Queen Elizabeth II will be the first British monarch to celebrate a platinum jubilee
Queen Elizabeth II will soon become the first British monarch to celebrate a platinum jubilee – 70 years on the throne.
While the Queen was crowned at Westminster Abbey in 1953, her accession to the throne actually took place a year earlier, in February 1952.
That’s all you need to know.
When was the Queen’s accession?
Princess Elizabeth acceded to the throne aged 25 after the death of her father, King George VI, on February 6, 1952. She had been the eldest of the king’s two daughters and was thus the next heir to the throne.
The King’s death came after a long illness and he died while he was asleep at the royal estate at Sandringham.
The Queen had been in Kenya during this time and subsequently became the first sovereign to join from abroad in over 200 years.
When was the coronation?
While the Queen’s accession to the throne took place in February 1952, her coronation did not take place for a while, on 2 June 1953 at Westminster Abbey. So while she ascended the throne at 25, she was crowned at age 27.
The royal family explains: “The coronation of the new sovereign comes a few months after his or her accession to the throne, after a period of mourning and as a result of the enormous preparations required to organize the ceremony.”
The coronation was by Dr. Geoffrey Fisher, Archbishop of Canterbury, and attended by notables such as the Prime Minister and citizens of other Commonwealth countries, as well as representatives of foreign states.
More than 20 million people watched the service as it was televised at the Queen’s request. While the day was plagued by heavy rain, many spectators watched the parade along the route.
The ceremony began at 11:15 am and lasted almost three hours, with the service divided into six parts: the Recognition, the Oath, the Anointing, the Investiture (including the Coronation), the Enthronement and the Homage.
She became the sixth queen and 39th sovereign to be crowned at Westminster Abbey.
In 2013, the Queen celebrated the 60th anniversary of her coronation, which was marked with a celebration in the gardens of Buckingham Palace hosted by the Royal Warrant Holders Association.
What is the platinum anniversary?
The Platinum Jubilee marks the Queen’s 70th anniversary. While Sunday 6 February would technically mark the date the Queen ascended the throne, it is not a date the Queen wishes to celebrate as it is also the date of her father’s death.
The Platinum Jubilee will therefore take place later this year on Friday 3 June, with the Queen becoming the first British monarch to be accorded such an event.
She became the longest-reigning British monarch in 2015 when she surpassed the previous record holder – her great-great-grandmother Victoria.
In 2017, Queen Elizabeth II celebrated her 65th anniversary on the throne with her Sapphire Jubilee, which she is the only British monarch to have achieved.
What is planned for the Platinum Jubilee?
The May 1st bank holiday weekend will be moved to Thursday 2nd June with an additional bank holiday on Friday 3rd June to introduce a four day weekend celebrating the Platinum Anniversary.
Thursday 2nd June sees the Queen’s Birthday Parade, also known as Trooping the Colour, with over 1,400 parading soldiers, 200 horses and 400 musicians coming together in the traditional parade to celebrate the Queen’s official birthday.
Also on Thursday, over 1,500 bonfires will be lit across the UK, Channel Islands, Isle of Man and British Overseas Territories, as is tradition to mark events such as royal anniversaries, weddings and coronations.
A Thanksgiving service for the Queen’s reign will be held at St. Paul’s Cathedral on Friday.
On Saturday 4 June, the Queen will attend the Derby at Epsom Downs alongside members of the Royal Family. The BBC will also broadcast a Platinum Party at the Palace, which will bring together some of the biggest names in entertainment to celebrate the Queen’s seven decades on the throne.
Finally, on Sunday June 5th, the public is encouraged to attend the Big Anniversary Dinner where communities celebrate their connections and get to know each other a little better in a spirit of fun and friendship.
Also on Sunday, June 5th, the Platinum Jubilee Contest will conclude the Platinum Jubilee celebrations.
Against the backdrop of Buckingham Palace and the surrounding streets, a pageant is attended by over 5,000 people from across the UK and Commonwealth.
Featuring street art, theatre, music, circus, carnival and costume, it will celebrate service to the Queen’s reign and honor the collective service of people and communities across the country.