Reminders of a Victorian jubilee

Wendy and Bill Thompson
Wendy and Bill Thompson

Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee gives us the perfect opportunity to look back at the reigns of the Royals and see what similarities and differences there are between this year’s and previous celebrations.

Philip Thompson, 82, of Market Weighton discovered a complete original programme dated June 22, 1897 marking Queen Victoria’s jubilee procession through the streets of London.

jubilee programme

jubilee programme

It also contains two personalised invites to the procession from Buckingham Palace to St Paul’s Cathedral and he believes his grandfather Arthur Edmond attended the special event as he was working as an architect in London at the time.

Mr Thompson found the 115-year-old programme when going through some of his father’s old papers.

It was tucked inside a diary and he said the treasure was a surprise discovery: “We didn’t even know we had it.

“We have all sorts of things and when we were going through some old papers, this turned up and we thought with another jubilee coming up it was quite a special thing to find now.

“We have no idea what it is worth and haven’t taken it to an expert or anything, we are not particularly big royalists, but I suppose we will keep it in the family.”

Despite being more than a century old, the programme is in superb condition and contains pages of names of the royalty and dozens of foreign dignitaries who travelled to London all those years ago to attend the occasion. Among them were His Royal Higness Prince Frederick Augustus Duke of Saxony, His Imperial Highness the Grand Duke Cyril of Russia and His Serene Highness The Prince Adolphus of Teck. Dignitaries from as far afield as Peru, Japan, Costa Rica and Australia are also listed in the programme, taking part in the procession.

Delightfully archaic adverts also feature, including one full-page featuring the United Kingdom Tea Company which boasts of supplying tea to royalty, the nobility, leading county families and over 1,000 hotels.

Antiques expert Frances Atkinson, of the Allsorts antique shop in Pocklington, said that this was the year jubilee items would be at their most valuable.

“It is a lovely item to have,” she said. “Having the tickets with it is a definite bonus, and if it is in good condition that is even better. Queen Victoria items are harder to come by so I would imagine it is quite rare, especially with the tickets.

“Now is the time for heightened interest around the Royal Family because its another jubilee year.”