Sunday, June 20, 2021’s Smile of the Day: Queen Victoria’s Jubilee

On this Day:

In 1887, Britain celebrated the Golden Jubilee of Queen Victoria.

The Golden Jubilee of Queen Victoria was celebrated on 20 June 1887 on the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of Queen Victoria’s accession on 20 June 1837. It was celebrated with a banquet to which 50 European kings and princes were invited.

On 20 June 1887 the Queen had breakfast outdoors under the trees at Frogmore, where Prince Albert had been buried. She then travelled by train from Windsor station to Paddington then to Buckingham Palace for a royal banquet that evening. Fifty foreign kings and princes, along with the governing heads of Britain’s overseas colonies and dominions, attended. She wrote in her diary:

Had a large family dinner. All the Royalties assembled in the Bow Room, and we dined in the Supper-room, which looked splendid with the buffet covered with the gold plate. The table was a large horseshoe one, with many lights on it. The King of Denmark took me in, and Willy of Greece sat on my other side. The Princes were all in uniform, and the Princesses were all beautifully dressed. Afterwards we went into the Ballroom, where my band played.

The following day, she participated in a procession in an open landau through London to Westminster Abbey escorted by Colonial Indian cavalry.

During prayers for the Queen at the Abbey, a beam of sunlight fell upon her bowed head, which the future Queen Liliuokalani of Hawaii observed as a mark of divine favor.

On her return to the Palace, she went to her balcony and was cheered by the crowd. In the ballroom she distributed brooches made for the Jubilee to her family. In the evening, she put on a gown embroidered with silver roses, thistles and shamrocks and attended a banquet. Afterwards she received a procession of diplomats and Indian princes. She was then wheeled in her chair to sit and watch fireworks in the palace garden.

At the Jubilee she engaged two Indian Muslims as waiters, one of whom was Abdul Karim.

A commemorative bust of Victoria was commissioned from the sculptor Francis John Williamson. Many copies were made, and distributed throughout the British Empire.

A special Golden Jubilee Medal was instituted and awarded to participants of the jubilee celebrations.

Writer and geographer John Francon Williams published The Jubilee Atlas of the British Empire especially to commemorate Victoria’s Jubilee and her Jubilee year.

Many cities commissioned new buildings to mark the event, including Queens Arcade in Leeds (per Wikipedia).

First, a Story:

Why did Queen Victoria visit the dentist?  To get a crown, of course…

Second, a Song:

Horrible Histories is an educational entertainment franchise encompassing many media including books, magazines, audio books, stage shows, TV shows, and more.

In 2013, Lisa Edwards, UK publishing and commercial director of Scholastic Corporation, described Horrible Histories as one of the company’s “crown jewels”, and said it is at an “advanced stage of evolution”. She added: “We have covered every possible era that has a commercial outcome…We’re now in the era of the box set, annuals, newly presented editions and licensed products”.

Horrible Histories began as a book series by author Terry Deary. The series began in 1993 with The Terrible Tudors and The Awful Egyptians, and the following titles continued the trend to describe British history through the context of the ruling dynasties, as well as explore significant worldwide cultures (often within the context of British history such as the Viking and Roman conquests on the British Isles). A series of specials and novelty books have been released, and the last book was announced to be released in 2013.

The response has been generally positive:

Terry Deary and Martin Brown’s brilliant books about the nastiest periods in history have now—with the help of some astounding actors—been transformed into a series of audio extravaganzas. Featuring new, extra material not found anywhere in the books, these sound spectaculars are just as thrilling and spilling, funny and fast as their printed counterparts. Horrible Histories are guaranteed to bring you history with the nasty bits left in! The Rotten Romans features beastly battles, deadly doctoring and marvellous myths—and you can even find out how to tell the future using a dead chicken! It’s packed with quizzes, sketches, music and jokes, as well as mini-dramas and real life re-enactments—telling you the kind of foul facts which just aren’t available from a classroom education! (per Horrible Histories).

Here is Horrible Histories’ Victorian Work Song about what it was like to be a child in Queen Victoria’s reign. I hope you enjoy this!


Thought for the Day:

“I would venture to warn against too great intimacy with artists as it is very seductive and a little dangerous.” – Queen Victoria


Have a great day!

Dave & Colleen

© 2021 David J. Bilinsky and Colleen E. Bilinsky

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