This year, Queen Elizabeth II will be celebrating 70 years of her reign, also known as the Platinum Jubilee. 70 years is an impressive amount of time to sit on the throne! As such, the UK will be celebrating in style.
For those unfamiliar with Britain’s Royal Family or the United Kingdom’s head of state, Expat Explore has put together a quick guide to the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee and all of the celebrations that come along with it.
The Platinum Jubilee marks 70 years of Queen Elizabeth II’s reign. She is the first British monarch to celebrate a Platinum Jubilee and officially the longest-reigning monarch in UK history. In fact, she is only a few years behind Louis XIV of France who is the world’s longest-reigning monarch! King Louis XIV spent 72 years on the throne from 1643 to 1715. Close behind are Johann II of Liechtenstein and Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand, both with 70-year reigns under their belts.
Queen Elizabeth II became monarch in 1952 at the age of 25 following the untimely death of her father King George VI. Since then, she has ruled and represented the United Kingdom for a whopping seven decades.
Did you know? The Queen has presided over 14 British Prime Ministers and has met 13 out of 14 US presidents? That’s quite a lifetime!
To celebrate this impressive royal milestone, there will be a four-day holiday weekend. Celebrations are scheduled from 2 – 5 June. This is near the time of the Queen’s official birthday celebration which traditionally takes place on the second Saturday of June. Friday, 3 June is a bank holiday (British terminology for a public holiday). In addition to this, the May spring bank holiday has been moved to 2 June, creating an extra long weekend! A variety of Jubilee events, public celebrations, community activities and parties are in the works.
While the anniversary of the Queen’s coronation falls on 6 February, events are set to take place in June. This is because summer offers the possibility of better weather! The same thing happens for the Queen’s annual birthday celebrations. Although her actual birthday is on 21 April, she marks her official birthday in June with the annual Trooping the Colour event.
Several official Jubilee events are planned for the June bank holiday weekend while many public events and community activities will take place in the weeks leading up to the 70 year celebrations.
The annual Trooping the Colour event, also known as the Queen’s Birthday Parade, is taking place at Buckingham Palace in London on Thursday, 2 June. 1,400 parading soldiers, 200 horses and 400 musicians are part of the procession that travels down The Mall to the Horse Guards Parade. Also joining are members of the Royal Family (on horseback and in carriages). The traditional RAF fly-past will also take place with the Queen watching from the balcony of Buckingham Palace. The event is open to the public and will also be broadcast live on BBC One.
There will be a Service of Thanksgiving for the Queen’s reign at St Paul’s Cathedral on Friday, 3 June. The following day, on Saturday 4 June, the Queen and members of the Royal Family will attend the Derby at Epsom Downs racecourse while, in the evening, the BBC Platinum Party at the Palace takes place at Buckingham Palace.
On Sunday 5 June, communities across the UK can participate in the Big Jubilee Lunch. People are encouraged to get together and host celebrations in their homes and neighbourhoods. In London, on the same day, the Platinum Jubilee Pageant takes place. The event will tell the story of the Queen’s 70 year reign and will feature four acts including several British national treasures . Look forward to appearances from Sir Cliff Richard, childhood favourite Basil Brush and more!
Visit Windsor Castle from 12 – 15 May for a “Gallop through History” performance involving 500 horses and 1,000 performers.
The public can also get involved in the Queen’s Green Canopy and plant a tree in honour of the Jubilee. Another great event to get involved in is the Platinum Pudding Competition. The nationwide baking competition aims to find a pudding recipe “fit for queen”! Dame Mary Berry is one of the judges so you can be confident the winning dish will be delicious!
The Queen, of course! Many other members of the Royal Family will attend various events throughout the weekend.
Travel tip! You could experience the celebrations yourself on our Best of UK & Ireland tour which embarks from London on 4 June 2022. There are departures throughout May, June and July available for this tour and the Great Britain tour if you are in the mood for an upcoming trip and aren’t booked on one of our tours already!
Now that you’ve read this quick guide to the Platinum Jubilee 2022, you should be ready to celebrate! If you’re in the UK, be sure to enjoy the revelry in person. Alternatively, a visit to the UK at any time of the year is always a wonderful idea! Take a look at our UK and Ireland tours and learn more about planning a trip to these fantastic destinations with our Travel Talk webinars!
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