Lifestyle & Belief

The Diamond Jubilee: 5 Things to Know


Topshop and Meadham Kirchhoff Jubilee Fashion Spectacular to celebrate the Jubilee at TopShop on June 1, 2012 in London, England.


Tim Whitby

The Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II, marking her 60h year as England's monarch, kicks off this Sunday, June 3. Here, we round up five things you'll want to know about the epic British celebration. 

1. Monarchs get special treatment with their anniversaries, too. 

For mere mortals, diamond jubilees only come around every 75 years. But they made a special exception for Queen Victoria, the only other Queen to celebrate her diamond jubilee ever, throwing her a celebration after just 60 years on the throne.

The Daily Beast reported that the 1897 diamond jubilee for Victoria was pushed forward after the death of her husband Prince Albert in 1861 caused national unrest and withdrew the Queen from public life. 

"No one ever, I believe, has met with such an ovation as was given to me, passing through those 6 miles of streets," Queen Victoria wrote in her journal of the day, according to the British Monarchy's official website. "The cheering was quite deafening and every face seemed to be filled with real joy. I was much moved and gratified."

However, though Queen Victoria's rule was longer, Elizabeth has the bragging rights of being the oldest person to ever reign over Britain, acorrding to Daily Beast.

2. The Thames is packed. 

About 1,000 boats will be packing the Thames for the river's Jubilee pageant, a procession that will sail 13 miles from Hammersmith to the Old Royal Naval College on Sunday, BBC News reported

"Only Britain could put on something like this, with the significance that it has got. It is a great honor to be here, and a damn good adventure as well," Peter Draper, who sailed his boat the Caronia — which was used to rescue soldiers from Dunkirk's beaches during World War II — six days from West Sussex to participate in the pageant. 

3. This is a big show; of course there's a dress rehearsal. 

A full dress rehearsal of the Diamond Jubilee procession between Westminster Hall and Buckingham Palace took place on Friday morning, BBC News reported

Central London's streets were shut down early Friday morning to allow for a runthrough of Tuesday's carriage procession, which will feature the 1902 state carriage that was used by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on their wedding day, the Telegraph reported. Though it was empty Friday morning, it will bring the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh from St Paul's Cathedral on Tuesday. 

4. The Brits are all for it...and they can watch it from pretty much anywhere.

Around 40 percent of the population has said they plan to mark the Diamond Jubilee in some form over the four day bank holiday weekend, according to Marie Claire UK

Security officials expect over 1 million people to line the Thames' banks for the procession, with thousands more on bridges, shutting down London traffic for the entire day, CBS News reported

The main events of the Diamond Jubilee Central Weekend will be broadcast live on giant screens sponsored by the BBC in England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland, according to the Jubilee website, so you can catch it no matter where you are (whew!) 

5. It's a bigger deal than Kate and William. 

"This will be bigger than the royal wedding in terms of the length of time it's going on for - it's a whole weekend, four days, in fact, of celebrations," said CBS News consultant Peter Clarke, a former head of counter-terrorism for Scotland Yard.

13,000 security forces will be stationed around London, CBS News reported, and a fleet of Royal Navy and police vessels will guard the Thames boats procession. 

Do you plan to celebrate the Jubilee? Let us know your plans in the comments.