Her Majesty The Queen will next year celebrate the 70th Anniversary of her Accession to the Throne and the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee will be marked by national celebrations.
A Platinum Jubilee has never been achieved by a Sovereign before in the nearly thousand-year history of this country and, as announced in a recent newsletter of mine, I have been honoured to have been asked by the Speaker of the House of Commons, Sir Lindsay Hoyle, and the Lord Speaker of the House of Lords to lead the Project Board in organising a gift from Parliament for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations in 2022.
The Houses of Parliament have a tradition in marking Her Majesty’s jubilees. Indeed, for the Silver Jubilee in 1977 the fountain in New Palace Yard was erected, for the Golden Jubilee in 2002 the sundial in Old Palace Yard was installed, and for the Diamond Jubilee in 2012 the stained-glass window in Westminster Hall was commissioned, the latter of which I also led.
The gift now proposed is for a pair of unique bronze sculptures of the heraldic beasts of the United Kingdom, namely the Lion of England, the Unicorn of Scotland, the Dragon of Wales and the Irish Elk of Northern Ireland, and bearing other Royal symbols, to be installed on the Parliamentary estate outside Westminster Hall, in a situation which links three of the four Jubilee Gifts of Her Majesty’s reign.
The Platinum Jubilee lamps will also serve as beacons to symbolise the guiding light Her Majesty has been to the Nation during her reign and will of course also have a practical effect in a busy part of the Parliamentary Estate, which is visible from close range for constituents of mine who attend Parliamentary tours.
Just as I ensured during my organisation of the 2012 Jubilee gift from Parliament, it is proposed that no public funds will be used to commission the Platinum Jubilee gift, and I am instead fundraising donations exclusively from MPs and Peers at their own personal expense.
Fundraising has officially started on the project and to mark the beginning, both Speakers made a statement to their respective Houses about the Jubilee Gift, encouraging Members and Peers to contribute. You can watch the very short announcements here:
And you can watch the House of Lords announcement here: