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Queen Elizabeth Marks 70 Years on Throne with Platinum Jubilee – Lesson

platinum jubilee britain

Queen Elizabeth II (Photo by Mark Cuthbert/UK Press via Getty Images)

The British monarch is one of the longest reigning in the world.

The United States may have declared its independence from Britain in 1776, but royal fans around the world are now celebrating the 70th year of Queen Elizabeth II’s reign.

A big party – called a “jubilee” – is taking place in Britain and other regions ruled by the Royal Family to celebrate the anniversary. 2022 is the year of the Platinum Jubilee, which celebrates the queen’s 70 years on the throne.

The Platinum Jubilee year actually began in February, but Britain is holding a special four-day weekend from June 2 – June 5 to celebrate. Lots of events are scheduled, including street parties, performances, and parades.

A Long Reign

According to the Royal Collection Trust:

“A jubilee is a celebration of the life and reign of a monarch. Rather than happening every year, Jubilees only mark significant milestones, making them more special. Each Jubilee has a name, used to reflect a certain length of time:

london england platinum jubilee

(Photo by David Mbiyu/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Silver Jubilee: marks 25 years on the throne

Ruby Jubilee: 40 years

Golden Jubilee: 50 years

Diamond Jubilee: 60 years

Sapphire Jubilee: 65 years

Platinum Jubilee: 70 years”

Queen Victoria was the first British monarch to celebrate a Diamond Jubilee (in 1897), while Elizabeth II is the first to have a Platinum Jubilee, as she is the only British monarch who has stayed on the throne for seven decades. She is the longest-reigning British monarch, and the third-longest reigning monarch in world history.

Elizabeth began her time as queen of the United Kingdom and 14 other Commonwealth Realms on February 6, 1952. She was given the role upon the death of her father, King George IV. However, it wasn’t until June 2, 1953, that she had her coronation.

Jubilee Celebrations

Jubilee events actually began earlier this year, with such events as:

platinum jubilee britain

Prince Charles, Prince of Wales and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge ride horseback during Trooping The Colour (Photo by Samir Hussein/WireImage)

Platinum Pudding Competition: A contest to decide the official dessert of the celebrations. The winner was a lemon and Swiss roll amaretti trifle. A trifle is a typical British dish made by layering ingredients, normally including jelly, fruit, sponge cake, and custard.

A Gallop Through History: A show, including 500 horses and 1,000 performers, that depicted a history from the time of Queen Elizabeth I to the modern day.

The main celebrations are taking place over the June long weekend, however. Some of the key events include:

Trooping the Colour: Marking the start of the occasion was the “Trooping the Colour” parade, which is actually held for the queen’s birthday each year. This year, it took place June 2. It was a military procession, with more than 1,400 soldiers, 200 horses, and 400 musicians taking part. The troops who participated belong to the Household Regiment, who make up the queen’s personal guards. The parade ended with an 85-gun salute and a flyover by Royal Air Force planes and helicopters.

Lighting the Beacons: A chain of beacons was lit across the United Kingdom and the British Commonwealth, to symbolize unity across the realm.

Service of Thanksgiving: A service was given at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London to give thanks for the queen’s reign. Great Paul, the biggest church bell in England, was rung for the occasion.

Platinum Party at the Palace concert: A concert at Buckingham Palace, with star singers and other celebrities joining the show.

platinum jubilee britain

Jubilee street party. (Photo by Finnbarr Webster/Getty Images)

Big Jubilee Lunches and other street parties: Over ten million people across the UK are expected to participate in local street parties, lunches, royal-themed activities, and performances. As well, over 600 parties are planned in more than 80 countries.

Platinum Jubilee Pageant: For the final event of the weekend, 10,000 performers will parade down the streets of London to Buckingham Palace. Circus performers, gymnasts, puppeteers, and other artists will commemorate key events in the queen’s life. Singer Ed Sheeran will sing the national anthem, “God Save the Queen,” to close the celebration.

End of an Era?

Even though Britain, and the world, have changed a lot over the last 70 years, the queen has generally been popular among the British people. A 2020 survey by YouGov named her the third most admired woman in the world, while another poll showed her to be the most liked member of the Royal Family.

After seven decades on the throne, you can imagine that Queen Elizabeth is getting older. She is 96 years old and has been stepping back from official duties. Some suggest the Platinum Jubilee will be her last major celebration as queen, and that she may plan to soon hand the throne over to her son, Prince Charles. If so, there may be some big changes coming to the British monarchy.