People of the Jubilee
Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee was celebrated by an incredible diversity of people, from all backgrounds and social classes.
Hundreds of thousands came to London for the Diamond Jubilee procession on 22 June 1897, which took the Queen from Buckingham Palace to St Paul’s Cathedral for a service of thanksgiving.
After the service the procession crossed the Thames, to allow Londoners on the south side of the river to see the Queen. People crowded every available inch of the six mile route, taking their place in specially constructed stands, leaning out of the windows of overlooking houses, standing behind the 20,000 soldiers lining the route, or climbing up trees and lampposts to get a better view.
The Jubilee celebrations brought many colourful and fascinating visitors to London. Marching in the Jubilee procession were 3,500 troops from the different countries in the Empire, resplendent in their bright, shining uniforms, including Hong Kong, Canada, India and the Gold Coast. Soldiers from Victoria, Australia even brought over their regimental kangaroo! Also taking part in the procession was a colourful and impressive array of European princes, Colonial Prime Ministers and envoys from Korea and Haiwaii.
From supporters to dissidents
Not everyone felt like celebrating the Jubilee however. Irish nationalists protested in Dublin against the Jubilee festivities and Irish members in Parliament voted against congratulations to the Queen on her long reign, calling for an end to British sovereignty in Ireland. Others suggested that the money for the Jubilee celebrations would be better spent helping to relieve the famine in India.
Discover more about Queen Victoria in Victoria Revealed, a new permanent exhibition which will explore the life and reign of one of the palace’s most famous residents in her own words.