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The Victorian Jubilees

As for the previous Jubilee, 1887 saw plenty of roast ox and plum pudding consumed, beer drunk and bonfires lit.

Bridge Street Caversham

Decorations in Bridge Street, Caversham for the 1887 Jubilee. (D/EX965/6)

The county’s best party was in Windsor, where the Queen arrived on Jubilee Day 22 June. She alighted at Slough Station and was driven through Slough and Eton before arriving at the Castle. The Castle and the town were illuminated and lunch was provided by the Queen for 6000 children. There was a torchlight procession through Home Park that culminated in the Queen knighting the town’s Mayor.

There were permanent monuments too. St Nicolas’s church in Newbury had a new stained glass window designed, Reading had a statue of the Queen commissioned to stand in front of the Town Hall and also built a water fountain in St Mary’s Butts. Windsor too had a statue placed in Castle Hill, with a time capsule in its pedestal, which contained an example of every coin of the realm.

Reading programme

Programme for Reading's celebrations of the 1887 Jubilee. (D/EX1248/2)

Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee in 1897 was celebrated in a similar way. All the towns and villages in the county held street parties for their inhabitants – Reading even had a week of celebrations. A local businessman gave Maidenhead its clock tower and Windsor built a new ward for its Infirmary, while in Reading the Queen Victoria Nursing Institute was inaugurated.

Windsor programme
Programme for Windsor's celebration of the 1897 Jubilee. (WI/D15/3)

 

 

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