Queen’s historic Platinum Jubilee

The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations began with a bang, as gun salutes were fired across the country to mark her 70-year reign.

Events will be held over the coming year in honour of the Queen, who at the weekend renewed her 1947 pledge to the nation and Commonwealth “that my life will always be devoted to your service”.

At noon the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery, named by the Queen’s father King George VI, 75 years ago, fired a 41-gun salute from London’s Green Park.

The ceremony took place a day after February 6, Accession Day, when Princess Elizabeth became Queen Elizabeth II, as the anniversary fell on a Sunday.

In recent decades medals have been issued to mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in 2012, Golden in 2002 and Silver in 1977.

The extended four-day Platinum Jubilee weekend will begin on Thursday June 2 with Trooping the Colour, which will be staged in full for the first time since the pandemic.

A service of thanksgiving for the Queen’s reign will be held at St Paul’s Cathedral the following day.

Other highlights include a day at the races for the Queen and her family, who will fill the royal box for the Derby, held at Epsom Downs on the Saturday.

Later that day a star-studded concert will be staged from Buckingham Palace.

Communities across the country will sit down together for the Big Jubilee Lunch on the Sunday, the final day of the Bank Holiday weekend, and the Platinum Jubilee Pageant will also be held in the capital, featuring more than 5,000 people from across the UK and Commonwealth.

‘Queen Camilla’

Yesterday (Sunday 6 February) in a message marking the 70th anniversary of her reign, the Queen said it was her “sincere wish” that Camilla would have the title Queen Consort when Prince Charles becomes King.

There had been suggestions Camilla would be known as Princess Consort.

A Clarence House spokesman said the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall were “touched and honoured”.

There has been a different practice for husbands of a female monarch, such as Prince Philip, who was prince consort.

The usual precedent would have been for Camilla to automatically become Queen when Charles was King, but because of uncertainty about public opinion it had been suggested that might not be the case.

Charles and Camilla were both divorcees when they married in 2005 in a civil marriage. Charles had previously been married to Princess Diana but they divorced in 1996, a year before she died in a car crash in Paris.

At the time of their marriage the official intention was for Camilla to be known as the Princess Consort. But plans for her title became more ambiguous in recent years.

The Queen’s intervention means barriers to her becoming Queen have now been removed, and will allow her to have a fully-fledged royal role beside Charles.

The Queen’s personal endorsement follows her New Year announcement that Camilla would become a member of the Order of the Garter – the highest order of chivalry.


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