London kicked off Her Majesty The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee today with a spectacular Gun Salute in Green Park. The event marks 70 years since The Queen’s Accession to the Throne and is the first of several Platinum Jubilee events which will take place throughout 2022 in London and across the country. The Queen is now the longest-reigning monarch in British history.
Princess Elizabeth became Queen on 6 February 1952 on the day her father, King George VI, died. She was away in Kenya with The Duke of Edinburgh at the time, but tradition dictates that the new monarch accedes to the throne instantly. Tradition also dictates that when a special day falls on a Sunday, the Royal salute is not fired until the following day. Therefore, the Accession Day Platinum Jubilee Anniversary Royal salute was fired on Monday 7 February at 12 noon precisely- – and with all the pomp and circumstance you would expect from the curtain-raiser to a year of celebratory events.
71 horses and six First World War era gun carriages rode out to Green Park this Monday morning to stage the midday salute. The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery, named by her father King George VI 75 years ago this year, fired the 41 Gun salute. On her accession, Queen Elizabeth II declared that the name ‘The King’s Troop’ name would remain in his honour. It is now one of the most diverse units in the Army with 50% of the Gunners being female. It was commanded by Major Fran Sykes whilst the Parade Commander for the Salute was Captain Amy Cooper.
The Band of the Welsh Guards marched up past Buckingham Palace before setting up in Green Park to perform the celebratory music.
Precisely one hour later, at 1pm and at the Tower of London, a 62 Gun salute was fired across the Thames by the Honourable Artillery Company which dates back to the reign of King Henry VIII.
The Gun Salute is the first of several events taking place across London and the rest of the country. A full schedule of events you can get involved with will be on the blog tomorrow.
“As we mark this anniversary, it gives me pleasure to renew to you the pledge I gave in 1947 that my life will always be devoted to your service.”
Feature image: Image: Aponec Official (Ministry of Defence)