It’s no secret that this year marks Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee, with thousands of celebrations planned across the nation and throughout the Commonwealth.
The first British monarch to reach the milestone of 70 years on the throne, Her Royal Highness has lived through not one but five jubilee celebrations in her name.
A Brief History of Celebrations Past
It’s almost mind-blowing that over the past 70 years there has been a Silver Jubilee celebrating 25 years since the coronation, a Ruby Jubilee marking 40 years, a Golden Jubilee in 2002, a Diamond Jubilee in 2012 and now the very first Platinum Jubilee to be held in the history of the British monarchy.
Whether you’re a royalist or not, these events become milestones in the nation’s history and reflect the culture and times of multiple generations. How did people celebrate these events and how much has changed since the Queen’s coronation in 1953?
After 14 months of preparation and chaired by her husband the Duke of Edinburgh, the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II took place at Westminster Abbey, Tuesday 2nd June 1953. Although the ceremony followed much of the methodology of previous coronations, this was the first to be televised. Millions who didn’t previously own a television either purchased or rented one specifically to watch the event broadcast by the BBC.
With satellites yet to be launched, film footage of the event was flown the same day via the RAF to Canada, with US networks making arrangements in order to televise the event hours after it happened.
Around 3 million spectators gathered for the street procession leading towards Westminster Abbey, where high members of the Church of England, military leaders and nobility guested for the coronation ceremony.
1977 marked the 25th year of the Queen’s reign, it was celebrated with huge parades and parties across the Commonwealth, with the main ‘Jubilee Days’ coinciding with the Queen’s official Birthday.
As well as the official celebrations, the Queen and Prince Phillip embarked on a tour of the Commonwealth, visiting 36 countries over a 3-month period. The trip began in Glasgow, moving to England and Northern Ireland, the islands of Fiji and Tonga, Australia and New Zealand.
At this time, no other monarch had visited as many places in such a short space of time – largely thanks to the advent of reliable, regular air travel.
A more low-key celebration, the Ruby Jubilee marked 40 years of Queen Elizabeth II’s reign, and coincided with the 150th anniversary of Sydney’s City Council. The couple officially opened the refurbished Sydney Town Hall and also the Paddock Stand at Sydney’s Royal Randwick Racecourse.
As well as touring Canada and New Zealand, a royal tour of the UK culminated in ‘The Great Event’, a gala celebration of the Queen’s reign held at Earl’s Court, London in October 1992. The event featured musical and theatre performances and was attended by members of the royal family and celebrities of the time.
Despite the Ruby Jubilee celebrations, the royals suffered a difficult year which included three of the Queen’s children’s marriages publicly failing, a great fire in Windsor Castle, and a public egging by demonstrators at a state visit in Dresden, Germany.
The Golden Jubilee in 2002 coincided with difficult times again for the Queen. Despite the loss of both Princess Margaret and the Queen Mother early in the year, the busy schedule of visits to Jamaica, Canada, New Zealand and Australia carried on.
Official celebrations outside Buckingham Palace took place 1st – 4th June and were the largest to date. Featuring performances from Brian May, Eric Clapton, Cliff Richard and Paul McCartney, the public concert was concluded by the Queen lighting the National Beacon at the Victoria Memorial. The last in a collection of 2,006 beacons to be lit in a chain throughout the world, the ceremony echoed that of Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee in 1887.
A Diamond Jubilee marking 60 years of a monarch’s reign had only been celebrated previously by Queen Victoria. Held in 2012, it coincided with the London Olympics where the Queen herself performed official duties. Highlights included the Thames Diamond Jubilee River Pageant, a spectacular flotilla of 1000 boats which travelled from Chelsea to Tower Bridge, led by The Royal Barge, on which the Queen travelled.
Due to ill health, Prince Philip was unable to attend any of the official events in June, and many of the planned international visits were carried out by the immediate members of the Royal Family.
Platinum Jubilee Celebrations in the City
This Thursday 2nd June, there will be a beacon lighting at St Peter’s Square, Wolverhampton. Speakers at the event include Dr Satya Sharma MBE DL, followed by a speech from The Mayor of Wolverhampton – Councillor Sandra Samuels OBE. A purple and gold light will shine onto St Peter’s Church, and then the Beacon will be officially lit.
There will also be live music from the City of Wolverhampton Brass Band, and ‘Hit the Dohl’; tickets are free and available here.
Free Jubilee Barbeque!
To celebrate the long bank holiday weekend, we will be hosting a BBQ on Friday the 3rd of June from 14:00 to 16:00; ven closer to home, there will be a free barbeque held here, at TheStudios bar Friday 3rd June from 2-4 PM! Hotdogs and burgers are on the house for all who attend.