This weekend marks Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee, marking 70 years on the throne. She is the longest-reigning monarch in British history, and her reign will be the second-longest verifiable reign of any sovereign monarch in history by next weekend.
In the United Kingdom, celebrations started on Thursday, and have continued throughout the weekend. Across the Commonwealth, including here in Canada, other celebrations are happening, albeit at a much smaller scale than what is being seen in places like London.
For some ex-pats from the United Kingdom, this weekend has them feeling a little homesick. One of those is James Brackpool, who lives in Weyburn. He moved here to Canada in August of 2007.
“Being away from home, it can be a little bit annoying to miss out on some of the things that my family and friends are going in on that we’re not celebrating over here,” Brackpool said.
He explained that nearly every town is getting in on the celebrations, including the town his parents live in, Crowborough, which is around 50 kilometres south of London, in East Sussex. Homes are dressed up in punting and streamers, and people have been gathering to mark the occasion.
“My parents went to a tea at the local parish church, or vicarage,” Brackpool added, noting the tea was more like an outdoor party, complete with performances. “My sister lives in London, and I know they’ve got a ridiculous amount of people from all over the world descending to the city there.”
Queen Elizabeth herself has not taken part in many of the ceremonies celebrating her jubilee. She missed Friday’s service at St. Paul’s Cathedral, didn’t go to the Epsom Derby Saturday, and won’t be attending a concert Saturday evening.
Here in Saskatchewan, there are smaller events taking place in a number of communities to celebrate the Jubilee.
At the provincial level, the Jubilee is being marked with the presentation of the Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee Medal. The design for the medal was released on Thursday and was approved by the Queen herself.
The medal is presented to recipients across the province who have made contributions to Canada, Saskatchewan, or a particular region or community. In all, 7,000 will be presented in Saskatchewan by MLAs, the provincial government and various communities.