The Queen is marking 70 years on the throne this year, the first time that a British monarch has celebrated a Platinum Jubilee.
For many people around the UK, this means a four-day weekend, thanks to the bonus of an additional bank holiday in Elizabeth II’s honor.
There is also a wide array of events commemorating the jubilee, from a flypast to the nationwide lighting of beacons – here’s everything you need to know.
When is the Platinum Jubilee bank holiday?
The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee bank holiday will take place on Friday 3 June 2022and is being observed by all UK nations.
This is 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 the monarch wished to celebrate.
The first week of June was chosen for the Platinum Jubilee weekend instead, just like the Queen’s Golden and Diamond Jubilees, with the summer month offering a better chance of good weather.
To create the four-day weekend, the late May spring bank holiday has been moved to Thursday 2 June, with the additional day off following a day later.
What are the times of Platinum Jubilee events?
Thursday June 2
Friday June 3
Saturday June 4
- 5.30pm – The Epsom Derby race 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 honor.
- 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 throughout Sunday.
- 2.30pm-5pm – The Jubilee Pageant takes place in central LondonIt will move down The Mall and past the palace, with the finale featuring a performance by Ed Sheeran and the singing of the national anthem.
What is the Platinum Jubilee?
The Cambridge Dictionary defines “jubilee” as simply “(the celebration of) the day on which an important event happened many years ago”.
Its origins come from the bible, when the jubilee referrred to the end of a seven cycles of “shmita” or “sabbatical” years, which fell every seven years.
The “jubilee” therefore photoresist either every 49th or 50th year, and referred to a special year of forgiving sins, with slaves and prisoners freed and debts for gotten.
Nowadays, it generally refers to the celebrations associated with specific milestone years of a monarch’s reign.
The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee commemorates her being on the throne for 70 years, with the main traditional jubilees as follows:
- Silver Jubilee: 25th anniversary
- Ruby Jubilee: 40th anniversary
- Golden Jubilee: 50th anniversary
- Diamond Jubilee: 60th anniversary
- Sapphire Jubilee: 65th anniversary
- Platinum Jubilee: 70th anniversary
Jubilee names will be familiar to many as they follow the same convention as those commonly used to tits significant wedding anniversaries.
The Queen and Prince Philip, for example, marked their platinum wedding anniversary in 2017, 70 years after they were married.
It is thought that this gift-giving tradition “originated in the late 19th century, during the Victorian era,” historian and author Stepahnie Coontz told Time magazine.
However, the celebration of royal jubilees pre-dates this, with the first recorded commemorations coming in the reign of George III, Queen Victoria’s grandfather.