Episodio 71: ¡Especial! The Platinum Jubilee (en Inglés)

Today's episode is our first Special Episode of the year, and I can't think of a better one to start with than the UK's Platinum Jubilee! :D So what is it, when is it, and how are they celebrating? Essentially, it's an awesome celebration of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II's long reign. But there is so much more to it, so let's dive in!

 
 

I apologize for how late this podcast is! I got a cold, which for the past couple of days has wiped out my voice! It's a good thing my little one knows some ASL :D .

The Basics

The UK has created a four-day weekend beginning Thursday, June 2, of this year in order to celebrate Her Majesty The Queen's Platinum Jubliee (el jubileo de platino)! This means that she has been the queen for 70 years - that's an incredibly long time, and quite the achievement!

Queen Elizabeth II became the Queen when she was just 25 at the passing of her father, King George VI, in 1952. They waited a year for the official coronation, out of respect for the dead, which meant Queen Elizabeth II was officially crowned the queen at 27 on June 2, 1953.


The Queen is currently 96 years old, and her longevity has lead her to some cool achievements. For example, she became the longest-reigning British Monarch back in 2015, surpassing Queen Victoria (her great-great-grandmother), who lived to be 81 years old and served as queen for 63 years. Queen Elizabeth was the first British monarch to celebrate her Sapphire Jubilee in 2017, or 65 years on the throne (Queen Victoria was so close!), and now she will be the first British monarch to reach her platinum jubilee! :)


How Will They Celebrate?

Truth be told, the United Kingdom has been celebrating since the beginning of the year! Back on January 10th, Fortnum & Mason's hosted a Platinum Pudding Competition (de postres) where people submitted different pudding recipes to dedicate to the queen. If you want to see the five finalists (including the winner, with her Lemon Swiss Roll & Amaretti Trifle! Oh my goodness, that sounds so good!), as well as download the recipes, then click here! (They look delicious!)


And then Windsor Castle, which is an actual royal residence but also a place for tourists to visit, has been giving a special type of castle tour for most of the month of May that highlights the Queen's relationship to the castle. They also had, from May 12th - 15th, a Royal Horse Show with over 1,000 performers and 500 horses to highlight the UK's history, starting from Elizabeth I. The Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) worked with the Royal Household to host a Platinum Jubilee emblem competition. Young people ranging from 13-25 submitted their designs, with the final design to be used on everything regarding the Platinum Jubilee. Edward Roberts, 19-years-old, won with his classy design. To learn more about it, check out this article here! But everywhere you see the unique purple and white crown emblem, with 70 incorporated into the top of the crown, that is Edward's handiwork!


Back in March, the Royal Albert Hall hosted a special concert to celebrate, featuring the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra. They played music associated with key moments of Queen Elizabeth II's reign, who has visited the Hall 124 times! The event also supported the Armed Forces charity SSAFA.


During this same month, Queen Elizabeth and her husband, Prince Charles of Wales, began the Queen's Green Canopy initiative by planting the very first Jubilee tree at Windsor Castle. For 2022, the slogan for this initiative is "Plant a Tree for the Jubilee". (Very catchy, right? :D) Everyone is invited to plant a tree during the planting season (October through March) for 2022. The idea is to encourage sustainability and creating a legacy for future generations to benefit from. On top of this, the initiative will, according to QueensGreenCanopy.org, "dedicate a network of 70 Ancient Woodlands across the United Kingdom and identify 70 Ancient Trees to celebrate Her Majesty’s 70 years of service."


And on May 27th, the Imperial War Museums Duxford (IWM Duxford) is going to highlight Her Majesty's own experience with war. I didn't know this, but she was only 13 when World War II broke out, and around the age of 19, in 1945, she became the first woman from the Royal Family to enlist full-time in the army via the Auxiliary Territorial Service! (Queen Elizabeth II is pretty awesome!)


That's a lot of things they've already done to celebate! But what about the actual four-day weekend set aside specifically to celebrate the Platinum Jubilee? Let's take a look at some of the main events, starting with Thursday!


Special Four-Day Weekend Events

June 2nd, Bank Holiday (Thursday)

This day includes the Queen's Birthday Parade / Trooping the Colour, musical gifts, and the Lighting of the Beacons.


Queen's Birthday Parade and Trooping the Colour: the monarch's "official" birthday and Trooping the Colour have been combined since 1748, when King George II decided November was too cold to host his birthday celebrations, so he combined them with the spring military parade instead. This military parade, what they call Trooping the Colour, began under King Charles II in the 17th century. It was initially a means to help soldiers recognize their regiment colors so they would know their unit during a battle (pretty important!). Nowadays, it is more of an official marker for the Queen's official birthday (her actual birthday is April 21st). Queen Elizabeth II receives the Royal salute, which is followed by the National Anthem and then the military parade. This includes over 200 horses, 400 musicians, and 1,400 soldiers. The Royal Air Force also does a fly-by. The end of it all is a second Royal salute.


God Save the Queen: hosted by Choir of the Earth, they have asked people from anywhere and everywhere to send them a recording of them singing their new arrangement (by Ralph Allwood MBE) of that famous song, God Save the Queen. They will combine everyone's voices, as well as Luke Bond's organ music at the Windsor Castle's St. George's Chapel (so cool!) and the rehearsal tracks by The Rodolfus Choir. Then they will present the final version on June 1st to Her Majesty's Private Secreaty, and give an online Concert Performance to the Queen on June 2nd with everyone's voices combined! How cool is that?? :D


Lighting of the Beacons: Finally, to end the first day of celebrations, every Commonwealth within the UK will light beacons (las almaneras) in their capitals, for a total of 54, as well as on the Channel Islands, UK territories, and the Isle of Man (not to mention many other cities within the UK). I think this is a unique thing; while there is a tradition to celebrate important royal events with beacon lighting (think weddings, jubilees, and coronations), I don't think it has ever been done before on such a large scale! And then there are the community beacons, lit by individual communities and charities. In total, there will be over 1,500 beacons lit this year in the UK and more than 2,800 worldwide!


At Buckingham Palace, they'll have a special ceremony to light the Principal Beacon, which this year will be the Tree of Trees. This sculpture, in honor of the Queen's Green Canopy, is made of 350 smaller, native British trees in pots constructed together to resemble a 21-meter-high tree. (Click here if you want to see an image of it.)


Find out more at www.queensjubileebeacons.com. You can download a really cool PDF there, which goes through everything: music, history, etc. It's pretty cool!


June 3rd, Extra Holiday (Friday)

Friday is an extra holiday in the UK this year to give everyone a four-day weekend to join in the celebrations! As far as official celebrations go, there aren't too many different events this day; just the special service at St. Paul's Cathedral.


Service of Thanksgiving, St. Paul's Cathedral: The cathedral will host a special service in which they give thanks for the Queen's reign. They'll ring the largest church bell in Britain, Great Paul (I love that name!), who has only been rung 8 times since its restoration in 2021. This bell is about 140 years old; it will be quite moving to hear it, I am sure! On top of this, they will play a new Anthem, for Proverbs 3, created by the Master of The Queen's Music Judith Weir. (How cool of a job is that?)


On top of this, St. Paul's cathedral created a social movement #ChoirfortheQueen and asked schools everywhere - not just in the UK! - to send them recordings of their school singing one of four songs as a gift to the Queen: All People That On Earth Do Dwell (Old 100th), Vivats'from CH. H Parry, I was Glad, the UK National Anthem, or their own Jubilee Musical Soundscape (whatever that means?) .


The cathedral will also host a new exhibition titled: "Jubilee: St. Paul's, the Monarch and the Changing World" to highlight different Jubilee celebrations held at the Cathedral for the past 300 years, but with a specific focus on four monarchs: Queen Elizabeth II, Queen Victoria, King George III, and King George V.


June 4th (Saturday)

For this day, it's off to the races and then an epic performance at Buckingham Palace!


The Derby at Epsom Downs: Queen Elizabeth and family will visit this Derby (horse racing) on Saturday. To see more about the place, check out their website here.


BBC's Platinum Party at the Palace: The BBC will be hosting (and covering, as they are the official broadcaster for the UK) this epic party at Buckhingham Palace. It will have 22,000 attendees, including 5,000 key workers and 2,500 armed forces, charities, and volunteers. There will be a two-and-a-half-hour concert with epic stars and their best hits to honor the Queen, such as Andrea Bocelli, Hans Zimmer, Alicia Keys, Diana Ross, and more! There will be celebrities from media and sports, like David Beckham, Dame Julie Andrews, and The Royal Ballet. The concert will highlight the UK's contribution to different themes, such as Music, Sport, and the Environment, etc., and Andrew Lloyd Webber will be there, as well as special guests from famous musicals like The Phantom of the Opera, The Lion King, Hamilton, and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat! (Oh man, I wish I could see this - it is going to be AMAZING!)


June 5th, Final Day (Sunday)

The final day of the big celebrations, Sunday is going to be quite the day with the Big Jubilee Lunch and the Platinum Jubilee Pageant!


The Big Jubilee Lunch: To understand the Big Jubilee Lunch, you have to understand a little bit of the history behind it. They began in 1919 as something for the children to enjoy after WWI, known as Peace Teas. They morphed over time into street parties that were held for special events, like King George V's Jubilee in 1935 or to celebrate Victory in Europe (VE) and Victory in Japan (VJ) Days at the end of WWII. But it was with Queen Elizabeth II's coronation in 1953 that it really became a thing to have street parties to celebrate national and royal occasions.


If you'd like to see a brief video on the history of street parties, check it out below!


Sadly, after WWII, that feeling of community connection has decreased and contributed to societal breakdown. And that's where the Eden Project got involved. They wanted to reconnect people via the neighborhoods and launched The Big Lunch in 2009 in an attempt to do just that! Essentially, they have made a street party a yearly tradition. They encourage everyone to celebrate and reconnect on the first weekend of June. Queen Elizabeth invited them to create The Big Jubilee Lunch for her 2012 Diamond Jubilee, with The Duchess of Cornwall becoming the Patron in 2013, and this year The Big Jubilee Lunch is back to celebrate Queen Elizabeth's Platinum Jubilee!


This year, they have over 60,000 people registered to host Big Jubilee Lunches, and they expect more than 10 million people to join in! There will also be more than 600 international such lunches, including in Brazil, South Africa, and Japan! Each celebration will be different, but the general idea is to have good food, fun games, music, possibly even entertainment, and lots of good conversation and laughter!


I personally love this concept and am trying to figure out if I could implement it in my own neighborhood! And if you want some suggestions on how to celebrate with food (it just wouldn't be a complete Special Episode without links to food! :D), check out the Eden Project's Jubilee Cookbook!


The Platinum Jubilee Pageant: Finally, to end this important weekend, the UK will have the Platinum Jubilee Pageant. It's basically the combination of a parade and a carnival - there will be music, street art, theater, and carnival entertainment, all focusing on Her Majesty's reign and how society has changed during it. It'll be huge, involving about 10,000 people!


They will also have the "River of Hope" procession made up of secondary school kids carrying silk flags to music, hopefully looking like a flowing river. These 200 silk flags will hold designs from children in both primary and secondary school from across the UK with a focus on climate change.


Final Thoughts

There are so many more events! Honestly, it would be too much to try to go through them all in this podcast, so I've only highlighted the ones that I thought were pretty important to the overall celebration. But if you want to see an exhaustive list, click here!


It's going to be quite the weekend in the UK, so why not try to watch some of the events online or bake some tasty UK treats and join in the celebrations? After all, it's a great way to start your summer. :) Especially with a Big Lunch!


Recuerda, aprender un idioma es una travesía para toda la vida.

Embrace it, Enjoy it, and Share it!

 

Cultural Tip: None

 

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