Queen Elizabeth II will become the first British monarch in history to celebrate a Platinum Jubilee, marking 70 years of service to the people of the United Kingdom, the Realms and the Commonwealth.
It’s been seven decades since the Queen ascended to the throne at the age of 25 following the death of her father, George VI. During this time, she has modernized the monarchy and commanded the world stage with her intelligent, calm and focused energy. She has used fashion, from her clothes to her jewelry, to create an image that is inviolable, confident and purposeful — among many other accomplishments through the years.
Last month, Queen Elizabeth reached another milestone: she is now the third longest-reigning monarch in world history. She has surpassed Johann II of Liechtenstein, who ruled for 70 years and 91 days before dying in Oct. 2016. She could move up the list again in the matter of days and take the second spot from Thailand’s King Bhumibol Adulyadej, who reigned for 70 years and 126 days.
The longest-reigning monarch, however, is King Louis XIV of France, who ruled for 72 years and 110 days.
To mark her Platinum Jubilee, Queen Elizabeth II wrote a heartfelt note in February renewing her pledge to devote her life to service. She expressed a sense of “hope and optimism” for the year ahead as she reflected on the advancements of the past 70 years.
“These last seven decades have seen extraordinary progress socially, technologically and culturally that has benefited us all,” The Queen wrote. At the end of the note, The Queen also sent an important message: It is her wish that when Prince Charles becomes king, Camilla will be known as Queen Consort.
To celebrate this unprecedented anniversary, events and initiatives will take place throughout 2022. Attendees who are set to appear include Prince Harry and Meghan Markle with son Archie and daughter Lilibet. Although, it was announced that the Queen has decided this year’s traditional Trooping the Colour balcony appearance on Thursday, June, 2 will be limited to the Queen, and members of the royal family who are currently undertaking official public duties on behalf of the Queen, according to a palace statement.
When is the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee?
The anniversary itself falls on Feb. 6, though the celebration is scheduled for the first week of June, culminating in a four-day U.K. bank holiday weekend from June 2 through June 5. The four days of celebrations will include public events and community activities, as well as national moments of reflection on the Queen’s 70 years of service.
What is the Trooping the Colour ceremony?
From Kate Middleton to Princess Diana, members of the royal family gather on the balcony at Buckingham Palace every year to celebrate Queen Elizabeth’s birthday, known as Trooping the Colour. It has marked the official birthday of the British Sovereign for over 260 years. Over 1,400 parading soldiers, 200 horses and 400 musicians come together each June to display military precision, horsemanship and fanfare while celebrating the occasion. On the balcony at Buckingham Palace, the royal family watches a fly-past by the Royal Air Force and a 41-gun salute is also fired in Green Park.
What celebrations are open to the public?
On June 2, the Queen’s Birthday Parade will see more than 1,400 parading soldiers, 200 horses and 400 musicians come together in the traditional Parade to mark the Queen’s official birthday, usually held on the second Saturday in June. This is open to the public and will begin at Buckingham Palace, moving down The Mall to Horse Guard’s Parade, joined by members of the royal family on horseback and in carriages. The Parade will close with the traditional RAF fly-past, watched by the Queen and family from the Buckingham Palace balcony.
Then on on June 4 the Platinum Party at the Palace will take place. Hosted by the BBC, this special live concert from Buckingham Palace will bring together some of the world’s biggest entertainment stars to celebrate the most significant and joyous moments from the Queen’s seven decade reign. Members of the public will be invited to apply to attend this special event while others can watch from the big screen in the Royal Parkland at Sandringham.
On June 5, communities are encouraged to celebrate “The Big Lunch” to share friendship, food and fun with neighbors as part of the Platinum Jubilee celebrations.
Celebrations will also take place on the Queen’s private estates, Sandringham and Balmoral, for local residents and visitors to enjoy over the holiday.
What other events will be taking place?
From May 12 through May 15, the Platinum Jubilee celebration will see over 500 horses and 1,000 performers create a 90-minute piece of arena theatre that will include actors and artists, musicians, international military displays, dancers and global equestrian displays. The show takes place in the same arena used by Royal Windsor Horse Show during the day and is the fourth in a series of events at the same venue that have marked significant moments in the life of The Queen. The production will take the audience on a gallop through history from Elizabeth I to the present day.
On June 3, a service of Thanksgiving for the Queen’s reign will be held at St Paul’s Cathedral.
On June 4, the royal family will attend the Derby at Epsom Downs.
Plus, there’s more:
To mark the milestone, a nationwide baking competition is underway to find a brand new pudding dedicated to The Queen. The Big Jubilee Lunch and Fortnum & Mason are inviting applications from U.K. residents aged 8 and over to create the perfect Platinum Pudding recipe. The winning recipe will be made available to the public and the pudding will be enjoyed at Big Jubilee Lunches during the Jubilee weekend.
Over 60,000 trees have already been planted in the U.K. through the Queen’s Green Canopy iniativiative, with cities from Cornwall to Glasgow coming together to make 2022 a truly special year to “plant a tree for the Jubilee” as a celebration of the Queen’s 70 years of service.
Click through the gallery to see the royal family’s Buckingham Palace balcony moments through the years.