A simple gesture like a watch or gift certificate to the Olive Garden wouldn’t do for this particular job anniversary. Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor is celebrating 60 years of holding her job as the Queen of England. To honor her longevity of her position, she is being honored with a four-day celebration, with the eyes of the nation all cast upon a very royal amount of pomp and circumstance at the Diamond Jubilee.
So what goes down on at a Diamond Jubilee? Here are eight things to know:
She is 86 and has been on the job since she was 26 (1952), when she inherited the thrown from her father King George VI after he died.
It Starts With a Bang – Literally:
The start of the celebrations happened on Saturday with “a 41-gun salute fired by the King’s Troop, Royal Horse Artillery at Horse Guards Parade in central London.”
Come Sail With the Queen:
There will be a about a thousand-boat flotilla procession down the River Thames with the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh riding in the royal barge. The Spirit of Chartwell is a meticulously restored boat with all the bells, whistles and gilded gold befitting her position. About 300 guests will accompany the queen on her journey.
In front of the Buckingham Palace there will be a big concert featuring a couple knighted native sons: Sir Elton John and Sir Paul McCartney will both perform.
The Crap = Big Business:
There are an insane amount of souvenirs being marketed, sold and pushed upon the citizens of England and beyond in honor of the Diamond Jubilee. According to the National Post, $1.28 billion will be spent on flags, party supplies and, of course, Diamond Jubilee mugs and T-shirts. “The Jubilee has the potential to create a feel-good factor that lifts consumer confidence and persuades people to put their concerns to one side, even if only temporarily,” British Retail Consortium Economist Richard Lim said.
Not only does the government want to keep the Queen safe, but also all her loyal subjects. There is a huge security crew in charge of protecting the royals and commoners with around 13,000 officials, including about 6,000 police officers, on the job.
The Big Lunch:
The Diamond Jubilee is a time to break bread and have a pint with friends and neighbors and the world’s biggest lunch date will take place on Sunday. “The aim is to get as many people as possible across the whole of the UK to have lunch with their neighbours in a simple act of community, friendship and fun,” the Big Lunch website declares.
Not All Love and Roses:
The anti-monarchist group Republic are planning a riverbank protest during the flotilla procession on Sunday with signs like “Make monarchy history”; “Don’t jubilee’ve it!”; “9,500 nurses or 1 Queen?”
Do you think that all that is a bit over the top for this milestone?