The United Kingdom is celebrating a historical moment this weekend – Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee and The British Royal family are at the heart of these celebrations. Today, The British Royal Family attended A Service of Thanksgiving for The Queen’s reign at the St. Paul Cathedral in London. There was a vibrant yet emotional atmosphere at the world-famous Cathedral today.
The venue of the service has a history of celebrating jubilees dating back to the reign of Queen Victoria. Here is a picture of Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee Thanksgiving Service, 22 June 1897 at St Paul’s Cathedral. Queen Victoria had mobility issues so when she arrived at St. Paul for the Thanksgiving service marking her 60th year on the British throne, she sat in her carriage outside the Cathedral. Today, 96- years old Queen Elizabeth II had to follow in the same footsteps and sit out of the service marking a historical milestone of the Platinum Jubilee.
Yesterday, The British Royal Family attended the Trooping the Colour Parade in London where The Queen took the salute from the balcony of Buckingham Palace. In the evening, The Queen and The Duke of Cambridge participated in the Beacon lighting event. But the traveling from Windsor to Buckingham Palace was too much for the 96-years old Her Majesty who has been suffering from mobility issues since last fall.
Last night, Buckingham Palace announced that “The Queen greatly enjoyed today’s Birthday Parade and Flypast but did experience some discomfort. Taking into account the journey and activity required to participate in tomorrow’s National Service of Thanksgiving at St Paul’s Cathedral, Her Majesty with great reluctance has concluded that she will not attend.”
The Queen was represented by The Prince of Wales at today’s service who was joined by The Duchess of Cornwall, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Princess Anne, and Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence, The Earl and Countess of Wessex and their children Lady Louise and Viscount Severn.
Joining the senior royals at the Cathedral were the extended Royal Family members who could not join The Queen on the balcony yesterday. After 2019 Trooping the Colour parade, was the largest Royal family gathering for an official event. The family also attended the Thanksgiving service for the life of Prince Philip earlier this year in March.
A view of the Royal Procession.
Today’s service included bible readings, anthems, prayers, and congregational hymns, expressing thankfulness for The Queen’s reign, faith, and service; the desire to foster unity and peace amongst all peoples; and commitment to care for God’s creation. A new anthem by Judith Weir, Master of The Queen’s Music was performed during the service. Order of the Service is available here.
The Archbishop of York’s Sermon at the service described what we are feeling in some very amusing words,
“Now we all know that Her Majesty likes horse racing and I imagine Your Majesty will be watching this on the television. I don’t have any great tips for the Derby tomorrow, but since the scriptures describe life as a race set before us, let me observe that your long reign reflects the distance of Aintree more than the sprints of Epsom. Certainly, less dressage than most people imagine. But with endurance, through times of change and challenge, joy and sorrow, you continue to offer yourself in the service of our country and the commonwealth. Your Majesty, we’re sorry you’re not with us this morning in person, but we are so glad you are still in the saddle. And we are all glad that there is still more to come.”
Cathedral’s Great Paul, the largest church bell in the country, rang during the Service and 4 hours after the service. It was made in 1882 but fell silent in the 1970s due to a broken mechanism. It was restored in 2021 and has been rung on 8 occasions since, but this was the 1st royal occasion it rang.
More than 400 guests from all four nations of the United Kingdom were invited for today’s service in recognition of their contribution to public life at both a community and national level. In them were the Prime Minister, Former Prime Ministers, Cabinet, Governors-General of various realms, high commissioners and ambassadors, NHS and frontline workers, public servants, representatives of the Armed forces, various charities and organizations, teachers, volunteers, and key people who served the nation during the Pandemic.
A video of the day.
After the service, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge joined the Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall at the Guildhall for the reception hosted by the London Mayor. From DailyMail’s report,
At the Guildhall reception on Friday, the Duchess of Cambridge is said to have told an attendee the Queen is ‘fine’ but had found yesterday ‘very tiring’. Gill Smallwood, from Bolton, spoke with Kate and asked how the Queen was doing. Ms. Smallwood later said: ‘She (Kate) said ‘yes, she was fine, it was just very tiring yesterday, and she (the Queen) had had a lovely, lovely time’.’
For the day, The Duchess of Cambridge chose a bright elegant look. Catherine was wearing a bespoke yellow Emilia Wickstead coat dress.
Another look at the outfit.
The Duchess of Cambridge paired the outfit with Philip Treacy OC 908 Hat.
The Duchess paid a tribute to The Queen by picking Queen’s Bahrain Pearl Drop Earrings. The earrings were made from 2 pearls out of the 7 large pearls gifted to Princess Elizabeth at her wedding in 1947 by the Sheikh of Bahrain.
Catherine was wearing her Gianvito Rossi Gianvito 105 Bisque Pumps.
The Duchess of Cambridge was carrying a Forever New Lily Woven Clutch. She also carried a matching pair of gloves that remains unidentified.
— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) May 11, 2021
In the last year, The Queen has gradually stepped back from public outings and Palace announced that she will be taking selective public engagements. The Prince of Wales has officially represented her on many different occasions. There is a slight transition in the Backdrop of the Royal Family with Prince Charles taking over duties usually performed by The Monarch.
“I continue to be inspired by the goodwill shown to me, and hope that the coming days will provide an opportunity to reflect on all that has been achieved during the last seventy years.”
A message from The Queen at the start of the #PlatinumJubilee celebrations:
— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) June 1, 2022
At the age of 96, no one can fault Her Majesty for cutting back on her duties. More than 7 decades of her life have been in public service now. These unspoken changes are giving us a glimpse of a future that might not be very far. With this weekend’s celebrations, one cannot forget that an era is changing slowly but surely. This Platinum Jubilee is the nation’s way of thanking the Queen who remains steadfast amidst turbulent political, social, economical, and even family issues.
👑 Today, as the nation celebrates Her Majesty’s 70 years as Monarch with a Service of Thanksgiving at St Paul’s Cathedral, we look back on the many lives The Queen has touched through her work.
— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) June 3, 2022
She has been a guiding beacon not just for the UK but for other realms and Commonwealth too. Millions around the globe can look at the Queen and say that’s what Duty and public service mean, that’s what women empowerment means and that’s what family means. I will end this post by saying
“Thank You Your Majesty for everything you have done in the past 7 decades”!!!