The Platinum Jubilee celebrates seven decades of the Queen’s reign, making it the first British monarch to do so
That’s all you need to know about June’s platinum anniversary – and what events are planned to mark the occasion.
When is the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee?
While Saturday 6 February was technically the date the Queen ascended the throne, it is also the anniversary of the death of her father, King George VI, and is therefore known as a date the Queen does not wish to celebrate.
Instead, the Platinum Jubilee will take place on Friday 3 June 2022, similar to the Queen’s Golden and Diamond Jubilees, with the addition of the summer month offering a better chance of good weather.
While the Royal website says the anniversary will be marked with events “throughout the year”, celebrations for the historic anniversary will culminate in a four-day UK bank holiday weekend.
The date will mark the Queen’s 70th jubilee, and she will become the first British monarch to celebrate a platinum jubilee.
Queen Elizabeth II became Britain’s longest-reigning monarch on September 9, 2015, when she surpassed the previous record set by her great-great-grandmother Victoria.
Will there be an additional holiday?
Brits will indeed enjoy an extra bank holiday in 2022 in honor of the Queen’s platinum jubilee.
In 2021 it was announced by the government that in 2022 there would be an additional public holiday from Thursday 2nd June to Sunday 5th June.
A tweet from the Royal Family’s official Twitter account read: “The bank holiday long weekend will feature public events and community activities, as well as national moments of reflection on the Queen’s 70 years of service.”
What events are taking place?
This is the full breakdown of the events taking place to celebrate the Queen’s platinum jubilee over the course of the four day bank holiday and the rest of the year.
Thursday June 2nd
The Queen’s Birthday Parade, also known as Trooping the Color, will take place, with over 1,400 parading soldiers, 200 horses and 400 musicians coming together in the traditional parade to celebrate the Queen’s official birthday.
The parade begins at Buckingham Palace and moves down the Mall to Horse Guards Palace, accompanied by members of the Royal Family on horseback and in carriages.
The parade ends with the traditional RAF flyby, watched by the Queen and Royal Family from the balcony of Buckingham Palace.
Trooping the Color will be broadcast live, but if you would like to follow the event in person, tickets are available and can be requested during the week commencing 17th January 2022. You can apply via the army website.
Also on Thursday 2 June, the Platinum Jubilee will mark Britain’s long-standing tradition of celebrating royal anniversaries, weddings and coronations with the lighting of bonfires.
Over 1,500 beacons will be lit across the UK, Channel Islands, Isle of Man and British Overseas Territories.
To celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, bonfires will be lit in each of the Commonwealth capitals for the first time. The main beacon will also be lit in a special ceremony at Buckingham Palace.
Friday June 3rd
A thanksgiving service for the Queen’s reign is held at St. Paul’s Cathedral. To mark the occasion, The Great Paul, the country’s largest church bell, is rung for the service.
The bell was made in 1882 but fell silent in the 1970s due to a broken mechanism. It has since been restored in 2021 and has operated eight times since – but the platinum jubilee service will be the first royal occasion it will ring for.
The service will take place on Friday morning, June 3, and, according to St Paul’s website, will include “Bible readings, hymns, prayers and hymns expressing gratitude for the Queen’s rule, faith and service; desire to promote unity and peace among all peoples; and obligation to care for God’s creation”.
It will also feature a new anthem by Judith Weir, Master of the Queen’s Music, which “sets to music words from the third chapter of Proverbs”.
Saturday June 4th
The Queen will attend the Derby at Epsom Downs, accompanied by members of the Royal Family.
The “Platinum Party at the Palace” will also take place on Saturday. The BBC will stage and broadcast a special live concert from Buckingham Palace, which will bring together some of the world’s biggest names in entertainment to celebrate the Queen’s seven-decade reign.
Kirsty Young and Roman Kemp will co-host the Platinum Party live at the Palace on BBC One, iPlayer and across the BBC network.
Young said: “I am delighted to be back with the BBC at such a historic, unique and happy event. It’s going to be quite the weekend and our coverage will give viewers everywhere a front row seat to the celebrations. I can barely wait for it!”
Sunday June 5th
Each year since the idea was launched in 2009, The Big Jubilee Lunch has encouraged communities to celebrate their connections and get to know each other a little better in a spirit of fun and friendship.
In 2022, the Great Jubilee Dinner will bring the Jubilee celebrations to the heart of every community.
The public is invited to share friendship, food and fun with their neighbors as part of the Platinum Jubilee celebrations. The royal family say that “a Big Jubilee Lunch can be big or small – street party or picnic, tea and cake or a garden barbecue”.
Also on Sunday, June 5th, the Platinum Jubilee Contest will conclude the Platinum Jubilee celebrations.
Against the backdrop of Buckingham Palace and the surrounding streets, a pageant is attended by over 5,000 people from across the UK and Commonwealth.
Featuring street art, theatre, music, circus, carnival and costume, it will celebrate service to the Queen’s reign and honor the collective service of people and communities across the country.
A key part of the Platinum competition is the River of Hope section, in which two hundred silk flags float down the Mall, appearing like a flowing river. Primary and secondary school children were invited to create a picture of their hopes and aspirations for the planet over the next 70 years, with a selection of those creations to be transferred to the flags.
Is there a Platinum Jubilee Commemorative Medal?
Traditionally, a Platinum Jubilee Medal is awarded to individuals serving in the public service, including representatives of the armed forces, emergency services, and correctional services.
The Platinum Jubilee Medal follows a long history of medals being awarded to celebrate royal anniversaries, with the first medal ever awarded dating back to the 50th anniversary of Queen Victoria’s reign in 1887.
The Platinum Jubilee Medal was designed by Timothy Noad of the College of Arms and features an image of the Queen with the inscription in Latin: “Elizabeth II Dei Gratia Regina Fed Def” which stands for “Elizabeth II, By the Grace” of God, Queen, Defender of faith”.
The medal is awarded to:
- Members of the Armed Forces on duty who have completed five full calendar years of service on February 6, 2022
- Frontline emergency workers who have been in paid, employed, or volunteer capacity dealing with emergencies as part of their terms of service and have completed five full calendar years of service as of February 6, 2022
- Prison service personnel who are in the public service and are regularly exposed to difficult and sometimes emergency situations and who served five full calendar years on February 6, 2022
- Members of the Royal Household with one year of qualifying service
- Living individual recipients of the George Cross
- Living individual recipients of the Victoria Cross
Will there be celebrations at the Queen’s private estate?
The celebrations will be held at the Queen’s private estates of Sandringham and Balmoral for locals and visitors alike.
Events over the bank holiday weekend are free for the public to attend, including a ‘Platinum Party at the Palace’ on the big screen at Royal Parkland in Sandringham, a live broadcast of the BBC concert celebrating moments from the seven decades long regency of the queen.
The lighting of the Sandringham Beacon also takes place in the Royal Parkland, accompanied by live music from the Norwich Pipe Band and the Hunstanton Band.
What special exhibitions are there?
From July 2022, three special exhibitions dedicated to key moments from the Queen’s reign – the accession, the coronation and the anniversaries – will be on display at the official royal residences.
The summer opening of the State Rooms at Buckingham Palace will feature portraits of the Queen taken by photographer Dorothy Wilding between 1953 and 1956, as well as personal jewelery worn by the Queen at meetings.
Windsor Castle has a display of the coronation dress and robe of estate worn by the Queen at her coronation on 2 June 1953, and at the Palace of Holyroodhouse visitors can see outfits worn by the Queen on occasions such as the silver, gold and Diamond Jubilee.
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