While the area of Westminster is more associated with Royalty and the City of London with its Roman heritage, finance and business, there have been important royal events in the City as well. One was without doubt the Royal Wedding of Prince Charles with Princess Diana in 1981, which captured the attention of millions of people around the globe. Other royal personalities have chosen the City, and St Paul’s Cathedral in particular, to mark their important anniversaries.
The National Service of Thanksgiving on the final day of the Diamond Jubilee celebrations of Queen Elizabeth II on Tuesday 5 June 2012 was held in the cathedral. It was conducted by the Dean of St. Paul’s, The Very Reverend Dr David Ison, and the sermon was given by the Archbishop of Canterbury.
Queen Elizabeth II though was not the first Queen to celebrate a Diamond Jubilee to mark 60 years of reign. Queen Victoria in fact set this record in 1897. Nevertheless, Queen Elizabeth II was actually the first Queen to attend the service inside St Paul’s, since Queen Victoria at that time was affected by a painful arthritis that prevented her from climbing the steps of the cathedral’s entrance and the service was performed with the Queen on her State coach.
This shows two different ways to celebrate two of the greatest monarchs in British history but with the same intensity and enthusiasm from people in Britain and around the world. St Paul’s Cathedral, in the heart of the City of London, was able to hold the honour to house the height of the celebrations of two queens whose reigns set important changes and milestones in the Country’s history.