This is the fourth major anniversary of Elizabeth II‘s reign – here’s what the main names of the anniversary are and how other British monarchs have celebrated important milestones.
How Many Years is a Platinum Anniversary?
This is the first time a British monarch is marking a platinum anniversary, and only a handful of leaders around the world have reached the milestone.
The last was Bhumibol Adulyadej, the late King of Thailand, who passed 70 years on the throne in 2016.
Anniversary names will be familiar to many as they follow the same convention as those commonly used to denote significant wedding days.
It is believed that this gift tradition “originated in the late 19th century, during the Victorian era,” said historian and author Stepahnie Coontz Time magazine.
But the celebration of royal anniversaries precedes this, with the first recorded memorial ceremonies coming during the reign of George III, Queen Victoria’s grandfather.
He marked his golden anniversary, the 50th anniversary of his accession, in 1809 with celebrations in both Britain and the colonies, including a private worship service and fireworks in Windsor.
It is not known if significant commemorations were held to mark the 50th anniversary of his longtime predecessors Henry III, Edward III and James VI / I.
As the longest-serving monarch before Elizabeth II, Queen Victoria marked two significant anniversaries: her golden jubilee in 1887 and her diamond jubilee in 1897.
The festivities included royal banquets attended by foreign rulers and military processions through London.
Elizabeth II has had three major anniversaries – her silver jubilee in 1977, her gold jubilee in 2002 and her diamond jubilee in 2012.
The Queen’s ruby and sapphire anniversaries in 1992 and 2017, respectively, were celebrated in a more modest way.
Here is when the most important anniversaries are traditionally celebrated:
- Silver anniversary: 25 years anniversary
- Ruby Jubilee: 40 years anniversary
- Gold anniversary: 50 years anniversary
- Diamond anniversary: 60 years anniversary
- Sapphire Anniversary: 65 years anniversary
- Platinum Anniversary: 70 years anniversary
When’s the Queen’s Platinum Anniversary?
70th anniversary of The Queen’s accession to the throne falls on February 6, 2022.
But since it also marks 70 years since her father, King George VI, died, the date is therefore not a date that the monarch wants to celebrate.
The first week of June is therefore chosen for the platinum anniversary weekend, just like the Queen’s gold and diamond anniversaries, where the summer month offers a better chance of good weather.
To create the four day long weekend, that the end of May spring holiday is moved to Thursday, June 2nd, with the extra The Queen’s anniversary holiday was held on Friday, June 3rd.
Here is the full calendar of events taking place for the Queen’s Platinum Anniversary:
- January 10: “Platinum Pudding Competition”: The contest invites members of the public to make a right to dedicate to the Queen’s reign.
- 12.-15. May: Platinum Anniversary Celebration: More than 500 horses and 1,000 artists will take part in a 90-minute show that takes the Windsor Castle audience through history from Elizabeth I to the present day.
- Holiday – June 2: The Queen’s Birthday Parade (Trooping the Color): The color will be trooped to the Horse Guards Parade by 1st Battalion, Irish Guards and over 1,200 officers and soldiers from the Household Division who will line up. Sandringham and Balmoral will also be open to residents and visitors to enjoy the festivities throughout the holidays.
- Platinum Jubilee Beacons: Britain joins the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man and the British overseas territories to light a lighthouse to mark the anniversary. Principal Beacon will also be lit at a ceremony at Buckingham Palace.
- June 3: Thanksgiving service: The Service of Thanksgiving for the Queen’s reign will be held in St Paul’s Cathedral.
- June 4: Platinum party at the castle: Some of the world’s greatest entertainers are billed to perform at the Buckingham Palace concert to celebrate the most significant moments of the Queen’s reign.
- June 5: Big anniversary lunch: Street parties are being planned across the UK and neighbors are expected to join in for food and fun to celebrate the platinum anniversary. It will mark the end of the holiday.
- Platinum Anniversary Competition: Artists will meet in London to tell the story of the Queen’s reign through an event that will include a “River of Hope” section consisting of 200 silk flags that will make their way through The Mall and appear like a river in motion .
- July: The Royal Fundraising Fund: Three exhibitions marking the Queen’s accession to the throne, the coronation and the anniversaries will be set up at Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle and the Palace of Holyroodhouse.
Further reporting from the Press Association