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The Queen's Platinum (70th) Jubilee

This year 2022 marks marks the Platinum 70th Jubilee of the Reign of Queen Elizabeth II.

On 6th February this year Her Majesty The Queen is the longest ever reigning British Monarch - see Kings and Queens by length of reign - and the first to celebrate a Platinum Jubilee, marking 70 years of service to the people of the United Kingdom, the Realms and the Commonwealth.

She became Queen when her father, King George VI, died on 6th February, 1952. Princess Elizabeth was 25 years old and

she and her husband Prince Philip were on safari in Kenya when news of her father's death reached her. She returned home as Queen Elizabeth II. She was crowned at Westminster Abbey on 2nd June 1953.

To celebrate this unprecedented anniversary, events and initiatives are taking place throughout the year, culminating in a four day UK bank holiday weekend from Thursday 2nd to Sunday 5th June. The four days of celebrations will include public events and community activities, as well as national moments of reflection on The Queen’s 70 years of service.

Thursday 2nd June 2022

- The Queen’s Birthday Parade (Trooping the Colour): Over 1,400 parading soldiers, 200 horses and 400 musicians will come together in the traditional Parade to mark The Queen's official birthday, usually held on the second Saturday in June. Beginning at Buckingham Palace, the Parade will move down The Mall to Horse Guard's Parade, joined by Members of the Royal Family on horseback and in carriages. The Parade will close with the traditional RAF fly-past, watched by The Queen and Members of the Royal Family from the Buckingham Palace balcony.

- Platinum Jubilee Beacons: The United Kingdom’s long tradition of celebrating Royal Jubilees, Weddings and Coronations with the lighting of beacons will continue for the Platinum Jubilee. A beacon chain, once used as a tool for communication, has now become a symbol of unity across towns, borders, countries and continents and is often the central point of focus for any outdoor gathering or celebration.

In 1897, beacons were lit to celebrate Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee. In 1977, 2002 and 2012, beacons commemorated the Silver, Golden and Diamond Jubilees of The Queen, and in 2016 Her Majesty’s 90th birthday. Over 1,500 beacons will be lit throughout the United Kingdom, Channel Islands, Isle of Man and UK Overseas Territories.

Friday 3rd June 2022

- Service of Thanksgiving: A Service of Thanksgiving for The Queen’s reign will be held at St Paul’s Cathedral.

Saturday 4th June 2022

- The Derby at Epsom Downs: Members of the Royal Family, will attend the Derby at Epsom Downs.

- Platinum Party at the Palace: The BBC will stage and broadcast a special live concert from Buckingham Palace that will bring together some of the world’s biggest entertainment stars to celebrate the most significant and joyous moments from The Queen’s seven decade reign.

Sunday 5th June 2022

- The Big Jubilee Lunch: The Big Lunch has encourages communities to celebrate their connections and get to know each other a little bit better, coming together in a spirit of fun and friendship. In 2022 The Big Lunch will bring the Jubilee celebrations into the heart of every community. People are invited to share friendship, food and fun with neighbours as part of the Platinum Jubilee celebrations.

- The Platinum Jubilee Pageant: Artistic performers, dancers, musicians, military personnel, key workers and volunteers will unite to tell the story of The Queen’s 70 year reign in an awe-inspiring festival of creativity. The London based Pageant will combine pomp and ceremony, street arts, theatre, music, circus, costumes as well as cutting-edge visual technology, drawing on talent from every part of the United Kingdom and across the Commonwealth.

Previous Jubilees

Queen Elizabeth II celebrated her Silver Jubilee (25 years) in 1977, Golden Jubilee (50 years) in 2002, and the Diamond 60th Jubilee of her reign in 2012.

The only other British monarch to celebrate a Diamond Jubilee was her great-great-grandmother Queen Victoria who celebrated the 60th year of her reign in 1897.

Special events took place during 2012 throughout the UK and the Commonwealth Realms (countries in which she is Head of State), and in many Commonwealth Nations.

The Queen, accompanied by her husband The Duke of Edinburgh, marked the Diamond Jubilee with visits and engagements throughout the United Kingdom.The programme included:

29th March 2012: North London
26th - 27th April Wales
1st - 2nd May: South West England
15th May: South London
16th - 17th May: North West England
2nd - 5th June: Central Weekend
13th - 14th June: East Midlands and East Anglia
25th June and 25th July: South East England
2nd - 6th July: Scotland (Holyrood Week)
11th - 12th July: West Midlands
18th - 19th July: North East England

On 27th July 2012 The Queen opened the London 2012 Olympic Games. Even James Bond was invited.

Official celebrations for The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee took place in a special Diamond Jubille week between Saturday 2nd June and Tuesday 5th June 2012.

Saturday 2nd June: The Queen attended the Epsom Derby. She is a keen horse racing fan and has been attending the Epsom Derby for eight decades.

Sunday 3rd June: The Big Jubilee Lunch. People shared lunch with neighbours and friends as part of the Diamond Jubilee celebrations.

Monday 4th June: A televised Diamond Jubilee Concert held at Buckingham Palace, with tickets available to UK residents by public ballot.

Monday 4th June: 2,012 beacons were lit by communities and individuals throughout the United Kingdom, as well as the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man and the Commonwealth.

Tuesday 5th June: A Service of Thanksgiving and Carriage Procession. The service took place at St Paul’s Cathedral, with a formal carriage procession by The Queen.

The Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant took place on Sunday 3rd June 2012. It recalled a pageant held on the Thames in 1750 for King George II.

The 2012 Pageant was one of the main celebrations held to mark the 60-year reign of Queen Elizabeth II. 1,000 boats, from across the UK, the Commonwealth and around the world, sailed down the River Thames. The Queen led the flotilla in the Royal Barge reviving a tradition that dates back over 400 years. Despite pouring rain the organisers created a piece of theatre on the water, incorporating music, fireworks and special effects. The Royal Barge decorated in red and gold and featuring. The Queen’s cipher and a crown carried The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh, along with other members of the Royal Family. The Prince of Wales was Patron of the Pageant.

Her Majesty The Queen attended Commonwealth Day Observance in Westminster Abbey to celebrate Her Diamond Jubilee and 60 years as Head of the Commonwealth. It was attended by the Prime Minister, High Commissioners and over 1,000 UK school children.

Members of the Royal Family traveled overseas representing the Queen throughout the Diamond Jubilee year, visited every Realm as well as visits to Commonwealth countries, Crown Dependencies and British Overseas Territories. The Royal Commonwealth Society organised a special Jubilee Time Capsule, a digital archive of The Queen’s reign. Contributors were invited to use photos, words or videos and talk about anything they wanted.

There were special Royal Collection exhibitions at Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle and the Palace of Holyroodhouse and a touring exhibition to five UK venues marking Her Majesty’s Diamond Jubilee. Thw National Portrait Gallery staged a touring exhibition bringing together sixty of the most remarkable and resonant images of Elizabeth II. This was the first National Portrait Gallery exhibition to tour to British venues before being shown in London, opening in Edinburgh in June, Belfast in October and Cardiff and London in February 2012. The National Maritime Museum held a Royal River, Power, Pageantry and & The Thames exhibition.