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The Queen's Diamond Jubilee

June 2013 - The 60th anniversary of the Queen's coronation

Queen Elizabeth II was crowned at Westminster Abbey on 2 June 1953, nearly eighteen months after she succeeded her father, King George VI.

The 60th anniversary of The Queen’s Coronation was marked with a service of celebration at Westminster Abbey on Tuesday 4th June 2013 at 11am. The Queen, The Duke of Edinburgh, The Duke & Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry and other Members of the Royal Family attended the service. Foreign dignitaries from the Commonwealth and other nations were among those joining the Royal Family as guests

In addition to the main service, Westminster Abbey hosted a series of special events to celebrate the anniversary. Westminster Abbey is the nation’s coronation church. 38 coronations have been held in the Abbey since the coronation of William the Conqueror in 1066. Edward I (1272-1307) ordered the construction of the Coronation Chair. Since the fourteenth century almost every monarch has been crowned in this chair. The exceptions are Edward V and Edward VIII, who were not crowned, and Mary II who was crowned as joint monarch alongside her husband William III in a replica chair (now in the Abbey’s museum) made for the occasion.

Other celebrations included a four-day festival at Buckingham Palace Gardens in July.

Coronation Festival

The Coronation Festival, which took place over four days 11 -14 July 2013 in the Gardens of Buckingham Palace, celebrated the 60th anniversary of The Queen's Coronation. This unique event, hosted by the Royal Warrant Holders Association, brought together over 200 companies who hold Royal Warrants of Appointment. Promoting the very best of UK plc, the Festival will celebrate innovation, excellence and industry through trade and craft.

The Festival was open to members of the public who purchased a ticket for the daytime event; giving visitors the opportunity to explore the Gardens and buy, sample and experience the wide range of products and services from the exhibitors. There was also a Gala evening of entertainment - a celebration of music and dance over the past 60 years

Coronation Exhibition - Buckingham Palace

Saturday, 27 July 2013 to Sunday, 29 September 2013

The summer marked the 60th anniversary of one of the most momentous occasions in 20th-century British history – the Coronation of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. To mark the anniversary of the event, a major exhibition for the Summer Opening of Buckingham Palace brought together for the first time since Coronation Day, a spectacular array of dress, uniform and robes worn by the principal royal party. Works of art, paintings and objects used on the day were also on display to recreate the atmosphere of that extraordinary occasion.

Portraits of a Monarch - Windsor Castle

Friday, 23 November 2012 to Sunday, 09 June 2013

Queen Elizabeth II is one of the most depicted women in the world. She has sat to numerous artists, from Cecil Beaton and Pietro Annigoni to Lucian Freud. Her portrait likeness, so widely circulated, has also inspired artists such as Andy Warhol, whose screenprint portraits of Her Majesty have been recently acquired for the Royal Collection and are displayed for the first time at Windsor Castle.

Portraits of The Queen are made for a number of official purposes, ranging from photographs distributed at the time of a State Visit, to those that mark a particular anniversary. Portraits bearing a clear and recognisable image of the sovereign are required for use on coins, banknotes and stamps. Many of the works on display were created with one of these purposes in mind.

This exhibition presented a selection of official, commissioned and formal portraits of The Queen, gathered here from the different Royal residences.

Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond (60th) Jubilee Celebrations

2012 marked the Diamond Jubilee of the reign of Queen Elizabeth II. 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.

Her coronation took place in Westminster Abbey on 2nd June 1953.

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

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. Kings and Queens by length of reign.

To mark this historic occasion 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.

Visits around the UK

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 The Queen opened the London 2012 Olympic Games. Even James Bond was invited.

Diamond Jubilee Week - 2nd to 5th June 2012

Official celebrations for The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee took place in a special Diamond Jubilee 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.

Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant

The Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant took place on Sunday 3rd June 2012. The Pageant was one of the main celebrations being 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.

Commonwealth Day 12th March 2012

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.

Visits to the Realms and Commonwealth countries

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. These visits included:

  • The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall (Prince Charles and Camilla) visited: Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and Papua New Guinea

  • The Prince of Wales: Channel Islands, Isle of Man

  • The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (Prince William and Catherine): Malaysia, Singapore, Solomon Islands, and Tuvalu. The tiny Pacific nation of Tuvalu last had a royal visit in 1982 when the Queen and her husband Prince Philip were carried shoulder high by islanders into the capital Funafuti.

  • Prince Harry: Belize, Jamaica, and The Bahamas

  • The Duke of York (Prince Andrew): India

  • The Earl and Countess of Wessex (Prince Edward and Sophie) : Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Gibraltar, Grenada, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago

  • The Princess Royal (Princess Anne): Mozambique, Zambia

  • The Duke of Gloucester (The Queen's cousin): British Virgin Islands, Malta

  • The Duke of Kent: (The Queen's cousin): Falkland Islands, Uganda.

Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Emblem

A national competition to design an “official emblem” for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee 2012 attracted over 35,000 entries from school children aged between 6 and 14. The overall winner of the competition, which was supported by Buckingham Palace and promoted through the BBC’s Blue Peter Programme, was 10 year old Katherine Dewar from Chester.

Katherine, along with the winners and runners up from each age category, was invited to meet the Queen at a special reception at Buckingham Palace.

Blue Peter, commenting on the The BBC Blue Peter website said: “We’ve never had a competition like this! This is only the second ever Diamond Jubilee, and a child has never designed an official Jubilee emblem before".

Commemorative coins and stamps, as well as teaching materials linked the 60th anniversary, will be available.

Time Capsule

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

To mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in 2012, the 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.

The Queens Diamond Jubilee Year

Queen Elizabeth II - 60th Jubilee Souvenir

The Coronation Day - A Royal History

The Queens Coronation Day - 60th Jubilee Souvenir