Continue the celebrations of the first Platinum Jubilee in 1,000 years of the monarchy by visiting Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle to discover more about the life of Britain’s longest-reigning monarch
This summer, celebrate The Queen’s historic Platinum Jubilee with a visit to one of the official royal residences, where special displays explore historic occasions in Her Majesty’s remarkable 70-year reign. First, visit the Buckingham Palace State Rooms, open for the summer for the first time since 2019, to see official portraits of The Queen taken by the society photographer Dorothy Wilding just weeks after Her Majesty’s Accession.
Dorothy Wilding was the first official female royal photographer, and the images that she took of The Queen in 1952 were used as the basis of Her Majesty’s image on postage stamps for the next two decades, as well as providing the official portrait of Her Majesty which was sent to every British embassy throughout the world.
The portraits will be displayed alongside items of Her Majesty’s personal jewellery worn for the portrait sittings. Get up close to the Diamond Diadem, which is set with 1,333 diamonds and is one of Her Majesty’s most widely recognised pieces of jewellery, as well as The Girls of Great Britain and Ireland Tiara, given to The Queen by her grandmother, Queen Mary, as a wedding gift.
Also on display at Buckingham Palace will be the spectacular Delhi Durbar necklace, which incorporates nine emeralds as well as an 8.8-carat diamond pendant cut from the Cullinan diamond – the largest diamond ever found. The necklace was made for Queen Mary in 1911 and was inherited by Queen Elizabeth II in 1953.
At Windsor Castle, just an hour’s train ride from London, experience the splendour of Her Majesty’s Coronation in the magnificent surroundings of St George’s Hall. The special display at the Castle includes Her Majesty’s Coronation dress, designed by the British couturier Sir Norman Hartnell, and the Robe of Estate, embroidered at the Royal School of Needlework and made by the esteemed royal robe-makers Ede & Ravenscroft.
To recognise the importance of her role as Head of the Commonwealth Nations, The Queen asked for the emblems of the seven independent states of which she was monarch to be incorporated into the design of her Coronation Dress, together with those of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. See if you can spot each emblem, embroidered in gold and silver thread and encrusted with seed pearls, sequins and crystals.
Also on display at Windsor Castle are the jewelled brooches that The Queen often wears while visiting or meeting representatives of the Commonwealth countries. These include the Flame-Lily Brooch, the emblem of Zimbabwe, which was pinned to The Queen’s mourning clothes when she returned to Britain from Kenya after the death of her father, George VI, in 1952, and the Australian Wattle Brooch, presented to Her Majesty during her first visit to Australia in 1954.
After exploring the special displays, make sure to visit Royal Collection Trust’s shops, where you can browse a huge range of official Platinum Jubilee products, including handmade commemorative chinaware, souvenirs and a special-edition English Sparkling Wine.
Platinum Jubilee: The Queen’s Accession is at the Summer Opening of the State Rooms at Buckingham Palace from Friday 22 July to Sunday 2 October 2022.
Platinum Jubilee: The Queen’s Coronation is at Windsor Castle until Monday 26 September 2022.
Images: © Royal Collection Trust/Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2022.