Year 1 History and Geography

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Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee

official diamond jubilee emblem

In 2012 we celebrated the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, which recognised her work as the Queen for sixty years. The Queen and Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, married a few years before she became the Queen in 1952. After many preparations, the Queen's Coronation took place a year later. A Coronation is a special ceremony of crowning a new Queen or King, which shows the world that the Queen or King has officially taken their new role. Coronations have taken place at Westminster Abbey for the last 900 years, and these ceremonies include important traditions. On her Coronation day, the Queen wore an elegant white dress with emblems from the UK and the Commonwealth. The Queen was presented with a bouquet of different types of all-white flowers that came from each of the four countries that make up the United Kingdom: England, Scotland, Northern Ireland, and Wales.

The Queen lives in Buckingham Palace and also travels to her various other castles and palaces. She often visits Windsor Castle, which is the largest working castle in the world that is still in use as a residence where the Queen sometimes lives. The Queen also visits the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh for one week each year at the end of June and the beginning of July. Balmoral Castle in Aberdeenshire, Scotland is one of the Queen's favourites and was also a favourite place of Queen Victoria, the Queen's great-great-grandmother. Balmoral Castle is where the Queen spends her summer holidays in August and September. Do you live near any of the Queen's castles or palaces, or have you visited any of them?

The Queen has many official duties including meeting with other Heads of State, who are leaders of other countries. She also meets with the Prime Minister each week to talk about what the government is doing, and she listens and offers him advice. Once a year, the Queen addresses parliament to set out their agenda.

A Jubilee celebrates an anniversary of a Coronation. We celebrated the Queen's Diamond Jubilee. The diamond represents the Queen's sixty years of rule. That's a long time! It may be longer than your parents have been alive, or perhaps even your grandparents. If you know anyone who was old enough to watch the Queen's Coronation live on TV or line the streets to watch her carriage go by, ask them what it was like!

The Queen held an official competition for children to design the emblem for her Diamond Jubilee, and she chose the emblem shown on this page that was made by Katherine Dewar who was 10 years old and lives in Chester.

This activity is adapted from What Your Year 1 Child Needs to Know, which can be purchased here.

This activity has cross-curricular connections: click below to see related activities.

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