Wednesday 25 May 2022

The Platinum Jubilee

This year’s Jubilee is a moment in time that is unique. As a once in a lifetime occurrence many people will want to mark this Platinum Jubilee, an event that will feature in the history books. The Jubilee celebrates 70 years on the throne for Queen Elizabeth II, no other British Monarch has reached this milestone. Let us travel back in time and see where it all began.

Over 70 years ago, on 6th February 1952 King George VI passed away peacefully in his sleep. ‘The King is dead, long live the Queen’, as the line of succession is never broken, his 25 year old daughter Princess Elizabeth suddenly became Queen.

On Saturday 10th February, the Proclamation of Accession was read out in the Town Hall Square by the Mayor of Chester, a Guard of Honour was supplied by the Cheshire Regiment who were mounted on the Town Hall steps. After the proclamation, the military band played “God Save the Queen” and the ceremony was brought to an end.

Reports from the newspaper suggest several thousand people were there to witness the proclamation and the mayor ‘led the townspeople in three rousing cheers for her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II’.

But it wasn’t until the following year, after a traditional period of mourning, that the Queen was crowned in Westminster Abbey on 2nd June 1953. The Coronation ushered in a new period in Britain’s history, following on from her marriage to Prince Phillip in 1947, it gave the public a chance to celebrate moving forward from the dark days of the Second World War to a new era.   


The Coronation was celebrated around the county and many places produced souvenir booklets and special events for the residents to enjoy. Similar to the Platinum Jubilee this year taking place over 4 days, the Coronation celebrations took place over a week.

Some parishes even ran special competitions for the best garden and the best decorated house, issuing certificates for the 1st, 2nd and 3rd placed houses.


Children received a gift to celebrate the Coronation, depending on the age of the child these ranged from mugs and sweets to chocolate and propelling pencils. But it wasn’t only the children that received gifts, senior citizens were also included with many receiving a commemorative tea caddy filled with ½ lb of tea.


The Queen has continued to celebrate milestones in her reign, in 1977 she celebrated her Silver Jubilee reigning for 25 years. Similar to the Coronation, events taking place in London were televised to the nation. The Jubilee was celebrated around the world and street parties were organised.

In 2002, the Golden Jubilee was celebrated meaning the Queen had reigned for 50 years. The Jubilee commemorated the monarch’s reign but also celebrated her people and featured 6 key themes including ‘Celebration', 'Giving Thanks', 'Service', 'Involving the Whole Community', 'Looking Forward as Well as Back', and 'Commonwealth'. The Queen’s Award for Voluntary service was created for the Golden Jubilee and is still awarded every year for examples of outstanding voluntary work.


Fast forward another 10 years to 60 years on the throne and the Diamond Jubilee. Only once before has a monarch reached this milestone and that was the Queen’s Great-Great Grandmother, Queen Victoria, who celebrated her Diamond Jubilee in 1897.

In 2015 Queen Elizabeth became the longest ruling Britain Sovereign surpassing Queen Victoria who reigned for 63 years. On 6th February 2017 Queen Elizabeth became the first British monarch to celebrate a Sapphire Jubilee, which commemorated 65 years on the throne.

This year's Jubilee celebrations culminate in an extended Bank Holiday weekend when the nation can celebrate this historic milestone. Special beacons will be lit across the country as has been the tradition for the other Jubilees. 

So in years to come, what will you say when asked how did you celebrate this Platinum Jubilee? Who knows, your celebrations may end up in the archives for future generations to see.

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