MPs and Lords to pay for Queen's gift to celebrate her platinum jubilee

Rebecca Taylor
·Royal Correspondent
·4-min read

Watch: Queen’s Platinum Jubilee to be marked with Bank Holiday weekend

MPs and Lords will chip in for a present for the Queen to mark her platinum jubilee, it’s been announced.

The government has announced an extra bank holiday for Britons in 2022 as the Queen reaches 70 years on the throne.

As part of that, members of parliament from both houses, the Commons and the Lords, will be asked to donate to get her a present to mark the occasion.

Speaking on Thursday, Commons speaker Sir Lindsay said: “As the House will hear from the culture secretary in a moment, Her Majesty the Queen will just over a year from now mark the 70th anniversary of her accession to the throne.”

He added: “The House will therefore be pleased to hear that arrangements are in hand for a gift to Her Majesty from parliament to mark her platinum jubilee in 2022.

“Preliminary arrangements are being made. A cross-party project board with members from both Houses is being established to decide on this gift and to oversee the delivery of this project.

“Following his work of organising the diamond jubilee gift, I have asked (Sir Michael Ellis) to lead this project.

“As was the case in 2012, when hundreds of parliamentarians contributed towards the diamond jubilee gift, this gift will be funded by personal contributions from members of both Houses entirely at their own discretion.

“It is proposed that no public funds will be spent on the gift.”

The Diamond Jubilee stained glass window is seen in the Queen's Chapel of the Savoy Hotel after it was unveiled by Britain's Queen Elizabeth in London November 1, 2012.  REUTERS/Eddie Mulholland/Pool    (BRITAIN - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT ROYALS TRAVEL)
The Diamond Jubilee stained glass window was a gift from MPs in 2012. (Eddie Mulholland/Reuters)

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In 2012, MPs clubbed together and bought the Queen a stained glass window which was unveiled in Westminster Hall.

In 2002 a sundial was put up near an entrance to the Lords to mark her golden jubilee.

In 1977, she was bought the Jubilee Fountain which sits in New Palace Yard, for her silver jubilee.

Previously, some MPs have objected to donating toward the project.

During a statement and questions on the platinum jubilee in the Commons on Thursday, culture secretary Oliver Dowden confirmed the government and the Royal House would be cautious with spending on the jubilee plans.

SNP MP Steven Bonnar (Coatbridge, Chryston and Bellshill) said: “As we come out of the coronavirus pandemic and look to recover over the next few years, it is vital that we focus our money and attention on those most in need to offer our support.

“Does the secretary not agree then that, at this time of economic hardship, we should not be spending excessively on ceremonies, pageantry and celebrations, but rather focusing on supporting those least well off and those hardest hit by this pandemic?”

Dowden said: “Of course, we are providing support for those hardest hit.

“I am of course mindful, and I know the royal household will be mindful as well, of ensuring that money is spent very wisely through this process.”

Britain's Queen Elizabeth smiles after the Derby horse race at the Epsom Derby festival in Epsom, southwest of London June 2, 2012 during her Diamond Jubilee celebrations. Queen Elizabeth gets four days of celebrations to mark her 60 years on the British throne under way on Saturday with one of her favourite pastimes, a trip to the horse races, as tributes to the long-serving monarch pour in. REUTERS/Toby Melville       (BRITAIN - Tags: SPORT HORSE RACING ROYALS TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)
The Queen at the Epsom Derby festival during her diamond jubilee celebrations. (Toby Melville/Reuters)

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He was reluctant to share too many details of the plans, but said: “I can say we’re actually looking at the idea of a Queen’s green canopy working with Defra.

“So, we will plant trees up and down the country.”

Announcing the four-day weekend, Dowden said: “Her Majesty’s platinum jubilee will be a truly historic moment – and one that deserves a celebration to remember.

“We can all look forward to a special, four-day jubilee weekend, when we will put on a spectacular, once-in-a-generation show that mixes the best of British ceremonial splendour with cutting edge art and technology.

“It will bring the entire nation and the Commonwealth together in a fitting tribute to Her Majesty’s reign.”

A Buckingham Palace spokeswoman said: “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.”

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