The Queen's Diamond Jubilee in United Kingdom
There will be a special bank holiday to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in the United Kingdom (UK) on Tuesday, June 5, 2012. This event honors the 60-year reign of Queen Elizabeth II in the UK. Moreover, the late May bank holiday will be moved to Monday, June 4, 2012, giving people across the UK a four-day long weekend.
What do people do?
The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrates 60 years of the Queen’s reign. Celebrations will be held across the UK during the first week of June in 2012. Many people have a day off work or school to celebrate the bank holiday on June 5, 2012. Other planned events for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee include:
- A Diamond Jubilee Medal to be commissioned.
- A UK-wide competition, planned to be launched in spring 2010, for towns to bid for city status.
- Royal Borough status to be granted to Greenwich, which has a long-standing association with the Windsor family.
Buckingham Palace is organizing many events centered on the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, while the UK’s Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) is coordinating government-led activities in celebrating this special occasion. The department is working with the Scottish government to help ensure that a single date for a bank holiday across the UK can be held to allow for communities to join in celebrating the jubilee.
The bank holiday for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee will be a day off for most people in the UK on Tuesday, June 5, in 2012. Moreover, the late May bank holiday (spring bank holiday), which is usually held on last Monday of May, will be moved to Monday, June 4, 2012, to form a four-day weekend.
Government offices, schools, post offices and most businesses are closed on bank holidays in the UK. In Scotland, some businesses and schools may be open. Those wishing to travel via public transport in the UK during the late May bank holiday/Queen’s Diamond Jubilee long weekend will need to check with their local transport authorities about public transport schedules.
Queen Elizabeth II is the head of state of the UK and 15 other Commonwealth realms. She is the daughter of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth. Born in 1926 in London, Elizabeth Alexandra Mary was named after her mother, while her two middle names are those of her paternal great-grandmother, Queen Alexandra, and her paternal grandmother, Queen Mary.
Elizabeth married Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten, now known as Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, at Westminster Abbey on November 20, 1947. The event was fairly simple as Britain was still recovering from World War II. She then came to the throne on February 6, 1952 and coronation took place on June 2, 1953.
The Queen celebrated her Silver Jubilee (25 years on the throne) in 1977 and her Golden Jubilee (50 years on the throne) in 2002. In 2002 she visited 70 cities and towns in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland over 38 days from May to August. People all over the world held street parties, garden parties and other events to celebrate the Golden Jubilee.
The Queen and Prince Philip have four children, with Prince Charles, now the Prince of Wales, as heir apparent to the throne. In 2012 the Queen will celebrate her Diamond Jubilee (60 years on the throne). Queen Victoria was the only other British monarch to celebrate a Diamond Jubilee (in 1897).
Flags, stamps and coins all represent the Crown in different ways. The most notable symbols of the monarchy in the UK are the crown jewels and regalia, the Honours of Scotland and the Principality of Wales. Other symbols include the Great Seal and the monarch’s personal emblems such as the Royal Standard and Coats of Arms. Buildings such as Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle and the Palace of Holyroodhouse are also seen to represent the monarchy in the UK.
The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee year will most likely see the Queen meeting and greeting people in honor of this occasion throughout 2012. Many people observe the traditional forms of greeting the Queen, so for men this is a neck bow (from the head only) while women do a small curtsy. Others prefer to shake hands with the Queen. Those who are presented to the Queen address her in a formal manner.
*Note: Any mention of the seasons (eg. spring) in this article refers to seasons in the northern hemisphere.