ROYAL JUBILEES

1887-2012

There have been six Royal Jubilees since 1887 and five of them have been for Queen Victoria and the present Queen. The other was the Silver Jubilee of George V. Please click the link for an overview of Epsom celebrations, entitled 'Jubilees and Junkets', by Jeremy Harte, Curator of Bourne Hall Museum.

Victoria

The British Monarchy website, which is a wealth of royal information, tells us that the Golden Jubilee was celebrated on 20 and 21 June 1887. The Queen began with breakfast under the trees of the royal burial ground at Frogmore, where Prince Albert was buried. There was an enormous royal banquet at Buckingham Palace that evening and next day there was a procession to Westminster Abbey, followed by a balcony appearance at the Palace.

Victoria's carriage in the procession of 1887.
Victoria's carriage in the procession of 1887.
Image source: Wikimedia Commons.

As is now usual for any big royal occasion, souvenirs were produced and the next picture shows one version of a Golden Jubilee brooch

A Golden Jubilee Brooch.
A Golden Jubilee Brooch.
Image source: Bourne Hall Museum.

James Andrews was the organiser of the local celebrations and he set the ball rolling by distributing a poster.

The Andrews Poster.
The Andrews Poster.
Image source: Bourne Hall Museum.

Jeremy Harte tells us that the 1887 celebration was a damp squib and Mr Andrews' notice above was not likely to ignite interest, since it majored on the Imperial Institute (later the Commonwealth Institute), a body set up to promote research that would benefit the British Empire - hardly a subject to persuade you to beat a path to the door of the Public Hall on a Friday night. Similarly, I doubt that many people attended the next meeting, as advertised below, since you could just wait for the programme to be issued in poster/leaflet form.

Notice of the second meeting
Notice of the second meeting.
Image source: Bourne Hall Museum.

We seem to have only one photo of local events for the 1887 Jubilee, which is unsurprising given the local lack of enthusiasm, and this shows the huge bonfire that was built.

The 1887 Golden Jubilee Bonfire.
The 1887 Golden Jubilee Bonfire.
Image source: Bourne Hall Museum.

The Diamond Jubilee in 1897 was a much bigger and better affair altogether. By this time (Victoria was at that point the longest-reigning British monarch, having beaten George III's record of just over 59 years in 1896) the Queen was 78 years old and had trouble getting around, but she turned out for a grand procession to St Paul's Cathedral on 22 June 1897. An open-air service was held, with the Queen sitting in her carriage, as she could not manage the steps into the Cathedral.

The official Diamond Jubilee photograph by W and D Downey.
The official Diamond Jubilee photograph by W and D Downey.
Image source: Wikimedia Commons.

Queen Victoria at St Paul's Cathedral on Diamond Jubilee Day by Andrew Carrick-Gow.
Queen Victoria at St Paul's Cathedral on Diamond Jubilee Day by Andrew Carrick-Gow.
Image source: Wikimedia Commons.

We have a lot more local information about this Jubilee than the 1887 event and arrangements began in March 1897 with a public meeting, where people could put forward their ideas. The notice, shown below, sounds more appealing than the previous effort, perhaps because there was no mention of the Imperial Institute.

A Notice for the 1897 Public Meeting.
A Notice for the 1897 Public Meeting.
Image source: Bourne Hall Museum.

A further poster was issued, detailing the events to be held on 22 June. The cost of the festivities came to £527.

A further notice for the 1897 Public Meeting.
A further notice for the 1897 Public Meeting.
Click image to enlarge
Image source: Bourne Hall Museum.

An invitation to dine.
An invitation to dine.
Image source: Bourne Hall Museum.

Public Dining
Public Dining.
Image source: Bourne Hall Museum.

A Jubilee Mug.
A Jubilee Mug.
Image source: Bourne Hall Museum.

George V

The populace had to wait 38 years for another Jubilee, to mark the 25th anniversary of George V's accession. The celebrations were held in May 1935, less than a year before the King's death.

1935 Silver Jubilee Souvenir programme.
1935 Silver Jubilee Souvenir programme.
Image source: Bourne Hall Museum.

1935 Silver Jubilee souvenir printed by Reids of Epsom.
1935 Silver Jubilee souvenir printed by Reids of Epsom
Image source: Bourne Hall Museum.

An envelope postmarked June 1935, with a Silver Jubilee stamp.
An envelope postmarked June 1935, with a Silver Jubilee stamp..
Image source: Bourne Hall Museum.

Tottles Pharmacy decorated for the 1935 Jubilee.
Tottles Pharmacy decorated for the 1935 Jubilee.
Image source: Bourne Hall Museum.

Elizabeth II

Silver Jubilee Crown(s)* in original commemorative box, February 1977.
Silver Jubilee Crown(s)* in original commemorative box, February 1977.
Image courtesy of Linda Jackson © 2015
*Worth five shillings (25 pence) at the time and now selling for under 1, but 'one' bought them as a souvenir rather than an investment, and they are still very nice objects.

First Day cover for the Silver Jubilee of the Queen's Accession, 1952 - 1977.
First Day cover for the Silver Jubilee of the Queen's Accession, 1952 - 1977.
Image source: Bourne Hall Museum.

The Silver Jubilee took place in June 1977, preceded by a tour of Britain, including a visit to Epsom on 1 June.

The Clock tower decorated for the Queen Elizabeth's visit.
The Clock tower decorated for the Queen Elizabeth's visit.
Image courtesy of the Epsom and Ewell Advertiser

Children watching the Queen Elizabeth's visit from Magnet & Planet Building Society.
Children watching the Queen Elizabeth's visit from Magnet & Planet Building Society.
Image courtesy of the Epsom and Ewell Advertiser.

Queen Elizabeth's walkabout visit June 1977.
Queen Elizabeth's walkabout visit June 1977.
Image courtesy of Surrey & South London Newspapers.

Street parties were held all over the country. The one in the High Street where I lived at the time was a hideous example, as it was not stewarded and there were far too many people pushing and shoving in the access roads. My mother and I feared for our lives at several points and bolted home as soon as we could get through. However, proceedings in Epsom and Ewell looked very civilised.

1977 Silver Jubilee programme
1977 Silver Jubilee programme.
Image source: Bourne Hall Museum.

St Mary's Church Silver Jubilee Fete, Fancy Dress Parade.
St Mary's Church Silver Jubilee Fete, Fancy Dress Parade.
Image source: Epsom and Ewell Local and Family History Centre.

1977 Silver Jubilee photo
1977 Silver Jubilee photo.
Image source: Bourne Hall Museum.

1977 Silver Jubilee photo
1977 Silver Jubilee photo.
Image source: Bourne Hall Museum.

2002 brought us the Golden Jubilee; the year got off to a sad start with the deaths of Princess Margaret on 9 February and the Queen Mother on 30 March, but the celebrations went ahead. The event highlights were The Party at the Palace, kicked off by Brian May of Queen playing a guitar version of God Save the Queen from the Palace roof, followed by the lighting of a chain of beacons round the world and, next day, a carriage procession and service at St Paul's.

2002 Golden Jubilee  photo
2002 Golden Jubilee photo.
Image source: Bourne Hall Museum.

A Sparrow Farm Community Junior School mug issued for the Queen's Jubilee in 2002
A Sparrow Farm Community Junior School mug issued for the Queen's Jubilee in 2002.
Image source: Bourne Hall Museum.

There were outdoor activities in Rosebery Park and at Bourne Hall, street events and children making crowns and suchlike.

2002 Golden Jubilee  photo
2002 Golden Jubilee photo.
Image source: Bourne Hall Museum.

2002 Golden Jubilee  photo
2002 Golden Jubilee photo.
Image source: Bourne Hall Museum.

2002 Golden Jubilee  photo
2002 Golden Jubilee photo.
Image source: Bourne Hall Museum.

And then we came to the big one in 2012, which all of you will remember: it was held over the long weekend of 1-4 June and got off to a very local start when, as ever, the Queen and Prince Philip attended the Derby. The organisers put on a special display to mark her 60 years on the throne, the Coronation Cup was re-titled as the Diamond Jubilee Coronation Cup and Princess Eugenie sported Union Flag finger nails. The Daily Mail published a special article with some excellent photos. On 3 June we had the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant; the weather was wet and dreary, but everyone carried on regardless and 1000 boats took part, including the new Royal Barge, Gloriana, which was funded by donations from various wealthy benefactors.

Gloriana approaching Richmond as part of a water pageant in April 2013.
Gloriana approaching Richmond as part of a water pageant in April 2013.
Image courtesy of Linda Jackson © 2015

Gloriana with Richmond in the background, April 2013.
Gloriana with Richmond in the background, April 2013.
Image courtesy of Linda Jackson © 2015

Unfortunately, Prince Philip was not well enough to attend the service at St Paul's on 12 June, but he was able to watch it on television from his hospital bed. The Queen carried on, surrounded by the rest of her family.

The Queen on her way to St Paul's
The Queen on her way to St Paul's
Photo by Carfax 2 via Wikimedia Commons.

If the Queen is still on the throne in 2022, when she will be aged almost 96, Britain will have the unprecedented celebration of a Platinum Jubilee. The world's longest- serving monarch is currently King Bhumibol of Thailand, who is slightly younger than the Queen: if he survives, his Platinum Jubilee will occur in June 2016. The Queen became the longest-serving British monarch on 9 September this year.

Linda Jackson ©2015



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