Queen Elizabeth II will soon become the first ever British monarch to mark a Platinum Jubilee, during which she will celebrate seven decades on the throne.
This is everything you need to know about the Platinum Jubilee happening in June - and what events are planned to celebrate the occasion.
When is the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee?
While Saturday 6 February technically marked the date that the Queen ascended to the throne, it also is the anniversary of the death of her father, King George VI, and therefore is known as a date the Queen does not wish to celebrate.
Instead, the Platinum Jubilee will take place on Friday 3 June, 2022, much like the Queen’s Golden and Diamond Jubilees, with the summer month additionally offering a better chance of good weather.
While the Royal website says that the anniversary will be celebrated with events “throughout the year”, the celebrations for the historic Jubilee will culminate in a four day UK bank holiday weekend.
The date will celebrate the Queen’s 70th anniversary on the throne, and she will be the first ever British monarch to mark a Platinum Jubilee.
Queen Elizabeth II became the longest reigning British monarch on 9 September 2015, when she surpassed the previous record set by her great-great-grandmother Victoria.
Will there be an extra bank holiday?
Brits will indeed enjoy an extra bank holiday in 2022 in honour of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.
It was announced in 2021 by the Government that 2022 would see an extra bank holiday, from Thursday 2 June to Sunday 5 June.
A tweet from the official Royal Family Twitter account said: “The extended bank holiday weekend will see public events and community activities, as well as national moments of reflection on the Queen’s 70 years of service.”
What events will be taking place?
This is the full breakdown of events that will be taking place to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, over the course of the four day bank holiday as well as throughout the rest of the year.
Thursday 2 June
The Queen’s birthday parade, also known as Trooping the Colour, will take place, featuring over 1,400 parading soldiers, 200 horses and 400 musicians coming together in the traditional parade to mark the Queen’s official birthday.
Starting at Buckingham Palace, the parade will move down The Mall to Horse Guards Palace, joined by members of the royal family on horseback and in carriages.
The parade will end with the traditional RAF fly-past, watched by the Queen and the royal family from the Buckingham Palace balcony.
Trooping the Colour will be broadcast live, but if you’re looking to catch the event in person, tickets were made available to apply for on the week commencing 17 January 2022. You can apply via the Army website.
Also on Thursday 2 June, the UK’s long standing tradition of celebrating Royal Jubilees, Weddings and Coronations with the lighting of beacons will take place to mark the Platinum Jubilee.
Over 1,500 beacons will be lit throughout the UK, Channel Islands, Isle of Man and UK Overseas Territories.
To celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, beacons, for the first time, will be lit in each of the capital cities of the Commonwealth countries. The Principal beacon will also be lit in a special ceremony at Buckingham Palace.
Friday 3 June
A service of Thanksgiving for the Queen’s reign will be held at St Paul’s Cathedral. Marking the occasion, The Great Paul, the largest church bell in the country, will be rung for the service.
The bell was made in 1882, however it fell silent in the 1970s due to a broken mechanism. It was since restored in 2021 and has been run on eight occasions since - but the Platinum Jubilee service will be the first royal occasion it will ring for.
The service will be held on the morning of Friday 3 June and, according to the St Paul’s website, will include “bible readings, anthems, prayers and congregational hymns, expressing thankfulness for the Queen’s reign, faith and service; desire to foster unity and peace amongst all peoples; and commitment to care for God’s creation”.
It will also include a new Anthem by Judith Weir, Master of the Queen’s Music, which “sets to music words from the third Chapter of the Book of Proverbs”.
Saturday 4 June
The Queen, accompanied by members of the royal family, will attend the Derby at Epsom Downs.
Also on Saturday is the “Platinum Party at the Palace”. The BBC will stage and broadcast a special live concert from Buckingham Palace, which will bring together some of the world’s biggest names in entertainment to celebrate the Queen’s seven decade reign.
Kirsty Young and Roman Kemp will lead live coverage of the Platinum Party at the Palace on BBC One, iPlayer and the entire BBC network.
Young said: “I’m delighted to be back on the BBC for such an historic, unique, and happy event. It’s going to be quite a weekend and our coverage will bring viewers everywhere a front row seat at the celebrations. I can’t wait!”
Sunday 5 June
Every year since the idea was launched in 2009, The Big Jubilee Lunch has encouraged communities to celebrate their connections and get to know each other a bit better, in the spirit of fun and friendship.
In 2022, the Big Jubilee Lunch will bring the Jubilee celebrations into the heart of every community.
Members of the public are invited to share friendship, food and fun with their neighbours as part of the Platinum Jubilee celebrations. The royal family says that “a Big Jubilee Lunch can be big or small - street party or picnic, tea and cake or a garden barbeque”.
Also taking place on Sunday 5 June to wrap up the Platinum Jubilee celebrations is the Platinum Jubilee Pageant.
A pageant of over 5,000 people from across the UK and the Commonwealth will take place against the backdrop of Buckingham Palace, and the surrounding streets.
It will feature street arts, theatre, music, circus, carnival and costume, and celebrate the service of the Queen’s reign, as well as honouring the collective service of people and communities across the country.
Forming an important part of the Platinum Pageant is the “River of Hope” section which will see two hundred silk flags move down The Mall, appearing like a moving river. Primary and secondary school children have been invited to create a picture of their hopes and aspirations for the planet over the next 70 years, with a selection of these creations to be transferred onto the flags.
Is there a Platinum Jubilee commemorative medal?
In keeping with tradition, a Platinum Jubilee medal will be awarded to those who work in the public services, including representatives of the Armed Forces, the emergency services and the prison services.
The Platinum Jubilee medal follows a long history of awarding medals to mark Royal Jubilees, with the first one ever to be awarded tracing back to the 50th anniversary of Queen Victoria’s reign in 1887.
The Platinum Jubilee medal has been designed by Timothy Noad, of the College of Arms, and features an image of the Queen with the Latin inscription: “Elizabeth II Dei Gratia Regina Fed Def”, which stands for: “Elizabeth II, By the Grace of God, Queen, Defender of the Faith”.
The medal will be awarded to:
- Serving members of the Armed Forces that have complete five full calendar years of service on 6 February 2022
- Frontline emergency services personnel that have been in paid service, retained or in a voluntary capacity, dealing with emergencies as apart of their conditions of service, and have completed five full calendar years of service on 6 February 2022
- Prison services personnel who are publicly employed and are regularly exposed to difficult and sometimes emergency situations that have completed five full calendar years of service of 6 February 2022
- Members of the Royal Household with one year of qualifying service
- Living individual recipients of the George Cross
- Living individual recipients of the Victoria Cross
Will there be celebrations at the Queen’s private estates?
Celebrations will be held at the Queen’s private estates, Sandringham and Balmoral, for locals and visitors to enjoy.
Events will be free for members of the public to take part in over the bank holiday weekend, including a “Platinum Party at the Palace” on the big screen in the Royal Parkland at Sandringham, a live screening of the BBC concert celebrating moments from the Queen’s seven decade long reign.
The lighting of the Sandringham beacon will also be held in the Royal Parkland, accompanied by live music from the Norwich Pipe Band and the Hunstanton Band.
What are the special displays?
From July 2022, three special displays marking significant moments from the Queen’s reign - the Accession, the Coronation and Jubilees - will be staged at the official royal residences.
At the Summer Opening of the State Rooms at Buckingham Palace, portraits of the Queen which were taken by photographer Dorothy Wilding between 1953 and 1956 will be on display, as well as items of the Queen’s personal jewellery that was worn for the sittings.
At Windsor Castle, the Coronation dress and Robe of Estate worn by the Queen for her coronation on 2 June 1953 will be on display, and at the Palace of Holyroodhouse, visitors will be able to view outfits worn by the Queen on occasions like the Silver, Golden and Diamond Jubilees.