

The celebrations will start tomorrow (Friday), with the opening of Queen Victoria's birthday trail at Osborne House and a civic reception attended by the international guests and local councillors.

On Saturday, there will be a Victorian Day in the town square with music, swing boats and fancy dress, and a town hall show in the evening complete with a Victorian time machine.

There will be an RNLI open day on the Sunday, followed by a grand procession featuring horse and carriages, vintage cars and marching bands, which will leave Osborne House at 11am.

The Esplanade Festival takes place from noon till 9pm, featuring live music on two stages, children's entertainment, a mini theatre and Morris dancing. Victorian fancy dress is encouraged.

The entertainment continues on bank holiday Monday with a grand exhibition in the town, community beach clean and a talk on Marie of Edinburgh, Queen Victoria's granddaughter and the last Queen of Romania, at St Mildred's Church.

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