Platinum Jubilee live updates: Celebrations mark Queen Elizabeth II’s 70 years on the throne

A jubilee is an anniversary celebration with Judeo-Christian origins that was adapted to mark milestones of a British monarch.

The biblical book of Leviticus commands that people “shall sanctify 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 week-long joust and a procession from the Tower of London.

Many of today’s jubilee traditions can be traced to the reign of George III — the king known for losing the American colonies and his struggle with mental health. The beginning of his 50th year on the throne was marked with church services, feasts, fireworks and souvenirs.

When Queen Victoria reached her Diamond Jubilee (60 years) in 1897, there was a grand procession in London and a church service of thanksgiving at St. Paul’s Cathedral. According to Britain’s Royal Collection, Victoria wrote in her journal: “No one ever, I believe, has met with such an ovation as was given to me, passing through those 6 miles of streets.” She added: “The cheering was quite deafening & every face seemed to be filled with real joy. I was much moved and gratified.”

Queen Elizabeth II, Britain’s longest-reigning monarch, is the first to celebrate a Platinum Jubilee, marking 70 years on the throne.

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