Is there any precedent for a Royal Jubilee without the monarch in attendance?

Since Queen Victoria’s death in 1901, there have only been two monarchs to celebrate significant milestones during their reigns. Her grandson, King George V became the first ruler to mark 25 years of rule in 1935. For his celebrations, he waved from the Buckingham Palace balcony several days in a row, due to popular demand, and rode his carriage across London so his subjects could see him. It also saw the first bank holiday announced for a Jubilee, allowing further revelries.

The future Queen Elizabeth II waving from the balcony of Buckingham Palace in London, with her younger sister Margaret and her grandparents King George V and Queen Mary, on the occasion of their Silver Jubilee, 6 May 1935

Central Press / Hulton Archive / Getty Images

The next monarch to celebrate multiple Jubilees is of course our current Queen. Her Majesty’s first was the Silver Jubilee in 1977. During that year, the Queen and Prince Philip traveled the length and breadth of the UK, visiting more counties than any monarch had done before her. Next came her Golden Jubilee in 2002, predicted to be a non-starter event following the deaths of her mother and sister, the Queen Mother and Princess Margaret, earlier in the year, it in fact saw the Queen attending all of the events she was scheduled to attend, as well as traveling across the Commonwealth, covering more than 40,000 miles. Then in 2012, she celebrated her Diamond Jubilee, which saw her scaling back slightly on her appearances, instead of dispatching the younger generation of royals to the Commonwealth. It was also the beginning of Prince Philip’s stepping back from public life, following decades of service.

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