Platinum Jubilee: How were other milestones in the Queen's reign celebrated?

·8 min read
The Queen has celebrated five Jubilees already, with the Platinum set to be her sixth. (Getty)
The Queen has celebrated five jubilees already, with the Platinum Jubilee set to be her sixth. (Getty)

Bunting is being unravelled, parties are being planned and Union flags are being hoisted as the UK gears up to host the Queen's Platinum Jubilee marking her record 70 years on the throne.

The 96-year-old monarch came to the throne in 1952, and has celebrated five jubilees.

Although not all of these have seen huge fanfare a tradition has developed throughout the 20th and 21st century of street parties and processions as the UK and Commonwealth come together in one giant celebration.

But how has the Royal Family, the UK and other Commonwealth countries celebrated previously – and how how has it changed over time?

Here Yahoo News UK looks at more than 40 years of jubilee history and traditions.

The Silver Jubilee

The 25th anniversary of the Queen's reign was the first of its kind to be celebrated by a British monarch since 1935, during the reign of the Queen's grandfather George V.

Read more: The Queen's 96th birthday: 9 key moments that have defined her reign

The Queen greets a group of brownies during her Silver Jubilee celebrations. (Getty)
The Queen greets a group of brownies during her Silver Jubilee celebrations. (Getty)

Celebrations went on throughout the year, with the official date of her ascension to the throne on 6 February commemorated with church services across the country and major parties held in June.

On 7 June, the Queen led a procession down The Mall to Buckingham Palace where an estimated million people turned up to see the Royal Family — with roughly 500 million watching on TV.

On the same day, parties were held across the country with every major city hosting a large celebration and thousands of smaller communities getting together to put on their own events.

A house in Fulham ready for the Silver Jubilee celebrations. (Getty)
A house in Fulham ready for the Silver Jubilee celebrations. (Getty)

Read more: Why does the Queen have two birthdays?

Street parties covered in bunting, Union flags, and pictures of the Queen popped up all across the UK, setting a precedent for all future jubilees.

London alone hosted more than 4,000 parties and roughly 10 million people attended one in the UK.

It wasn't all parties though, over three months the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh toured 36 countries across the world to mark the occasion.

Maori tribespeople welcome Queen Elizabeth ll during her Silver Jubilee visit to New Zealand. (Getty)
Maori tribespeople welcome the Queen during her Silver Jubilee visit to New Zealand. (Getty)

The world tour marked the largest distance travelled by any British monarch in such a short amount of time.

The occasion led to many landmarks being named after the jubilee, including London's Jubilee tube line.

The Golden Jubilee

2002 was a difficult year for the Queen with both her mother and sister dying in the first three months and some had suggested the 50-year celebrations would be less enthusiastic and widespread than previously.

Crowds on the Mall trying to get a glimpse of an RAF flypast during the Golden Jubilee celebrations. (Getty)
Crowds on the Mall trying to get a glimpse of an RAF flypast during the Golden Jubilee celebrations. (Getty)
The Queen's Golden Coach on its way to St. Pauls for the service to celebrate the Golden Jubilee. (Getty)
The Queen's Golden Coach on its way to St Paul's for the service to celebrate the Golden Jubilee. (Getty)

Read more: The great Jubilee Bake Off! Queen invites nation to invent new pudding for 70th celebration

However, large-scale events were indeed held throughout the UK and the rest of the Commonwealth.

The Queen attended all of the official events marking her reign in all of her realms leading to her travelling 40,000 miles in 12 months.

Traditional street parties were held across the UK. (Getty)
Traditional street parties were held across the UK. (Getty)
The bunting and flags were out in force in 2002. (Getty)
The bunting and flags were out in force in 2002. (Getty)

The celebrations in the UK were held from May to July, peaking in early June when more than a million people again came out to watch the procession of the Royal Family down the Mall.

The peak of the celebrations was the Party in the Palace on 3 June, which started with more than 200 towns broadcasting the Beatles song All You Need Is Love.

Union Flags projected onto the facade of Buckingham Palace at the Party at the Palace during the Golden Jubilee. (Getty)
Union Flags projected onto the facade of Buckingham Palace at the Party at the Palace during the Golden Jubilee. (Getty)
Sir Cliff Richard and S Club 7 on stage in the gardens of Buckingham Palace during the Golden Jubilee celebrations.
Sir Cliff Richard and S Club 7 on stage in the gardens of Buckingham Palace during the Golden Jubilee celebrations. (Getty)

Throughout the rest of the day, traditional street parties were held across the UK with a concert being held on the grounds of Buckingham Palace.

The show was aimed at celebrating the past 50 years of music in the UK, with appearances by Paul McCartney, Eric Clapton, Brian May and Cliff Richard.

An estimated 200 million watched the celebrations on TV.

Diamond Jubilee

The Queen's Diamond Jubilee was held in 2012, marking 60 years on the throne and only the second time in British history that a monarch had reached such a milestone after Queen Victoria.

Queen Elizabeth on the oldest built passenger ferry to ever operate on the Thames during the Diamond Jubilee. (Getty)
The Queen on the oldest built passenger ferry to ever operate on the Thames during the Diamond Jubilee. (Getty)
The 1,000 strong flotilla on the Thames during the Diamond Jubilee. (Getty)
The 1,000 strong flotilla on the Thames during the Diamond Jubilee. (Getty)

All the traditional events were held across the UK and the Commonwealth but this time the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh left the international touring to their children as the pair were now both in their late 80s.

One of the main celebratory events saw a giant pageant of boats sail along the River Thames on 3 June.

The international touring duties of the Royal Family fell onto the younger generations during the Diamond Jubilee. (Getty)
The international touring duties of the Royal Family fell onto the younger generations during the Diamond Jubilee. (Getty)
Prince William is welcomed Guadalcanal Island representing the Queen as part of the Diamond Jubilee. (Getty)
Prince William is welcomed Guadalcanal Island representing the Queen as part of the Diamond Jubilee. (Getty)

More than 1,000 boats took part in the procession – the largest flotilla seen on the river in 350 years.

Traditional parties were held in streets across the UK, although there were significantly fewer than in previous jubilees.

What is planned for the Platinum Jubilee?

Preparations for the Platinum Jubilee have been under way for months and this year's will culminate on Sunday 5 June.

Brits will be given two extra bank holidays — on Thursday 2 June and Friday 3 June.

Traditional street parties were held across the UK for the DIamond Jubilee. (Getty)
Traditional street parties were held across the UK for the Diamond Jubilee. (Getty)

A major military parade from all three wings of the armed forces will set out from Westminster Abbey with representatives from several Commonwealth nations present.

A special through-the-ages celebration featuring seven decades of music, fashion, trends, fads and culture from 1952 to 2022 will parade through London.

They will be joined by some 150 ‘national treasures’ – musicians, chefs, TV personalities, sportsmen and women and artists who have been pivotal to the culture over the last 70 years.

Several events have already been held in the UK for the Platinum Jubilee, such as this 41 Gun Salute on the Queen's birthday. (Getty)
Several events have already been held in the UK for the Platinum Jubilee, such as this 41 Gun Salute on the Queen's birthday. (Getty)

There will then be a procession marking the Queen's reign divided into 12 chapters, all with their own extravagant puppets, animals and performers.

A musical finale will take place around the Queen Victoria Memorial in front of Buckingham Palace, with a rendition of the national anthem and the nearby public invited to become part of the performance.

Members of the Royal Family have already been marking the Platinum Jubilee in the Commonwealth realms, as can be seen here with the Princess Royal on a visit to Papua New Guinea. (Getty)
Members of the Royal Family have already been marking the Platinum Jubilee in the Commonwealth realms, including the Princess Royal's visit to Papua New Guinea. (Getty)

Ed Sheeran will lead a special tribute to the Queen, with the royals most likely looking on from the balcony and the pop star joined by other stars and artists.

As with all previous jubilees, the government has encouraged people to apply for permission to host parties on their streets and various helper kits have been sent out across the country.

Prince Edward has visited the Caribbean as part of his Platinum Jubilee tour. 
(Getty)
Prince Edward has visited the Caribbean as part of his Platinum Jubilee tour. (Getty)

Several events have already been held in the UK and members of the Royal Family have been touring the Commonwealth to mark the Platinum Jubilee.

What is the history of the jubilees?

Jubilees have been celebrated for British monarchs since 1809, with the Golden Jubilee of George III, marking 50 years on the throne.

Since then major jubilees of all British monarchs have been recognised, with the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria being celebrated across the British Empire in 1897.

Street Party in London's East End in celebration of King George V Silver Jubilee, 3 May 1935. (Getty)
Street Party in London's East End in celebration of King George V Silver Jubilee, 3 May 1935. (Getty)

They do not follow a linear pattern of once per decade, rather they generally start at 25 years on the throne and again 40 years, then 50, 60, 65, and 70 years.

The Queen's Platinum Jubilee will be her sixth, but not all of them have been celebrated to the same extent.

The 1992 Ruby Jubilee — celebrating 40 years on the throne —was an official event but the Queen only made low-profile appearances and there were no widespread celebrations.

The Queen greets people during a tour of the UK during the Golden Jubilee. (Getty)
The Queen greets people during a tour of the UK during the Golden Jubilee. (Getty)

1992 was also the year of the Queen's "annus horribilis" (Latin for horrible year), which saw the Royal Family consumed by multiple scandals and a major fire in Windsor Castle.

In 2017, the Queen marked her Sapphire Jubilee after spending 65 years on the throne.

Like the Ruby Jubilee, it was a relatively low-key affair with only a few official events and no widespread public celebrations.

The Queen was the first British monarch to ever celebrate a Sapphire Jubilee.

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