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Royal Jubilees

Marking significant anniversaries in a monarch's reign

As part of the celebration of her Diamond Jubilee, Queen Victoria drove through London on 22 June 1897 with the purpose of seeing her people and receiving their congratulations. In this depiction of the scene Queen Victoria can be seen in an open State la
'God Save The Queen': Queen Victoria arriving at St Paul's Cathedral on the occasion of the Diamond Jubilee Thanksgiving Service, 22 June 1897 ©

A Jubilee is the name given to the occasion of a significant anniversary in a monarch's reign. Today, we assign a precious substance to the term to denote particular numbers:​

  • Silver Jubilee for 25 years
  • Golden Jubilee for 50 years
  • Diamond Jubilee for 60 years
  • Platinum Jubilee for 70 years

2022 sees the 70th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II's accession, and thus the first Platinum Jubilee ever celebrated.

However, the first Jubilee celebrations of any kind in Britain took place in 1809 and 1810, with the Golden Jubilee of George III marking the fiftieth year of the king’s reign. The anniversary festivities set the pattern for all subsequent Jubilees, with a Service of Thanksgiving attended by the king and a series of events throughout the country. There were feasts, military processions and festivals. Fireworks, beacons and illuminations were lit and monuments built. The newly-scored ‘God Save the King’ became the national anthem. Jubilee medals were minted and ceramic souvenirs were produced. The year was termed the ‘Grand National Jubilee’.

Since then, Jubilees have been celebrated in much the same style although with greater emphasis in recent years on creating a lasting legacy of each occasion.

Click or tap on the sections below to learn about each Royal Jubilee in British history and how it was commemorated.

Lawrence was the most fashionable and also the greatest portraitist of his generation. He was made Principal Painter to George III in 1792 after Reynolds’s death, and received occasional commissions; however it was only after 1814 that George IV began t
King George III

Golden Jubilee, 1809-10

The painting depicts Queen Victoria processing through Trafalgar Square from Buckingham Palace for the Golden Jubilee service in Westminster Abbey, celebrating 50 years of her reign. The Crown Princess of Germany and the Princess of Wales rode with her in
Queen Victoria

Golden Jubilee, 1887

Photograph of Queen Victoria seated in three-quarters left position wearing a lace headdress with a coronet and holds a fan in her left hand. She is seated in a chair which stands upon a carpeted dais. Although this portrait of the Queen was used as the o
Queen Victoria

Diamond Jubilee, 1897

Photograph of King George V wearing a plumed bicorn hat and seated alongside Queen Mary who is wearing a fur stole as they ride in an open topped carriage through Temple Bar in London on their way to the Service of Thanksgiving at St Paul's Cathedral, as
King George V and Queen Mary

Silver Jubilee, 1935

RCIN 100076
Queen Elizabeth II

Silver Jubilee, 1977

Photograph of HM The Queen (b.1926) and HRH The Duke of Edinburgh (b.1921) waving from the Gold State Coach en route to St.Paul's Cathedral for the Golden Jubilee Thanksgiving Service, 4th June 2002.  Used as a christmas card.
Queen Elizabeth II

Golden Jubilee, 2002

A silver and gold-lined diadem with an openwork frame set transparent with diamonds; narrow band edged with pearls, surmounted by four crosses-pattée, the front cross set with a pale yellow brilliant, and four sprays representing the national emble
Queen Elizabeth II

Diamond Jubilee, 2012

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