Exactly 59 years ago today (just over a year after she inherited the throne), Queen Elizabeth II was crowned at Westminster Abbey. And so, this weekend, we in the UK are celebrating the Queen’s diamond jubilee. Happy 60th anniversary, your majesty!
The coronation itself was a fairly groundbreaking event: it was the first coronation to be televised, and subsequently the number of television-owning households in Britain doubled to 3 million. The country was still dealing with post-war austerity at the time, and a little glitz and a lot of bling were something of a balm to the national soul.
Elizabeth is only the second monarch in British history to celebrate the diamond jubilee (Victoria, of course, was the first, and in three years and about 100 days, Elizabeth will have beaten her record) and the country’s showing its patriotic side, even in Scotland, where the powers that be are still wrangling for independence. Shops have their bunting and royal portraits on display, street parties are planned, and we’ll have a beacon lighting up at the castle Monday night. It’s also a bank holiday weekend. Hurrah, long-serving monarchs!
The fact that Queen Elizabeth is still going strong begs the question, though: what comes after a diamond jubilee? Platinum?