What is a ‘platinum jubilee’?
A jubilee is an anniversary to mark an important event such as the accession of a monarch to the throne. Names of valuable materials are often given to special anniversaries. For example, silver is used for a 25th anniversary, gold is for a 50th anniversary and platinum for a 70th. A platinum jubilee, which Queen Elizabeth II is celebrating in 2022, marks 70 years of her reign.
Learn more about what is the Platinum Jubilee here: BBC 6 minute English
When are the official Platinum Jubilee events?
Here is the rundown of what will happen as the nation pays tribute to the Queen’s 70 years as sovereign:
Thursday June 2
10am – The Queen’s Birthday Parade, Trooping the Colour, begins
10.30am – Members of the royal family leave Buckingham Palace for the parade ground
The military spectacle will be followed by a balcony appearance by the Queen, it is hoped, plus key royals including the Cambridge children, to watch a special flypast
9.25pm – Members of the Royal Family arrive to watch the lighting of the principal beacon at the palace – a 21-metre tall Tree of Trees sculpture.
More than 3,000 beacons are being lit across the UK and the Commonwealth
Friday June 3
11am – The royal family begin to arrive at the service of thanksgiving in St Paul’s Cathedral
12.25pm – Members of the Royal Family afterwards attend a Guildhall reception hosted by the Lord Mayor
Saturday June 4
5.30pm – The Epsom Derby race takes place. The Queen and her family are expected to head to the racecourse on Derby Day, where the monarch is due to be greeted with a guard of honour made of up to 40 of her past and present jockeys
7.40pm – Members of the Royal Family arrive at the BBC’s Platinum Party at the Palace concert
8pm-10.30pm – The open-air concert in front of the palace – featuring stars including Queen + Adam Lambert, Alicia Keys, Duran Duran and Diana Ross – is broadcast live on BBC One
Sunday June 5
Street parties and Big Jubilee Lunches are staged across the country
2.30pm-5pm – The Jubilee Pageant takes place in central London, with a 3km carnival procession featuring a cast of thousands including puppets, celebrities and tributes to the seven decades of the Queen’s reign
It will move down The Mall and past the palace
The finale will feature a performance by Ed Sheeran and the singing of the national anthem in front of the Queen’s official residence
Why is the Platinum Jubilee bank holiday in June?
The Platinum Jubilee bank holiday falls almost four months after Elizabeth II celebrated the 70th anniversary of her accession on 6 February 2022. However, that also marked 70 years since the death of her father, King George VI, and was therefore not an occasion she wanted to celebrate.
The first week of June was therefore chosen for the Platinum Jubilee weekend, just like the Queen’s Golden and Diamond Jubilees, with the summer month offering a better chance of good weather. The bank holiday for the jubilee is on Friday 3 June. To create the four-day weekend, the late May spring bank holiday has been moved to Thursday 2 June.
George VI – who became king unexpectedly after the abdication of his brother, Edward VIII – died in his sleep at Sandringham on 6 February 1952. Elizabeth II was announced as his successor. She was aged just 25 at the time, and was on a visit to Kenya with Price Philip. She is now 96, and recently celebrated her birthday. Her coronation did not take place until 2 June 1953, after a period of mourning. The King had been battling ill health and failed to recover from a lung operation. His body was discovered by a valet at 7.30am. At 10.45am, it was announced: “The King, who retired to rest last night in his usual health, passed peacefully away in his sleep early this morning.
Links to articles and videos
- Why are this weekend’s events so important for the UK? Article on Euronews website
- An article about the Queen’s corgis : BBC NEWS
- Reading text and exercises on the British Council website