The Queen's Platinum Jubilee
June 2022 will mark the platinum jubilee year of Queen Elizabeth II, marking 70 years since she became Queen. Very few monarchs get to celebrate a platinum jubilee, so what is the significance of this occasion for both the Queen herself and the wider public.
What is The Queen's Platinum Jubilee?
Princess Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor was born on April 21, 1926. She acceded to the throne aged just 25 in 1952 after the death of her father King George VI. She has presided over a number of events during her reign including the transformation of the British Empire into the Commonwealth of Nations, Beatlemania, the forming of the European Union and the introduction of the World Wide Web.
Why Do Royal Jubilees Occur?
Jubilees serve as a cause for celebration and reinforce the role of the sovereign as a focus for identity and unity for their subjects.
The origins of jubilees can be found in the Old Testament where they occurred after every seventh Sabbath year (thus every 50 years). Jubilees were described as an "economic, cultural, environmental and communal reset".
When Was the First Royal Jubilee?
The earliest Jubilees celebrated were for Henry III in 1265, and Edward III in 1377 - the former having. reigned for 49 years and the latter 50 years. However, there have been more recent jubilees.
King George III
The first comparable modern Royal Jubilee was celebrated in honor of King George III in 1809 to mark 50 years of his reign. Although the occasion was marked in both Britain and the Colonies, the events were low-key compared with more recent celebrations. Events compromised of church services along with a fete and firework display.
Before Queen Elizabeth II, the longest-reigning monarch was Queen Victoria (granddaughter of King George III), who celebrated both Golden (50 years) and Diamond (60 years) Jubilees until her abdication due to ill-health in 1900. The celebrations were much more distinguished and involved heads of state as well as public celebrations.
How Many Years Is a Platinum Jubilee?
A platinum jubilee marks 70 years as head of state. It is one of many milestones that Queen Elizabeth has reached and there have been several occasions over the years that have provided an opportunity to give thanks to The Queen for her achievements.
The Silver Jubilee (celebrating 25 years of the Queen’s reign) took place in 1977 and was the first major celebration of the Queen’s reign. Both The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh toured the UK and Commonwealth, and it is estimated they traveled 56,000 miles in total. The celebrations culminated with a journey in the Gold State Coach to St Paul’s Cathedral for a Service of Thanksgiving. Additionally, people all over the UK held street parties to celebrate.
The Queen’s Golden Jubilee (for 50 years of service) took place in June 2002. A host of events were arranged with The Queen again taking in numerous countries and thousands of miles of travel. The most high-profile event was ‘The Party at the Palace’; a rock concert held in the gardens of Buckingham Palace attended by 12,000 ticket holders. Performers included Sir Paul McCartney, Brian Wilson, and a memorable rendition of God Save The Queen by Brian May of the rock band Queen.
The Diamond Jubilee in 2012 marked 60 years of service - with The Queen being only the second British Monarch to reach this milestone. Once more, numerous events took place including The Thames Pageant consisting of 1,000 boats that traveled down the River Thames in celebration. This was the largest such celebration on the River Thames since the reign of Charles II, 350 years ago.
Is This the First Platinum Jubilee?
Although a 70-years reign is a rarity among monarchs, The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee 2022 is not the first celebration of its kind. Bhumibol Adulyadej, the late King of Thailand, was the most recent monarch to mark 70 years on the throne in 2016.
However, in mid-June, The Queen will become the second longest-serving monarch in history (passing Johan II of Liechtenstein). She is still two years away from beating the holder - King Louis XIV of France – who reigned for an impressive 72 years and 110 days.
What Comes After the Platinum Jubilee?
Although The Queen has already celebrated her Diamond Jubilee for 60 years’ service, the next milestone marking three-quarters of a century is also called a Diamond celebration. However, given The Queen’s age, details of this celebration are likely to be provided closer to the date.
What Happens During the Queen’s Jubilee?
Platinum Jubilee celebrations will be a theme throughout 2022. However, over the first weekend of June, a number of events are taking place including the Trooping The Colors, a Service of Thanksgiving, and a Platinum Party at The Palace. In addition, The Queen will attend The Derby at Epsom racecourse; one of her most favorite pastimes. Finally, Prime Minister Boris Johnson will address Parliament to pay tribute to Her Majesty.
More information on events can be found on the official website for the Queen's Platinum Jubilee.
What Date Is the Queen's Platinum Jubilee?
So, when is the platinum jubilee? The UK will celebrate a 4-day bank holiday weekend from Thursday 2nd to Sunday 5th June. Many publicly organized events are taking place across the country and the public is very much encouraged to celebrate in their own ways. In addition, broadcasters such as the BBC will be covering events in detail.
Jubilees are always a cause for celebration. However, the Platinum Jubilee is especially welcome given the length of service of Queen Elizabeth II. Despite the many ups and downs that she has experienced in the last couple of years, both the country and her family will be there to support one of the most dedicated monarchs of all time.