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What is a 'platinum jubilee'?
A jubilee is an anniversary to mark an important event such as the accession of a monarch to the throne. Names of valuable materials are often given to special anniversaries. For example, silver is used for a 25th anniversary, gold is for a 50th anniversary and platinum for a 70th. A platinum jubilee, which Queen Elizabeth II is celebrating in 2022, marks 70 years of her reign.
How and when did Princess Elizabeth become Queen?
King George VI died on 6 February 1952. His daughter Princess Elizabeth was only 25 years old at the time and was on a royal tour in Kenya with her husband, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. Philip informed Elizabeth of her father's death, and she immediately returned to the UK as Queen, although she was not crowned until 2 June 1953. No other British monarch has lived or reigned for as long as she has, and no other female head of state has served so many years.
The Jubilee celebrations
From 2 to 5 June there will be a four-day long weekend for people in the UK. There are lots of special events planned, including the Queen's Birthday Parade, which will take place on Thursday 2 June. Members of the Royal Family will travel in carriages, along with 1,400 soldiers, 200 horses and 400 musicians. The parade will leave Buckingham Palace and go along a very famous London street called The Mall. On Saturday 4 June, there will be a live concert called The Platinum Party at the Palace, where lots of celebrities will perform. On Sunday 5 June, people across the country are encouraged to hold street parties and have lunch outside with their neighbours.
Unusual Jubilee events
One of the more original events to celebrate the Platinum Jubilee is a baking competition! The Platinum Pudding competition is open to all residents of the UK who are aged 8 or older. They have to send in their recipe and a photo of the pudding, or dessert, that they've created. You can see some of the competition entries on Instagram using the hashtag #platinumpudding. Another unusual initiative to mark the event is the Queen's Green Canopy. The slogan is 'plant a tree for the jubilee' and people are encouraged to plant trees throughout 2022 to ensure a greener future for the country. The project is working to protect 70 types of ancient trees.
Whether it's street parties, parades, puddings or planting trees, there really is something for everyone to mark the platinum jubilee of the Queen.