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History of Jubilees on show at St. Paul’s to mark The Queen’s 70 year reign


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As Queen Victoria marked her Diamond Jubilee in 1897, the clergy and choristers of St. Paul’s stood on the Cathedral’s famous steps for the Service of Thanksgiving for her reign. Now, artefacts of that celebration will be among the items on show in a new exhibition at St. Paul’s Cathedral to mark the 70th anniversary of The Queen’s reign.

Jubilee: St Paul’s, the Monarch and the Changing World” opens at the Cathedral at the end of May to mark the Platinum Jubilee. It will tell the story of all eight royal Jubilees celebrated in Britain, from the very first for King George III in 1809 to the current festivities for The Queen.

Among the items on display will be the ornate copes, or ceremonial cloaks, worn at many of the Jubilee Services of Thanksgiving. The celebrated ‘Jubilee Cope, designed by Beryl Dean for the 1977 celebrations is among them. It featured embroidered representations of the spires of the 73 churches in the Diocese of London as well as those of three Royal Peculiars and St. Paul’s Cathedral itself.

The exhibition will also show paintings and pictures of the celebrations of all the Jubilee Monarchs. There will be a display of souvenirs as well as special items including scrap books made by staff at St. Paul’s to mark different festivities.

It will run alongside a series of special events for the Jubilee including a music project called ‘Choir for The Queen’. This will include dedicated learning resources to encourage children between the ages of 4 and 15 to share a video of them singing their favourite hymn to mark the Jubilee.

St. Paul’s will also have late night openings in July and August to welcome more visitors.

The exhibition begins on May 25th 2022 and the price is included in the general sightseeing ticket available via the website or on the door (currently £18 per adult when booked in advance or £21 on the door).

About author

Lydia Starbuck is Jubilee and Associate Editor at Royal Central and the main producer and presenter of the Royal Central Podcast and Royal Central Extra. Lydia is also a pen name of June Woolerton, a journalist and writer with over twenty years experience in TV, radio, print and online. June has been a reporter, producer and editor, picking up several awards over the years. She's appeared on outlets including BBC 5 Live, BBC Radio Ulster and BBC Local Radio and has also helped set up a commercial radio station. June is also an accomplished writer with a wide range of material published online and in print. She is the author of two novels, published as e-books. She is also a marriage registrar and ceremony celebrant.