February 6th, 2022 marked the 70th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth’s accession to the British throne in what’s known as Ascension Day. Her Majesty was only 25 years old when her father, George VI sadly passed away while she was on a trip to Kenya. In the next 70 years, Queen Elizabeth II will become a well-established, powerful, yet graceful figure loved by millions around the world.
Now, although Ascension Day was back in February, celebrations are actually being held in June during the Queen’s birthday celebration. From Thursday, June 2 to Sunday, June 5, 2022 people all over the United Kingdom and beyond will celebrate the long reigning monarch. These four days will be considered a bank holiday (or national holiday), meaning most government offices and banks will be closed. Other businesses may also close for the bank holiday weekend to allow their employees to celebrate the jubilee with their loved ones.
The Platinum Jubilee weekend kicks off with the lighting of the beacons. This is when the UK and the Commonwealth nations will celebrate Her Majesty’s long reign by lighting the Jubilee Beacons. The beacons have been lit in the past for occasions such as the arrival of the New Millennium, the 50th & 70th Anniversaries of VE Day, and the Queen’s past two jubilees.
There are 3 different types of beacons to be lit:
The Community Beacons are lit by various communities, charities, and groups of people throughout the UK and the Commonwealth nations.
The Commonwealth Beacons are lit in a total of 54 capital cities in the Commonwealth from St. John’s in Antigua and Barbuda to Lusaka, Zambia.
The Principal Beacon
As the beacons (about 1500 in total) are lit, a song that was written especially for this event will be sung. A competition was held in 2021 to find the best Song for the Commonwealth. Atueyi Vincent Chinemelu from Nigeria and Lucy Kiely from Australia both won the competition for composer and lyricist, respectively. The song is called A Life Lived With Grace, with the lyrics as below:
When the world has turned to darkness
And there’s troubled seas ahead
There’s a light that leads the ship back home to shore.
A life lived with grace
A heart filled with love
Peace on earth and harmony in the heavens above.
When the day is slowly breaking
And the dawn can’t find its way
There’s a sun that shines upon the world heralding a brand-new day.
A life lived with grace…etc
When the night has come a-calling
And the daylight starts to fade
There’s a reason why the world rejoices
singing all as one today.
A life lived with grace…etc.
The Jubilee weekend celebration continues with the annual Trooping of the Colour parade, also known as the Queen’s Birthday Parade. The colour is trooped by the 1st Battalion, Irish Guards, and thousands of soldiers and officers from the Household Division. There is also a display of military pageantry by the Horses Guard Parade and hundreds of Army musicians.
The Royal Family will also make an appearance on the balcony of Buckingham Palace where the Royal Air Force jets fly above, streaking red, white, and blue color trails behind them.
There will also be a Big Jubilee Lunch on June 5th where neighborhoods around the UK put together long tables and enjoy a lunch with the neighbors. It’s a fun way to get to know your neighbors with food, fun, and friendship.
Stay tuned for ways to celebrate the upcoming Jubilee!