The unprecedented Platinum Jubilee: Queen Elizabeth to mark 70-year reign

The unprecedented Platinum Jubilee: Queen Elizabeth to mark 70-year reign
Queen Elizabeth visited Victoria in 1987.

This upcoming weekend marks the first ‘Platinum Jubilee’ ever, celebrating Queen Elizabeth II’s historic 70 years on the throne.

“The Golden Jubilee is 50 years and there have only been three monarchs who have had a Golden Jubilee in our history. The last Jubilee was the Diamond Jubilee, 60 years, Queen Elizabeth was only the second monarch to have that after Queen Victoria,” said Bruce Hallsor, with Victoria’s Monarchist League.

“Queen Elizabeth is the first to have a Platinum Jubilee that’s 70 years. We’ve never measured monarch’s reigns in this kind of length before.”

She’s the third longest-reigning monarch anywhere in world history, many Canadians have never known another monarch.

“Think of all the changes we’ve had in our country in 70 years, and yet there’s been that one person who is our constant there. It’s really remarkable and we’ll never see the likes of her again,” said Hallsor.

And residents of the city named for her great-great-grandmother are celebrating her historic reign.

“I think she’s done a phenomenal duty to her people. I don’t know how she does it, she’s my mother’s age….A lot of people think she’s very privileged, but I think she’s worked her arse off,” said Victoria local Marina Pope.

“It’s pretty incredible. She’s magnificent. In spite of her family,” said Bruce and Dee Dobby.

“Well I just think that’s an amazing accomplishment,” said Britta Gunderson-Bryden.

Her Majesty has visited Canada more than any other country during her reign, visiting Victoria seven times. A visit this year though, is unlikely.

“Because of her health we don’t expect she’ll be travelling outside the UK any longer, in fact, she’s having trouble getting around London,” said Hallsor.

Regardless, expect all the pomp and circumstance from London streaming through your TV screens. In Victoria, it’ll be something more subdued.

“We are coming to sold out ahead of the weekend of the Royal Jubilee,” said Yogesh Patel, restaurant general manager of the Fairmont Empress.

The Empress’ high tea coordinator is suggesting guests book ahead to reserve their spot.

Meanwhile, later in the summer Government House will be hosting a series of free concerts. They’re still looking for local musical acts and performers for the concerts.

The concerts will be taking place in July on the 7, 14, and 21.

There will also be a ceremonial Changing of the Guard to commemorate the Platinum Jubilee taking place at Government House over three weekends in June, starting on June 4, with members of the Canadian Scottish Regiment Pipe and Drums and the 39 Brigade Regiment participating. The ceremony starts at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday, with eight soldiers remaining in rotation until 4:00 p.m. The dates for this are June 4 and 5; June 11 and 12; and June 18 and 19.

“The public will also be invited to Government House to celebrate the Platinum Jubilee through the time-honoured tradition of a Garden Party. The date of this event is still to be announced,” said a representative for Lieutenant Governor of B.C. Janet Austin to CHEK News in a statement.

Kori SidawayKori Sidaway

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