Buckingham Palace is to start PR preparations for the Queen's golden jubilee early next year, the monarch's press secretary said this week.
The 50th anniversary of the Queen's coronation is not until autumn 2002.
But Penelope Russell-Smith, appointed earlier this week as the Queen's press spokesman, said a major part of her job would be to co-ordinate media activity around the jubilee.
'The event is expected to attract enormous interest from regional, national and international media. Work will start in January to lay the groundwork for that,' she said.
Russell-Smith takes over the reins at Buckingham Palace on Christmas Eve. She succeeds Geoffrey Crawford in the role, when he returns to his native Australia early in the new year. He is to start work in Sydney for an unnamed PR agency.
Russell-Smith has been deputy press secretary to the Queen since 1996 and has been at the Palace since 1993. She took up the post on secondment from the Government Information and Communication Service. Her previous roles have included a three-year stint as principal information officer on European matters at the Foreign Office.
In her new role, Russell-Smith reports jointly to overall royal communications secretary Simon Walker - a secondee from British Airways - and to the Queen.