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The Handbook

Just when we’re all feeling like we could do with some good news, the government has decided we’re going to have an extra bank holiday! The catch? You’ll have to wait until 2022…

Britain already has one of the smallest numbers of bank holidays in the whole of Europe so what we really need is a permanent day’s hol around October or November time, just to take the edge off that August to Christmas slog, but no dice. Instead ministers yesterday announced that Friday June 3rd 2022 will be a one-time additional day off. The reason? The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

What’s more, they’re going to shift around the late May bank holiday too so that we get a four day weekend to properly congratulate Her Maj’ on being on the throne for a whopping 70 years.

The celebrations are likely to take a similar format to all the excitement a decade back, first for Wills’n’Kate’s wedding and then the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee (remember the barge on the Thames and all the rain?). Ministers and the royals fondly remember Britain taking to the streets to celebrate with road closures giving way to huge parties and an outpouring of pro-monarchy Union Jack waving and boozing. And they want to rekindle that feeling.

They're going to shift around the late May bank holiday too so that we get a four day weekend to properly congratulate Her Maj'...

A programme of celebrations is being put together, with organisers saying they’ll mix traditional pageantry and ceremonial meaning with modern tech and artistic displays. Events over the four day period will focus on elements of her record-breaking 70 year reign.

According to a Palace spokesman ‘The Platinum Jubilee offers an opportunity for the Queen to express her thanks for the support and loyalty Her Majesty has received throughout her reign. The queen hopes that as many people as possible will have the opportunity to join the celebrations”.

Meanwhile, parliament has taken a moment from figuring out how to deal with the global pandemic and is currently chewing over an equally weighty matter: what do you get for the woman who owns everything? No, literally everything. We’re still talking about The Queen.

The lucky monarch got to play with her brand new stained glass window...

Parliament traditionally gifts the monarch a jubilee pressie, and last time round the lucky monarch got to play with her brand new stained glass window, installed in Parliament’s Westminster Hall in 2012. And she must’ve been giddy with excitement in 2002 when Parliament marked her Golden jubilee with an analemmatic sundial placed in Old Palace Yard.

It now falls to parliament to once again fix on the constitutional equivalent of ‘socks’ when it comes to honouring The Queen in 2022. Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden has said it’ll be “a token of our respect”, so we’re guessing it’s going to be even crapper than a stained glass window or a sundial. The woman’s clearly been hankering after a new yacht since Tony Blair scuppered hers, so let’s definitely assume that won’t cross their minds.

Perhaps instead they should think of stuff The Queen might actually use? A special car wash for her golden carriage? A baseball cap version of the crown to wear at the State Opening?

Or, getting serious for a second, how about Parliament pass an act annulling primogeniture, the tradition that titles and inheritance are only passed to male heirs? The Queen already abolished it for royal succession, as a woman she’d surely like to see it extended throughout the aristo world? It seems bizarre to assume that ‘the fairer sex’ can’t automatically inherit land in the 21st century, or that a woman, two of her own granddaughters included, shouldn’t be able to inherit a Dukedom or Earldom.

Anyway, the 2022 celebrations should arrive around the same time as Season 6 of The Crown, so let’s see if that takes the sheen off things.

The main job the 94 year old queen now has to fulfil to ensure we get our bank holiday is to remain alive for another 18 months.


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