Credit: William Ewart Lockhart/Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain

Historical Insights Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee

Seats for 10,000 invited guests were built for the service at Westminster Abbey to celebrate Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee. June 21, 1887, Westminster Abbey, London, England. Credit: William Ewart Lockhart/Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain

Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee

Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee in June 1887 celebrated not only her 50th anniversary, but also Britain’s prominence as a global power.

June 20, 1887, marked the 50th anniversary of Queen Victoria’s ascension to the throne at age 18. The British government wanted to celebrate her Golden Jubilee in style to honor Queen Victoria and recognize Britain’s place as a world power. On June 20, the Queen had a private breakfast with her family near the grave of her beloved husband, Prince Albert, followed later by a great banquet at Buckingham Palace. “The Princes were all in uniform, and the Princesses were all beautifully dressed,” the Queen wrote in her diary of the event. On June 21, there was a great procession through London to Westminster Abbey, where a service of thanksgiving and prayer was held. The celebration concluded with the Children’s Jubilee in Hyde Park in London on June 22. Not everyone approved of the festivities—both Ireland and the United States had various protests over Britain’s perceived tyranny over Ireland.