An anniversary is an anniversary celebration of Judeo-Christian origin that was adapted to mark milestones of a British monarch.
The Bible book of Leviticus commands that people “sacrifice the fiftieth year … for it is the year of jubilee.”
Records from the 14th century show that King Edward III celebrated 50 years on the throne, his Golden Jubilee, with a weeklong joust and procession from the Tower of London.
Many of today’s jubilee traditions can be traced back to the reign of George III – the king known for the loss of the American colonies and his struggle with mental health. The beginning of his 50th year on the throne was marked with church services, parties, fireworks and souvenirs.
When Queen Victoria reached her Diamond Jubilee (60 years) in 1897, there was a great procession in London and a thanksgiving service in St. Paul’s Cathedral. According to the British Royal Collection, Victoria wrote in her diary: “No one, I believe, has ever received such an ovation as I was given as he walked through those six miles of streets.” She added: “The cheers were quite deafening and every face seemed filled with genuine joy. I was very moved and satisfied.”
Queen Elizabeth II, Britain’s longest reigning monarch, is the first to celebrate a platinum jubilee, marking 70 years on the throne.