Silver Jubilee

The 1977 Silver Jubilee of Elizabeth II was a celebration of the 25th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II’s accession to the throne. It featured large-scale parties and parades throughout the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth throughout the year, peaking in June with “Jubilee Days,” coinciding with the Queen’s official birthday. The official anniversary date was recognized in church services across the UK on February 6th, and continued throughout the month. In March, preparations began for large parties in every major UK city, along with small-scale events for many individual streets throughout the country.

On June 6th, the Queen ignited a bonfire beacon at Windsor Castle, with an additional series of memorial fires set ablaze throughout the country. The following day, crowds lined the route of a procession to St Paul’s Cathedral, where the royal family attended a Thanksgiving service with several world leaders. The service was followed by lunch in the Guildhall, hosted by the Lord Mayor of the City of London Peter Vanneck. At the reception, the Queen was quoted as saying,

When I was twenty-one I pledged my life to the service of our people and I asked for God’s help to make good that vow. Although that vow was made in my salad days, when I was green in judgement, I do not regret nor retract one word of it.

On June 9th, she made a Royal Progress trip via boat down the River Thames from Greenwich to Lambeth, recreating famous progresses taken by Queen Elizabeth I. On the trip, Elizabeth officially opened the Silver Jubilee Walkway and the South Bank Jubilee Gardens, two of numerous places named in honour of the festivities. In the evening, she presented a fireworks display and was taken later by a procession of lighted carriages to Buckingham Palace, where she greeted onlookers from her balcony.