05-26-18 – Blog Queen - Sarah Raplee

Monday, May 21, 2012

Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee

When it came to celebrations, the Victorians knew how to do it with maximum pomp and some serious circumstance. In particular, any celebration related to the British monarchy was always attended with maximum fanfare. They still are, in fact. How many of us tuned in recently to watch the lavish and romantic wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton?

It’s good to be king. Or a prince, for that matter. And, as a monarch, what could be a better reason to celebrate than to mark the fact that you have held the British throne longer than any other king or queen? In June of 1897, Queen Victoria did just that. She and the rest of Britain celebrated her Diamond Jubilee to mark sixty years on the throne.

How did they celebrate? For starters, Queen Victoria rode in a lovely carriage pulled by cream-colored horses in a grand processional that went from Buckingham Palace, through London, and ended at St. Paul’s Cathedral. At seventy-eight years old, the queen found it difficult to walk and it was decided the service should be held outside so that she did not have to maneuver the cathedral’s steps. After the cathedral, a lavish luncheon was held at Buckingham Palace for royals and dignitaries.  

Over the two days of the Jubilee, various celebrations were held throughout the country and Queen Victoria made several official visits where she gave out medals, listened to school children sing, and was presented with a poem written for her by England's poet laureate of the time. Bonfires were lit around the country and it is difficult to imagine that anyone failed to join in the celebration.

Queen Victoria seemed to confirm this when she wrote in her diary of her processional and the air of celebration she witnessed.:

“No one ever, I believe, has met with such an ovation as was given to me, passing through those 6 miles of streets, including Constitution Hill. 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 joy.”

Wish you could share in the pomp and jubilation of a Diamond Jubilee but don't have a time machine handy? You’re in luck! There is another British monarch who has sat on the throne for sixty years. Hint: She is also a woman. 

This year Queen Elizabeth II celebrates her Diamond Jubiliee. Take even a quick peek at British newspapers right now and you’ll see that folks are pretty excited about the second Diamond Jubilee. Though the central weekend for celebrations will be June 2-5, there are also events and visits planned by Queen Elizabeth and other members of the royal family throughout the year. Remember, this is also a very special year for London because the Olympics will be kicking off there soon. 

Lots to celebrate in Britain!

You can find out more about QueenElizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee here. If you’re a lover of history, Victorian in particular, you can find out more about Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee here.

You can even watch footage of Queen Victoria’s processional!

Which official celebration, inauguration, or the like, now or in the past, would you like to attend? Personally, I'd love to witness a royal wedding first hand.


Margaret Tanner said...

Hi Christy,

Great blog, I was thinking Diamond jubilee but Queen Elizabeth, forgot about Victoria.

An exciting few months ahead for old London town.



Paty Jager said...

I have to admit, I'm not one to keep up with what has or is going to happen in England. I didn't watch either of the Royal weddings and don't get all the hoopla but Congrats to the Queen for 60 years and I'm looking forward to the Olympics.

Judith Ashley said...

I'm not a fan of crowds so to attend a crush in person wouldn't be my favorite thing - but, to have a ring-side seat? I'd be there in a heart beat! inauguration, jubilee, wedding - it wouldn't matter. I loved watching the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace!

To see places of historic significance today brings the past alive. There is something to be said for maintaining some of the old traditions.

Visiting our own Williamsburg and seeing how the early settlers, some of our direct ancestors, lived; what they had to do to survive - well, it makes my running water and flush toilets all the more special!!!

Christy Carlyle said...

Thanks, Margaret! Indeed, it is an exciting time in London right now. I am working on my husband, trying to convince him we need to make a visit soon. :)

Paty - Yes, the Olympics are always fun to see! Since my husband is British, I must admit that we watch BBC News as much or more than we watch CNN. :)

Judith - You're right, being a part of a crush to witness such an event might mitigate the enjoyment. I agree, though, that visiting historic places, such as Williamsburg, is eye-opening. And, as a historical romance writer, I absolutely love the history just as much as I enjoy writing the romance.

Thanks for your comments, Ladies!

Sarah Raplee said...

I love the history, too!Great post!

I'd love to be present at Lincoln's Inauguration. Things were so different back then, so much more accessible.

Christy Carlyle said...

Thanks, Sarah! Oh, yes, attending Lincoln's inauguration would have been exciting but at such a dire time in our nation's history, since several southern states had just seceded from the union and everyone was waiting to hear what he might say about the issue of slavery in his inaugural address. Definitely a key and significant moment in American history.

Tammy J. Palmer said...

The first thing that popped into my mind was the beheading in the beginning of The Other Boleyn Girl. No, I don't want to witness one, but isn't it shocking how many people did?

Christy Carlyle said...

Thanks for your comment, Tammy. You know, I hadn't thought of public punishment when I wrote this post. However, you're right, it was definitely treated as an event for public attendance. And, you're also right that it's shocking to consider how many people have attended such events over the centuries. You mentioned the Tudors (The Other Boleyn Girl) and that was definitely a time when public executions were as common and eagerly attended as royal processions with, say, Henry VIII and his various wives.

Diana Mcc. said...

I would have loved to be a fly on the wall during the discussion and signing of the Declaration of Independence. The birth of our nation. Great post!

Naomi Baltuck said...

I am a history geek, and I think it's great that another English queen has made it to her Diamond Jubilee. I dislike crowds, and really don't care about the royal wedding, but I know Elizabeth has worked hard, suffered much, done her duty, and whatever else you can say about her, she has earned this.

The Jubilee has been overshadowed by the wedding, but I find this much more fascinating. Thanks for a great post!