Queen Victoria’s Jubilee Celebrations

This year, the Queen became the first British Monarch to celebrate her Platinum Jubilee, and the series of celebrations earlier this month had their roots in the Queen’s earlier Jubilee Celebrations, which were directly inspired by Queen Victoria’s Golden and Diamond Jubilee Celebrations on this day in 1887 and 1897 (135 and 125 years ago)!

Silver Jubilee | Golden Jubilee | Diamond Jubilee | Platinum Jubilee

Golden Jubilee

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Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee was the first major celebration of the Queen’s Reign since her Coronation, and was only the second ever Golden Jubilee ever celebrated. Queen Victoria began the 20th of June at Windsor, before travelling to Buckingham Palace for a Luncheon followed by a Garden Party. She wrote in her diary:

The day has come, & I am alone, though surrounded by many dear Children. I am writing after a very fatiguing day, in the Garden at Buckingham Palace, where I used to sit so often in former happy days. 50 years ago today since I came to the throne. God has mercifully sustained me through many great trials & sorrows….”

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In the evening, the Queen and Royal Family hosted a Banquet for 50 Foreign Kings and Princes, along with Colonial Royalty, which was also described:

Had a large family dinner. All the Royalties assembled in the Bow Room, and we dined in the Supper-room, which looked splendid with the buffet covered with the gold plate. The table was a large horseshoe one, with many lights on it. The King of Denmark took me in, and Willy of Greece sat on my other side. The Princes were all in uniform, and the Princesses were all beautifully dressed. Afterwards we went into the Ballroom, where my band played.”

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The following day, the Queen was part of a procession through London to Westminster Abbey, refusing to wear a Crown or Tiara and instead wearing a bonnet. Following a Service of Thanksgiving at Westminster Abbey, the Queen and Royal Family appeared on the Balcony of Buckingham Palace, ahead of her donning a gown embroidered with silver roses, thistles and shamrocks for a Banquet, which was followed by a Firework Display in the Palace Garden. Described:

This very eventful day has come & is passed. It will be very difficult to describe it, but all went off admirably….The morning was beautiful & bright with a fresh air. Troops began passing early, with Bands playing, & one heard constant cheering. The crowds from the Palace gates up to the Abbey were enormous, & there was such an extraordinary outburst of enthusiasm as I have hardly ever seen in London before, all the people seemed to be in such good humour. The old Chelsea Pensioners were in a stand near the Arch. The decorations along Piccadilly were quite beautiful & there were most touching inscriptions. Seats & platforms were arranged up to the tops of the houses, & such waving of hands. Piccadilly, Regent Street & Pall Mall were alike, most festively decorated. Many schools out & many well-known faces were seen…God save the Queen was played & then changed to Handel’s Occasional Overture, as I was led slowly up the Nave & Choir, which looked beautiful all filled with people….I sat alone oh! without my beloved Husband (for whom this would have been such a proud day!)…The service was very well done & arranged. The ‘Te Deum’ by my darling Albert sounded beautiful, & the anthem by Dr Bridge was fine, especially the way in which the National Anthem & dear Albert’s Chorale were worked in. Dr Stainer’s beautiful ‘Amen’ at the end of the service, was most impressive….The noise of the crowd, which began yesterday went on till late. Felt truly grateful that all had passed off so admirably & this never to be forgotten day, will always leave the most gratifying & heart stirring memoirs behind”

Diamond Jubilee

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Beginning with a Service at St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle on June 20th, the public celebrations began two days later, on the 22nd, with a Procession from Buckingham Palace to St Paul’s Cathedral, where the Service of Thanksgiving was held on the Cathedral Steps, followed by a six-mile procession. Other celebrations included a Garden Party at Buckingham Palace and a Banquet for the dignitaries from around the Empire, though there were much fewer foreign royal guests. The Queen wrote:

No one ever, I believe, has met with such an ovation as was given to me, passing through those six miles of streets… so the crowds were quite indescribable, and their enthusiasm truly marvellous and deeply touching. The cheering was quite deafening, and every face seemed to be filled with real joy’

Silver Jubilee | Golden Jubilee | Diamond Jubilee | Platinum Jubilee

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