Nicola here, in the UK, where we are marking Queen Elizabeth II’’s 70th anniversary on the throne with Platinum Jubilee celebrations. The series of events being held to celebrate this milestone reminded me of 1977 when I was twelve years old and was living in Leeds in Yorkshire. We had a street party and in the park down the road from us there was a big concert which you could hear from our garden – which was great as my parents wouldn’t allow me to go as I was too young!
Jubilees don’t come around that often. They mark a major milestone in the reign of a monarch and only start after 25 years on the throne with the Silver Jubilee. They are named in the same way that anniversaries are: silver, golden, diamond and platinum but there’s no pearl or sapphire jubilee and none of the smaller anniversaries in between. However, they may be infrequent but they have a long history. The origins of jubilee celebrations go back to Ancient Egypt when a pharoah would take part in various ceremonies to demonstrate his or her fitness to rule. The word “jubilee” derives from the Hebrew word ‘Jobel’ which refers to the ram’s horn with which these ceremonies were proclaimed. Jubilees are, as the name suggests, times of jubilation.