Every now and then we hear the phrase going platinum. Sometimes people use it about bleaching their hair. More often it refers to a particular music single or album selling over a million copies. But a British monarch going platinum? That has never happened before. So this weekend join us at the Varsity Hotel Cambridge in celebrating a truly unique event. The Platinum Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II.
So you might ask what is this royal version of going platinum, and why is it such a big deal? Simply put, a jubilee is a bit like a wedding anniversary. Except that instead of celebrating the number of years since marriage, it celebrates the number of years since a British monarch came to the throne.
Just as for wedding anniversaries, there is a system of calling the big numbers by increasingly precious materials. So a silver jubilee celebrates 25 years on the throne; pearl is 30 years; ruby for 40 years; gold for 50 years; diamond for 60 years; and now platinum for 70 years. What’s the material for 75 or 80 years? No-one knows since it has never happened before – though it still might. That’s what makes a platinum jubilee such a big deal, and so rare. Only those few monarchs to have come to the throne at a young age and then enjoyed a long life can qualify.
The first monarch to make it to a golden jubilee was George III, in 1809. Yes, that’s the same George III against whom the 13 colonies of British North America rebelled. As such its probable that he was quite mad by this point. Queen Victoria would later be the first to celebrate a diamond jubilee in 1897, reigning for 63 years in total. And now Queen Elizabeth II has surpassed them all with a platinum jubilee.
So yes, this is a big deal. As in, this is an event that no-one currently alive will see again during their lifetime. After all, there are hundreds upon thousands of wealthy celebrities who like to put on a show. But literal royalty and all the pomp and pageantry that goes with it? That’s something else entirely. And over the course of this 4 day weekend event we’ll be seeing a lot of celebrations and royal pageantry.
There will be the classic Trooping the Colour in London, the parade moving down the Mall from Buckingham Palace. The Pageant itself, an international parade and carnival meshed into one spectacle. Plus countless smaller events held across the country, including one at RAF Duxford, not far from Cambridge.
As for us, we’ll be putting on a party. Not that we really need such a grand excuse for one, but it’s what we do best. And we’ve even come up with a couple of special cocktails to mark the occasion – the First Rasp and the Blue Royale. We hope you’ll join us over the long weekend to celebrate.