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The Queen's Diamond Jubilee in the United Kingdom

Tuesday, June 5, 2012, was a bank holiday to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee in the United Kingdom.

People waving flags and watching the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Pageant on the River Thames in London.

©iStockphoto.com/the_guitar_mann

What Do People Do?

The late May bank holiday was moved to Monday, June 4, 2012, giving people across the UK a four-day long weekend. Many people had a day off work or school to celebrate the bank holiday on June 5, 2012.

The celebrations of the Queen’s 60-year reign included:

  • A Diamond Jubilee Medal was commissioned.
  • A UK-wide competition for towns to bid for city status.
  • Royal Borough status was granted to Greenwich, which has a long-standing association with the Windsor family.

Buckingham Palace organized many events centered on the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, while the UK’s Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) coordinated government-led activities in celebrating this special occasion.

Public Life

Government offices, schools, post offices and most businesses are closed on UK bank holidays.

Background

Queen Elizabeth II is the head of state of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (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.

She is the great-great-granddaughter of Queen Victoria (1819–1901). Queen Victoria, who reigned from 1837, is the only other British monarch to celebrate a Diamond Jubilee, in 1897.

Wartime Wedding

Elizabeth married Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten–now Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh–at Westminster Abbey on November 20, 1947. The event was simple, as Britain was still recovering from World War II.

The Queen came to the throne on February 6, 1952, and her coronation took place on June 2, 1953.

She celebrated her Silver Jubilee in 1977 (25 years on the throne) and her Golden Jubilee in 2002 (50 years on the throne). 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.

Symbols

British 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 (the Scottish Crown Jewels) 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 Observances

The Queen's Diamond Jubilee was only observed in the year 2012.

YearWeekdayDateNameHoliday TypeArea
2012TueJun 5The Queen's Diamond JubileeBank holiday 

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