(February 2012) 1897 and 2012 — Similarities and Differences

Following the celebration of her Golden Jubilee in 1887, ten years later in 1897, Queen Victoria and her proud peoples commemorated her Diamond Jubilee with celebrations throughout this country and the British Empire. This special occasion was seen as a commercial opportunity — business and investment ventures were started with ‘Jubilee’ status. American people and their markets were targeted.

Britons celebrated with pride the progress, both social and industrial, that had been achieved during Queen Victoria’s 60 year reign. A procession was planned from Buckingham Palace to St Paul’s Cathedral, where a service of thanksgiving was conducted on the steps of St Paul’s. The Queen, still wearing black mourning clothes and a bonnet but was unable to climb the many steps so the ceremony was conducted outside to the joy of the thousands who were able to see it. Cheers rang out for the People’s Queen from St Paul’s to Trafalgar Square right down to the Thames Embankment. All was safely carried out despite the Pageant Master’s and the Government’s concerns about terrorist attacks!

In the Sibfords, the villagers celebrated with great joy as they have done on many Royal occasions through the years. Funds were raised by public subscription totalling £27.17.4d

A telegram was sent to her Majesty   2s 4d
A man and horse were hired to build the bonfire   8s 2d
Fireworks £5 5s 0d
2 men to mind bonfire on Jubilee Eve   4s 0d
Flags and decoration £1 10s 0d
Beef, mutton and ham for a celebration meal £5 10s 3d
Groceries, bread, cakes and pudding ingredients £3 14s 10d
Sports were held for the children – prizes £1 0s 0d
Printing of schedule for sport   6s 6d
The Sibford Brass Band played £1 10s 0d
Calico for tablecloths & wedding drapery   7s 2d
Beer was provided for all £3 2s 6d


In June 2002 Sibfords villagers celebrated Queen Elizabeth II’s Golden Jubilee with 4 days of events which included a Flower Festival in the Church, a Village Street Fayre with Fancy Dress and a Dog Show, a Royal Exhibition, a Supper and Concert in the Manor (Sibford Gower), an outdoor Interdenominational Service, a Village Picnic prior to the Village Sports and inter-village Rounders Match, Helicopter Rides, Open Village Gardens, a Piano Concert, a Torchlight Procession, Fireworks and Beacon Lighting, a Tea Dance, Songs of Praise, and a Bring and Share Supper with Dancing!

The National preparations are little altered from 1897 — there will be a grand procession from Buckingham Palace to St Paul’s Cathedral, the Royal family will tour Great Britain and the Commonwealth, tourists will be encouraged, there will be a celebration of 1000 boats on the River Thames where the Queen will attend on the Royal Barge and there will still be concerns about possible terrorist attacks.