If you live outside of the United Kingdom, you are probably wondering why the Diamond Jubilee celebration is such a big deal. It is hard to fully appreciate the festivities as an American, but it is definitely a wonderful event to witness.
There are three types of jubilees–silver, gold, and diamond. Silver celebrates 25 years; gold celebrates 50 years (so Queen Elizabeth celebrated her Golden Jubilee in 2002); and diamond celebrates 60 years.
The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrates Queen Elizabeth II’s 60th anniversary on the throne. It’s been quite a while since the last Diamond Jubilee–Queen Victoria was the last British monarch to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee in 1897.
To clarify, England is not a traditional monarchy–it is a constitutional monarchy, which means Parliament handles the important affairs of state and the royal court has all of the fun. That is not to say the monarchs do nothing of significance–many royals support charities and non-profit organizations in England.
The key thing to understand about the Queen and the rest of the British monarchy is that they are powerful figureheads that represent elegance and propriety. As head of the court, the Queen is epitome of what it means to be British.
I did not see the Diamond Jubilee Weekend events in London, but other cities in England have had plenty of their own events to celebrate Her Majesty. For the past few days, I have alluded to the jubilee celebrations in downtown Oxford, as well as Brighton. There have been many concerts at various Oxford universities (like Christ Church College), festivals, and parties–as well as decorations at restaurants, pubs, and shops– in honor of the jubilee.
If you want to learn more about the Diamond Jubilee Weekend, check out the official website by clicking here.
|The Jubilee-themed bulletin board at the university|