It may take more than 18 months to wait, but the nation will be treated with an extra day off to mark the Queen’s 70-year throne.
As part of what is being billed as a “blockbuster” celebration for Her Majesty’s Platinum Anniversary in 2022, people will enjoy a four-day weekend in the UK in recognition of the first time a British monarch has reached the milestone.
The May holiday weekend will be moved to early June and an extra day will be added to the holiday calendar, bringing four days of events promised by the government to “combine the best of British ceremonial splendor with cutting-edge artistic and technological displays”.
In a tradition dating back to the reign of Queen Victoria – when an official medal was designed to commemorate her 50th anniversary on the throne – a platinum anniversary medal will be awarded to people working in public service, such as armed forces personnel and people in the emergency services.
Celebrations will recognize the impact of the 94-year-old monarch over the course of her historic reign, which has had 14 prime ministers since she took the throne at the age of 25 in 1952.
While the exact plans for the platinum anniversary are being kept secret for the time being – with events likely hinged on the success of taming the Covid-19 pandemic – the Queen’s Golden Jubilee was marked in 2002 with a concert at Buckingham Palace, dubbed “party at the palace.” Performances included Queen’s rock band Brian May playing God Save the Queen on his guitar on the roof of the palace.
To give you an idea of what else to expect this time around, the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sports – which hosts the celebrations next to the royal house – said that ‘spectacular moments’ in the capital and other major cities will be complemented by community events in the UK and the Commonwealth. The holiday will run for four days starting on Thursday, June 2, 2022, and further details will be released in the coming months.
Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said: “Her Majesty’s Platinum Anniversary will be a truly historic moment – and one that deserves an unforgettable celebration. We can all look forward to a special four-day anniversary weekend when we put on a spectacular show that comes only once in a generation, combining the best of British ceremonial splendor with cutting-edge art and technology. It will bring the entire nation and the Commonwealth together in a fitting tribute to Her Majesty’s Government. “
A spokesman for the palace added: “The Platinum Jubilee offers the Queen an opportunity to express her gratitude for the support and loyalty Her Majesty has received throughout her reign. The Queen hopes that as many people as possible will have the opportunity to join the celebration. “