Gun salutes mark Queen’s historic Platinum Jubilee


he Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations began with a bang, as gun salutes were fired across the country to mark her 70-year reign.

Events will be held over the coming year in honour of the Queen who at the weekend renewed her 1947 pledge to the nation and Commonwealth “that my life will always be devoted to your service”.

At noon the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery, named by the Queen’s father King George VI 75 years ago, fired a 41-gun salute from London’s Green Park.

A gun salute was fire in Green Park (Jonathan Brady/PA) / PA Wire

The ceremony took place a day after February 6, Accession Day, when Princess Elizabeth became Queen Elizabeth II, as the anniversary fell on a Sunday.

Lieutenant Colonel James Shaw, who as Brigade Major of the prestigious Household Division oversees the Army’s big ceremonial events, said: “For me this is the launch of the Platinum Jubilee, this is where it all starts for all of us and as a country.”

Monday was his first day in his role as Brigade Major, and he faces a busy 2022, saying: “This is no doubt a career highlight for me, I’m honoured to be involved.”

He added: “On June 2 we’ve got the Queen’s Birthday Parade, with 1,400 troops involved in that, and on June 5 there’s the pageant and the armed forces will also be involved.

The gun salute marked the official start of the Platinum Jubilee (Jonathan Brady/PA) / PA Wire

“I’m going to be heavily involved in the planning for both events, so really exciting.”

A Platinum Jubilee medal will be presented to members of the armed forces, emergency services and others to mark their service.

They can be worn from today but it is likely the Trooping the Colour ceremony will be the first time they will be worn by the military.

Medals have been awarded to mark royal jubilees since the Victorian period, when the 50th anniversary of Queen Victoria’s reign was commemorated in 1887.

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