The Queen’s Silver, Gold and Diamond Jubilees saw millions celebrating
Over the decades, the Queen’s Jubilees have been colorful displays of pageantry, parties and pop concerts, giving the nation a chance to come together in celebration of the monarch and her years of service.
From the flag-adorned street jamborees of 1977 to the star-studded TV concert of 2002 and the river extravaganza of 2012, the Queen’s Silver, Gold and Diamond Jubilees have been significant milestones during her reign.
Now Elizabeth II is set to become the first British monarch to reach her Platinum Jubilee – marking 70 years on the throne.
It will be bittersweet, however, as it is his first jubilee without the Duke of Edinburgh.
Here is a look back at the Queen’s past jubilees:
– Silver Jubilee in 1977
The Queen’s first Jubilee saw her travel 56,000 miles around the world in celebration, traveling from Western Samoa, Australia and New Zealand to Tonga, Fiji, Tasmania, Papua- New Guinea, Canada and the West Indies.
Large crowds also turned out to see her on a busy UK tour when she visited 36 counties in 10 weeks to mark 25 years on the throne.
Street parties were held across the country and lighthouses were lit in his honor.
More than a million people flocked to the Mall of London and the Queen traveled on a state coach with the Duke of Edinburgh to St Paul’s Cathedral for a service of thanksgiving.
During a Guildhall lunch, the Queen reiterated the dedication she made aged 21 when she pledged to serve her country for life.
There was a 140-ship River Progress on the Thames, the opening of the Silver Jubilee Walkway and South Bank Jubilee Gardens, fireworks and an appearance on the palace balcony.
1977 saw the Lib-Lab pact, Grunwick clashes, punk rock and Red Rum win the Grand National for a record third time.
The Queen, aged 51, became a grandmother for the first time with the birth of her grandson Peter Phillips.
The Sex Pistols released their anti-authoritarian hit God Save The Queen which was banned from the airwaves.
They promoted it on their own Jubilee boat trip down the Thames, which ended in their arrest.
It was the year of the Queen’s 40th anniversary on the throne – but is better known as her ‘annus horribilis’ – one of the most difficult times of her reign.
That year, the marriages of three of his four children were in tatters. The Princess Royal has divorced, the Duke and Duchess of York have separated and the Prince and Princess of Wales have separated.
Andrew Morton’s book Diana: Her True Story alleged that Diana was deeply unhappy and attempted suicide.
Then came a devastating fire at Windsor Castle. Public opinion has turned against the Royal Family amid fears taxpayers will have to foot the bill.
The Queen announced that she would pay tax on her earnings and reduce the size of the Civil List.
In an unusually personal address at a luncheon at the London Guildhall in November 1992 to mark her 40th anniversary on the throne, the Queen told her guests: “1992 is not a year I will look back on with undiluted pleasure. .”
She added: “In the words of one of my friendliest correspondents, it turned out to be an ‘annus horribilis’.”
The commemorations of this jubilee were discreet. In October 1992, the Queen and her family attended the “big event” – a televised evening of performances at London’s Earl’s Court, and in the summer there was a Prime Minister’s Banquet.
It was also the year of Black Wednesday – the day Britain withdrew from the European Exchange Rate Mechanism – and the breakup of Yugoslavia.
– Golden Jubilee in 2002
Much like the Silver Jubilee, people crammed into the mall and the monarch visited Britain and the Commonwealth.
But there was one major difference – the party at the palace.
In 2002, more than 12,000 people won tickets to attend an unprecedented pop concert on the grounds of Buckingham Palace to mark the Queen’s 50th birthday.
Highlights included guitarist Brian May blasting a rock national anthem from the rooftop, Sir Paul McCartney leading the star-studded cast with the Beatles’ classic Hey Jude and Dame Edna Everage bellowing “The Jubilee Girl is here, opossums as the 76-year-old Queen took her seat.
The Prince of Wales paid tribute to his mother on stage, calling her “Mum”, and there were fireworks and a light show above the palace.
The year had started with great sadness for the Queen with the deaths of her sister Princess Margaret and the Queen Mother, but despite skeptics insisting the Golden Jubilee would be a flop, the event was announced as a success.
– Diamond Jubilee in 2012
The Queen is only the second British monarch to achieve a Diamond Jubilee, following in the footsteps of her ancestor Queen Victoria.
The Windsors were enjoying a resurgence of interest after the marriage of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
But for most of the festivities held in June to mark the head of state’s 60 years on the throne, the Queen was forced to celebrate without Philip by her side.
The Duke was taken to hospital with a bladder infection after enduring a wet and windy journey down the Thames during the Diamond Jubilee River Pageant.
More than 1,000 boats, including kayaks, Dunkirk ships and dragon boats, had taken part, and the Queen, the Duke and members of the royal family traveled on an ornate royal barge, watched by more than 1, 25 million spectators lined the banks of the river despite the rain.
The Queen also opened the Palace gardens to thousands of picnickers, who received special Jubilee baskets.
A pop concert – held on the back of the success of the Golden Jubilee show – took place outside the palace as well-wishers once again descended on the mall.
Take That’s Gary Barlow brought in artists such as Stevie Wonder, Kylie Minogue and a hula-hooping Grace Jones in a PVC leotard. But Philip missed both the concert and a service of thanksgiving.
During the Silver Jubilee, the Queen toured the world. But this time, the sovereign had turned 86 and these duties fell to the younger generation of the royal family.
The year also saw London host the Olympic and Paralympic Games, and William and Kate announced they were expecting their first child.
– Sapphire Jubilee – 2017
The Queen made history as the first British monarch to reach 65 years on the throne – a blue sapphire jubilee.
But there were no big festivities, with celebrations set aside for the platinum jubilee in 2022, and she spent the day privately at Sandringham.
Buckingham Palace has reissued a David Bailey photograph of the Queen to mark the occasion. She wore a suite of sapphire jewelry given to her by her father George VI as a wedding gift.
Then Prime Minister Theresa May hailed the Queen as “truly an inspiration to us all”, and celebratory stamps and coins were issued.