2012 is the Diamond Jubilee year, marking the Queen’s 60th year as reigning monarch.
All over Britain Diamond Jubilee events and exhibitions will be taking place celebrating and exploring Britain’s rich and colourful royal heritage. You can see rare pieces of art from the Royal Family’s own collection, never-seen-before memorabilia, and even the Queen herself.
Buckingham Palace – Leonardo da Vinci: Anatomy 4 May 2012 & Diamonds - A Jubilee Celebration 31 July - 7 October
Visit Buckingham Palace this summer to see a collection of the Queen's very own diamonds! The palace is showcasing a selection of the Queen’s diamonds, including the necklace and earing set she wore during her coronation 60 years ago.
Also at the palace is the largest ever exhibition of Leonardo da Vinci’s studies of the human body. A pioneer in the understanding of human anatomy, on da Vinci’s death this collection remained undiscovered and its significance unrealised until 400 years later. Today, they are one of the Royal Collection’s greatest treasures and are proudly displayed this Diamond Jubilee year.
Tower of London – Crown Jewels Exhibition 29 March 2012
The Crown Jewels have been safe-guarded at the Tower of London for over 700 years and are an important part of royal regalia still used today. This new exhibition at the Tower sees the jewels re-displayed; exploring their importance to the British monarchy, the tradition of coronations in England and the role the Tower has in their protection.
Did you know? Westminster Abbey was the original guardian of the Crown Jewels. They were only moved to the tower after they were stolen from the Abbey in 1303.
Hampton Court Palace – The Wild, the Beautiful and the Damned 4 April – 30 September 2012
Hampton Court Palace is playing host to the court beauties, lecherous rakes and ambitious courtesans who lived, loved and died at the Palace from 1660 to 1714. This sensational exhibition will feature items from the art collection of the royal family - the Royal Collection - some of which have never before been open to the public.
Kensington Palace – Victoria Revealed 26 March 2012 & Jubilee – A view from the crowd 24 May – 31 October 2012
On 22 June 1897 the first ever Diamond Jubilee in British history was celebrated. This year Kensington Palace shines a light on Britain’s other enduring monarch, Queen Victoria.
Victoria Revealed: Paintings, poignant mourning clothes, personal gifts and even her wedding dress will be displayed in the very rooms in which Victoria lived as a child.
Jubilee – A view from the crowd: In 1897 millions of people lined the streets to catch a glimpse of Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee procession. Running until the end of October, A view from the crowd explores the public involvement and passion in this landmark event.
FREE: Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant Sunday 3 June
Watch in wonder as up to 1,000 boats join forces to create one of the biggest flotillas the Thames has ever seen!
As well as this majestic procession, other highlights of the pageant will include a gun salute, family fun in nearby Battersea Park and barges devoted to music and even pyrotechnics…
Windsor Castle – The Queen: 60 Photographs for 60 years 4 February 2012
The advent of photography alone in the 20th Century has had an unparalleled impact on the Queen. The sheer reach of modern media has made her image an iconic symbol of Britain to millions worldwide - a concept entirely unique to a British monarch. Windsor Castle's 60 photographs for 60 years is an intimate representation of the Queen’s reign so far, from official portraits to relaxed family gatherings.
Palace of Holyroodhouse – Treasures from the Queen’s Palaces 16 March 2012
From eight royal residences and over five centuries of collecting, 100 outstanding works across the breadth of the Royal Collection are on display at Scotland’s Palace of Holyroodhouse. Highlights include paintings by Canaletto, Rembrandt, and Monet; drawings by Michelangelo, Raphael and Holbein, and Fabergé Imperial Easter Eggs.
Royal Greenwich Walking Tour
Marking the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, as of 2012 the London Borough of Greenwich is now referred to as the Royal Borough of Greenwich. A rare honour, Greenwich is now part of an elite band of ‘Royal Boroughs’ signifying its long association with the British monarchy. You can find out more about this newly crowned borough on a Royal Greenwich Walking Tour.
Did you know? The other Royal Boroughs are Kensington and Chelsea, Windsor, Maidenhead and Kingston.