|The Royal Procession Passing Over London Bridge, 20 June 1897|
Reproduction of Helen Thornycroft's painting
Photo Source: Art-ist
by Angela Magnotti Andrews
Today in the news, I read about a Jubilee Rock Concert scheduled for today in celebration of Queen Elizabeth's 60 years as monarch. The lineup of rock musicians features primarily British artists, including Sir Elton John, Sir Paul McCartney, and Dame Shirley Bassey. However, there are a few Americans artists included in the lineup, as well: Stevie Wonder and will.i.am. These celebrations have been in the making for several years now across the
The last time these preparations were being made was in January 1897, when in answer to her customary prayer to be of use to her country, it was decided that the Empire would celebrate a grand festival in honor of her 60 years as queen, a feat no other British monarch had achieved. She agreed to the celebration, though in lieu of her weakened health she requested that her public appearance be restricted to one day of public festivities, June 22, 1897.
With only five months of planning, Queen
Victoria commenced the day with a special family Thanksgiving service held on June 20, 1897 in St. George's
Chapel, which included the singing of Prince
Deum and Bishop How's Jubilee hymn (musically arranged by Sir Arthur
Later that day, Queen
took up her procession through the streets of London, with even the
sun making an appearance just as the guns in Hyde Park broadcast her departure
from . Windsor Palace
In her own words,
declared: “No one ever, I believe, has met with such an ovation as was given to
me, passing through those six miles of streets…the crowds were quite
indescribable, and their enthusiasm truly marvellous and deeply touching. The
cheering was quite deafening, and every face seemed to be filled with real joy.”
And I hope that Queen Elizabeth II has had this very same experience this weekend. There is nothing quite like the joy of love, honor, and appreciation for a public life lived well.
1. Barr, Robert. "Queen's Jubilee: Rock concert at Buckingham Palace." Associated Press. Last Modified June 4, 2012. http://news.yahoo.com/queens-jubilee-rock-concert-buckingham-palace-110146194.html.
2. Longford, Elizabeth. Queen Victoria: Born to Succeed. New York and Evanston: Harper & Row, 1964.
*This link will take you to Royal Collection photos of Queen Victoria's procession through London on June 22, 1897.
**Victorian clip art courtesy of The Graphics Fairy