Golden Jubilee 2002 vs Platinum Jubilee 2022

May 27, 2022
royal guards during jubilee celebrations
A lot can change in 20 years. Since Her Majesty’s Golden Jubilee in 2002, the UK has seen plenty of political, social and economic activity such as a global pandemic, 4 prime minister resignations and the smoking ban. 

The early 2000s saw the closure of Scotland’s last coal mine, a World Cup win for English Rugby and the launch of Facebook across the pond. That’s right. The Golden Jubilee was pre-Facebook – safe to say it’s been a while! Since then, Britain has also hosted a Summer Olympics, welcomed a few new heirs and bid farewell to the European Union.  

Queen Elizabeth II became the nation’s longest-reigning monarch in 2015, celebrating her Sapphire Jubilee two years later. And now, in 2022, and it’s time to mark Her Majesty’s 70th year on the throne! To celebrate, we’re looking back at the similarities and differences between The Queen’s Golden and Platinum Jubilee celebrations. 

Why is the Queen’s Jubilee in June? 

Her Majesty’s Jubilee is always in June, marking a milestone year since she came to the throne. But Queen Elizabeth II succeeded her father, King George VI, on 6th February 1952, so why don’t we celebrate the Jubilee in February?  
6th February is also the day King George VI died, so HM chooses to celebrate her reign in summer, keeping the earlier anniversary for her father’s memory. The Silver, Ruby, Golden, Diamond, Sapphire and Platinum Jubilee celebrations have been in June, too – good news for celebrations in warmer weather! 

Then and now: looking back at Golden vs Platinum Jubilee celebrations 

The Queen’s Golden Jubilee celebrations, marking 50 years of service, were held from 1st-4th June 2002.  

The Platinum Jubilee celebrates HM’s 70th year on the throne, with festivities between 2nd-5th June 2022. 

This year, the Spring bank holiday (usually in late May) has been moved to Thursday the 2nd of June. That means a super-long four-day weekend, including the Spring bank holiday, Queen’s Platinum Jubilee bank holiday, Saturday, and Sunday! 

One thing is for sure – two decades do not change how much Brits love a long weekend; in 2002, the late May bank holiday was moved to early June to allow for four days of celebrations. 

What happened at the Queen’s Golden Jubilee? 

jubilee street party 2002

Her Majesty the Queen, The Duke of Edinburgh, The Prince of Wales and Princes William and Harry were all in attendance throughout the long weekend 

Lucky guests were invited to enjoy concerts in Buckingham Palace Gardens, including the Party at the Palace pop concert and a classical performance – this was the first time the gardens were ever used for public concerts 

Jubilee Chicken was created by the Royal Chef for guests at the Queen’s Palace Gardens Concerts 

Celebratory church services and bellringing across the UK 

Spectacular fireworks, light and sound displays from the roof of Buckingham Palace and Green Park 

People held street parties, garden parties, BBQs and other events in Britain and around the world to celebrate the Queen’s 50 years of service 

The Queen and the entire royal family attended the Service of Thanksgiving at St Paul’s Cathedral, arriving in the rarely seen Gold State Coach 

27 aircraft flew over Buckingham Palace for the Golden Jubilee celebrations finale, trailing plumes of red, white, and blue smoke to represent the UK flag 

Over 2,000 beacons were lit worldwide in the UK, the Channel Islands, the Commonwealth and even the North Pole! The Queen herself lit the National Beacon in front of London’s Queen Victoria Memorial
The Golden Jubilee Parade of 20,000 people marched along The Mall, including a 5,000-person gospel choir, 2,500 revellers from the Notting Hill Carnival and 4,000 representatives of the Commonwealth 

The Empire State Building shone purple and gold on 4thJune 2002, in honour of the Queen’s Golden Jubilee

Did you know that the Queen is the first member of the Royal Family to be awarded a gold disc from the recording industry? 100,000 copies of the Party at the Palace CD were sold within the first week! A fantastic way to celebrate the Golden Jubilee.  

Fast-forward to today: celebrating the Platinum Jubilee 

Getting ready to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee this June? There are plenty of official and unofficial events planned to mark the occasion. 

Thursday 2nd 

The first day of the Jubilee Weekend means Trooping the Colour – the Queen’s birthday parade! This annual celebration has marked the birthday of the British Sovereign for over 260 years. 

The procession kicks off at 11am on 2nd June. Members of the public can watch from the street anywhere between the Horse Guards Parade (off Whitehall in Central London) and Buckingham Palace, where the march ends. 

There will also be screens in St James’ Park, plus BBC and Sky broadcasts to watch from home. When the procession reaches Buckingham Palace, members of the Royal Family come out onto the balcony. 

Britain’s tradition of lighting beacons to celebrate jubilees, weddings and coronations will continue for the Platinum Jubilee – just like in 2002! 

• Friday 3rd 

The Service of Thanksgiving to the Queen will be held at St. Paul’s Cathedral on Friday. The cathedral is home to the largest church bell in the UK, Great Paul, which will be rung to celebrate the Platinum Jubilee. It’ll be Great Paul’s first time ringing for a royal occasion! 

Saturday 4th 

Saturday, and time for the Derby at Epsom Downs. Her Majesty and members of the royal family are scheduled to attend the Derby this year. 

In the afternoon, celebrations move to the Platinum Party at the Palace. This spectacular event will be broadcast live on the BBC, hosted by Roman Kemp and Kirsty Young. Revellers can expect to see familiar faces from the entertainment industry performing musical tributes to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, but more on this below. 

Sunday 5th 

The final day of the Platinum Jubilee Weekend means bunting-lined street parties up and down the UK. The Big Jubilee Lunch is a nationwide celebration; over 60,000 people have registered to host street parties, BBQs and other events across the country. 

The Platinum Jubilee Pageant is also taking place on Sunday. Led by The Gold State Carriage (also seen in 2002!), the procession will pay tribute to HM’s 70 years of service. Although the Queen isn’t planning to ride in the carriage herself, the nation has been promised a fabulous surprise! The Jubilee Pageant will end with the National Anthem, a gospel choir and the Band of HM’s Royal Marines. National treasures and iconic figures from music, film, sport and the arts are scheduled to participate in the pageant. You never know who might be there – don’t miss the celebration! 

Who performed at the Queen’s Golden Jubilee, 2002? 

Elton John 
Queen (Brian May and Roger Taylor) 
Ricky Martin 
S Club 7 
Annie Lennox 
Phil Collins 
Atomic Kitten 
Will Young 
Emma Bunton 
Tom Jones 
The Corrs 
Shirley Bassey 
Bryan Adams 
Tony Bennett 
Cliff Richard 
Eric Clapton 
Brian Wilson 
Joe Cocker 
Rod Stewart 
Paul McCartney 
Ray Davies 

Who’s performing at the Platinum Jubilee, 2022? 

Elton John – some things haven’t changed in 20 years! 
Queen + Adam Lambert – Brian May also performed at the Golden Jubilee in 2002 
Ed Sheeran 
Stevie Wonder 
George Ezra 
Diana Ross 
Sam Ryder 
Alicia Keys 
Nile Rodgers 
Andrea Bocelli 
Duran Duran 
Hans Zimmer 
Ella Eyre 
Craig David