Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee
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Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee

Following the recent Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth I, London and the UK celebrated in style. In terms of British History, not many Queens have celebrated their Jubilees and we were wondering , howdifferent was it during the Jubilees celebrated for Queen Victoria?

    • The Diamond Jubilee of 1897 was a splendid affair.
    •  Queen Victorias status as the centre of the Empires ceremonial life meant that the 60th anniversary of her enthronement became a period of great symbolism.
    • Posters were displayed showing Queen Victoria’s face gazing out, flanked by scenes of Canada, South Africa, India and Australia.
    • The streets of London danced with banners and flags as she was escorted by 50,000 troops from all her imperial lands.

Before going out onto the streets to progress through London, the Queen telegraphed a message from the telegraph office of Buckingham Palace to all her subjects around the world. ‘From my heart I thank my beloved people, may God bless them’

    • She was surrounded by ministers from all over the world but her frailty meant her role in the celebrations was more subdued and it could be said to be more a celebration of Empire than anything else.
    • In all parts of the Empire celebrations were undertaken on a massive scale, particularly in India where the Maharajahs spent a small fortune on events that lasted several days.
    • The Queen herself was very old and frail, even the blessing took place outside St Pauls Cathedral, in the open, so that she would not have to alight from her carriage.

If Queen Victoria was considered to be at the centre of the Empires ceremonial life, then Piccadilly Circus was considered to be the heart of the empire.

    • It became the assembly point for visitors from all over the world and was magnificently decked out with richly coloured banners.

The following film shows the procession and when the Queen Elizabeth rides out through the streets of London June 2012, the scene will look very similar, only this time she will not process with all her imperial subjects surrounding her.

The Daily Mail wrote:

‘Up they came, more and more, new types, new realms at every couple of yards, an anthropological museum – a living gazetteer of the British Empire’ (23 June 1897).