It may appear to us that this is a truly unique event but, this is the second time that the British throne has supported an incredible 60 year reign of a Monarch. Queen Victoria (yes, another woman) was on the throne in Britain from 20 June 1837 until her death on 22 January 1901. She held the throne for a total of 63 years and 216 days. Queen Elizabeth II will surpass Queen Victoria’s lengthy reign if she remains on the throne until 9 September 2015.
The Diamond Jubilee celebrations for Queen Victoria took place in 1897. The ‘party’ idea was completely out of character for the Royals in Victorian Britain, as the Queen thought it to be inappropriate to stage such large scale celebrations. Victoria believed that this was the sort of behaviour that France under the rule of Napoleon (who was not exactly known for hiding his light under a bushel) or the Russian Royal family may do. She believed it to be tacky to display power, wealth and influence and was not convinced it was what her people wanted. The subject of cost was just as widely discussed then as it is today with much discussion taking place as to who was going to foot the bill. The celebrations, which she felt were wholly unnecessary at the time were paid for between the Government and Royal Households.
Queen Victoria’s Jubilee Day was 22nd June 1897 and as the head of the British Empire, she was the leader of 450 million souls Worldwide. The day was declared as a Bank Holiday in Britain, Ireland and India.
The day itself was generally very bright and the sight of the Royal Procession, including members of the Royal Family and representatives from Canada, India, Africa and Australia and New Zealand were all be-decked in their dress uniforms and traditional dress. The parade took in more than 6 miles of London’s streets. The Queen, still wearing her ‘Mourning Black’ for her beloved and still clearly missed Albert, two children and six grandchildren, was described as a ‘tiny figure who was confined to her state coach due to painful arthritis’ thoroughly enjoyed the occasion. Following the parade through the streets, the convoy of coaches re-crossed the Thames to attend a service in celebration of her dedication to her Country.
Records of her comments confirm that she was truly overwhelmed by the public response stating “No-one ever, I believe, has met with such 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 joy”
Fortunately, the event was not going to be one which was to be enjoyed by only the wealthier classes as Victorian Britain and its philanthropic air ensured that 400,000 London and 100,000 Manchester residents were treated to a feast of food, refreshment and entertainment.
As with Queen Elizabeth’s forthcoming celebrations, beacons were lit across the country and fireworks displays in the newly created ‘Jubilee Cities’ of Nottingham, Bradford and Hull were something to behold.
From Victorian publications, Brock’s Fireworks outlined that no fewer than ten massive displays were given in the Capital ranging from £1000 to £2500 each with a total cost of £250,000.00 which at today’s inflation represents a massive £14,972,500.00!!!! which is almost 15 times the amount spent for the millennium.
So, great Queen Elizabeth, many thanks once again for your dedication to the country and the Commonwealth over the last 60 years and long may you continue to reign.
If you are planning to have an event in celebration of the Queen’s jubilee, whether this is a large display for a number of people or for your family and friends over the Bank Holiday after the barbecue, we have something to suit everyone. Come along to our bespoke showroom in South Yorkshire. With the UK’s largest range of SIB’s (single ignition barrages) and MASSIVE sky filling rockets to the garden display for a couple of people, we have something to suit every pocket. With prices all at half the RRP, you don’t need to break the bank to fill the sky.