Archive of the month
Archive of the month
Silver, Gold and Diamond Jubilee Celebrations
On 9th September 2015 Queen Elizabeth II became the longest reigning monarch in British history. She came to the throne on 6 February 1952 and celebrated her Diamond Jubilee on 6 February 2012. If she survives until 6 February 2022 she will be the first monarch ever to celebrate a platinum jubilee.
At present the longest reigning monarch is her great great great grandmother Victoria. She acceded to the throne on 20 June 1837 and died on 22 January 1901, having reigned for 63 years and 216 days. On Sunday 20 and Monday 21 June 1897 Queen Victoria celebrated her Diamond Jubilee. Many publications were produced to mark the occasion, including the one in image 1in the gallery above.The publication, part of the papers of the Way family of Denham Place, is lavishly illustrated with pictures of the Queen’s family and residences.
As well as national events virtually every town and village in the country had some form of celebration at Jubilee time. The second image in the gallery is part of the programme of events in Newport Pagnell on Tuesday 22 June. Games played included the intriguing ‘Cigar and Umbrella Race’. For the Queen’s Golden Jubilee in 1887 the small village of Aston Abbots had a church service, tea and then sports, the programme for which is image 3. Winners of the various races were to receive prizes up to 7s. 6d. The village were able to provide tea for all who came, whilst the larger town of Newport Pagnell could only cater for children and those over 60.
Victoria’s grandson, George V (1865-1936), the grandfather of Elizabeth II, reigned for 25 years, and his Silver Jubilee was celebrated in May 1935 in very similar fashion. Most churches had a service of thanksgiving, the order of service for Aylesbury parish church is image 4. There was a large carnival in Winslow, with official postcards produced to mark the occasion. Image 5 shows one such postcard, though others depicted the Winslow firemen with their fire engine decked out for the occasion and specially decorated floats travelling through the town. Buckingham Borough set up a specific committee to plan their celebrations. These started with a peal of bells at 6am and concluded with a bonfire and fireworks at 10pm. Commemorative mugs were produced for the day, as well as the souvenir programme which is image 6.
The originals are on display in the Archives Searchroom.