What is a Platinum Jubilee? Inside long royal tradition of milestone celebrations

Royals: Queen 'saving up her energy' for Platinum Jubilee events

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The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee promises to be a spectacle like no one has seen before, and it will run over a four-day bank holiday this June. Here’s everything you need to know about the history of jubilees in Britain, and what is in store for the Queen’s Platinum celebrations later this year.

What is a Platinum Jubilee?

A Platinum Jubilee marks the sovereign’s 70 years on the throne, and no other monarch except Queen Elizabeth II has ever achieved such a feat in Britain.

In 2012, the Queen celebrated her Diamond Jubilee, while her Golden Jubilee was held in 2002 and her Silver Jubilee was in 1977.

And like the Queen’s previous jubilees, the Platinum Jubilee will be regarded as a national celebration.

This Platinum Jubilee will be marked by a four-day bank holiday weekend, which will include the sovereign’s traditional birthday parade Trooping the Colour on day one of the celebrations.

Although the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee year began on February 6, 2022, (the 70th anniversary of her father King George VI’s death), the Platinum Jubilee events will not take place until Thursday, June 2 to Sunday, June 5, 2022.

On June 2, the Queen’s annual birthday parade will see more than 1,400 parading soldiers, 200 horses and 400 musicians go on parade in central London, moving from Buckingham Palace down The Mall to Horse Guard’s Parade.

The lighting of beacons on this date will also follow a long-running Jubilee tradition, and it was a key feature of Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee in 1897.

A Service of Thanksgiving for the Queen’s long reign will be held on Friday, June 3 at St Paul’s Cathedral.

The Derby at Epsom Downs will take place on Saturday, June 4, and it is expected that Royal Family members will attend.

The Platinum Party at the Palace will also be staged and broadcast live by the BBC.

And the Platinum Jubilee Pageant is being held on the Sunday, and people are being invited to take part in the Big Jubilee Lunch in their communities.

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How many jubilees are there?

Traditionally a jubilee is celebrated to mark the following milestones:

  • Silver Jubilee – 25th anniversary
  • Ruby Jubilee – 40th anniversary
  • Golden Jubilee – 50th anniversary
  • Diamond Jubilee – 60th anniversary
  • Sapphire Jubilee – 65th anniversary
  • Platinum Jubilee – 70th anniversary

Jubilees have been held in Britain since the reign of King George III, who was the first British monarch to mark his 50 years on the throne with a Golden Jubilee.

Is the Queen the longest-serving monarch in history?

The Queen’s reign is not the longest ever recorded globally, as three sovereigns including Johann II of Liechtenstein, Bhumibol Adulyadej (Rama IX) of Thailand and Louis XIV of France reigned for longer.

To become the longest-reigning monarch in history, the Queen will need to surpass Louis’ record of 72 years and 110 days.

He died aged 76 in 1715, and his reign began when he was just four years old and his mother acted as regent for several years.

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