Queen Elizabeth II’s first big jubilee came about in 1977 when she, along with the entire country, celebrated her 25th year on the throne. It was a celebration like no other the country had seen before but was the country in a position to hold such a grand celebration, the answer it seems was YES. It’s obvious that Britain was not the same country in 1977 to the Britain celebrating a Diamond Jubilee in 2012. The question is though, just how different was Britain in 1977?, it seems not entirely.
1. In 1977 56% of people owned a car. In 2012 the figure was 96%
2. In 1977 a two children family earned an average of £363 per week. In 2012 the average income was £781 per week.
3. In 1977 people spent 25% of their income on food. In 2012 it was 15%.
4. In 1977 93% of men aged 25-54 were in work. In 2012 the figure had dropped to 86%.
Nearly 36 years ago the Silver Jubilee may have been, but things do not seem to have changed that much. In fact (as somebody who wasn’t born at the time of the Silver Jubilee) it sounds as though Britain was a great place to live in 1977. In today’s Britain, which is in such an economic crisis and unemployment at a high, it is surprising that the Diamond Jubilee was such a great success, yet this just goes to show how popular the Queen and her family really are. Just as in 1977, no matter what hardships the country is in, people just cannot say no to a great big British knees up courtesy of Her Majesty The Queen.
It seems that as the Jubilees got bigger so did the celebrations and here are a few comparisons between the two.
1. Coverage of the Silver Jubilee only lasted 7 hours in total. The Diamond Jubilee saw more like days of coverage over that memorable 4 day weekend.
2. The Silver Jubilee was mainly focused on the anniversary day itself. The Diamond Jubilee saw a Thames River Pageant, a concert outside Buckingham Palace (centred around the Victoria memorial, she would not have been amused) and the traditional service at St Pauls Cathedral followed by the balcony appearance and flypast.
3. It seems that street parties got bigger and better in 2012 too. Around 2 million people were thought to have attended a street party around the Diamond Jubilee weekend along with millions of more people who celebrated privately.
4. In 1977 Queen Elizabeth II’s family was considerably smaller and so she had to carry out a whole lot more of her official engagements herself. Skip forward 35 years to her Diamond Jubilee and not only is the Queen embarking on an extensive tour of Great Britain herself but her children and grandchildren are representing her not only in this country, but in countries around the commonwealth and world.
I suppose the one thing that is still the same in 2012 as it was in 1977 is the popularity of Queen Elizabeth II. Undoubtedly the Queen and her family have gone through times of turmoil and unpopularity however in 2012 and now in 2013 the Queen and her family’s popularity is at an all time high.
Everyone will have their own views on which Jubilee was better, as somebody who has only lived through two Jubilees (golden and diamond) I cannot compare the two, however the Diamond jubilee ignited a further interest in me in the British Monarchy which has never faded.
Which one was your favourite?
photo credit: Defence Images via photopin cc
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