Published March 31, 2022 

The Platinum Jubilee: A Celebration of Queens in the City of London

by Caroline Powell

Six in the City couldn’t resist! Talk turned creative at one of our regular planning meetings and we decided to put our heads together and create a new walk that is a celebration of queens throughout history.

A celebration of Queen Elizabeth II

In February 2022 the Queen celebrated 70 long years on the throne.  She learned of the death of her father George VI on 6 February 1952 while in Kenya on the first leg of a royal tour accompanied by her husband Prince Philip. A little over a year later, the Archbishop of Canterbury held aloft the St Edward’s Crown and placed it upon her head. She was only 26 years old. And the Coronation Ceremony is not conducted in silence – unlike the Silent Ceremony of the Lord Mayor of London that takes place each November.

Coronation Chair, Westminster Abbey
Coronation Chair, Westminster Abbey ©2022 Pat Langford

The Queen took the Coronation Oath, undertaking to rule according to the law, to exercise justice with mercy – promises symbolised by the four swords in the coronation regalia (the Crown Jewels), and to maintain the Church of England. She sat in the same coronation chair made in 1300 that can still be seen today at Westminster Abbey, along with its graffiti and damage from the Suffragette bomb placed on the throne in June 1914.

Crowns, Coronations, Executions and More – Queens and the City of London

Join our new walk Crowns, Coronations, Executions and More – Queens and the City of London and you’ll hear fascinating tales of the fortunes and misfortunes of Queens of England past.

We take you back in time to the triumphant procession of Mary Tudor, newly declared Queen of England in 1553 following the overthrow of the ‘Nine Days Queen’ Lady Jane Grey. Catch your breath at the trial of Lady Jane, led from the Tower of London one cold November day, clutching her prayer book to face the judges in Guildhall. Within four months she had lost her head.

Marvel at the exploits of Matilda, popular wife of Henry I and how she grew wealthy in the early C13 from taxes earned from goods arriving at Queenhythe.

House on Queen Street
Queen Street, one of the many parts of the City named after Queens ©2021 Pat Langford

Recoil in horror at the story of Eleanor of Provence wife of Henry III, whose failure to maintain the London Bridge, in spite of huge sums raised by tolls,  resulted in loud condemnation by Londoners, who pelted her with rotten eggs and vegetables and cried with one voice, ‘death to the witch!’

Gasp at the bravery and spirit of  Boudica, Queen of the Iceni tribe of East Anglia, who stood up to the Romans and sacked not one but three cities in the Roman Province of Britannia including Londinium.

No 1 Poultry
No 1 Poultry – scorched by Boudica in Roman times ©2020 Pat Langford

This new walk will lead you from majestic buildings, to small corners of the city, quiet gardens away from the crowds and along the glorious riverbank to hear tales  of Queens from long ago to the present day, including those who thought they should be queen, those who never wanted to be queen and to queens in waiting.

You’ll find the Crowns, Coronations, Executions and More –  Queens and the City of London  walk in our schedule from April, so book now and celebrate Britain’s long line of Queens.

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