HC Deb 19 January 1977 vol 924 cc191-3W
Mrs. Ann Taylor

asked the Prime Minister if he will announce further details of the celebrations to mark the Queen's Silver Jubilee.

The Prime Minister

The whole House—and indeed the whole nation—will welcome the opportunity to offer their warmest congratulations to The Queen on the 25th anniversary of her Accession, and to express their gratitude for a quarter of a century of devotion and public duty.

A wide range of celebratory events has been planned to mark the occasion. The main features of the central programme of celebrations were announced by my right hon. Friend the Member for Huyton (Sir H. Wilson) on 18th December 1975—[Vol. 902 c. 687–90]—and considerable progress has since been made with the planning of individual events, both within and outside the central programme. The aim has been to have an attractive combination of the traditional and the new.

As my right hon. Friend the Lord President of the Council announced on 7th December 1976 [Vol. 922 c. 107], it is proposed that both Houses of Parliament should present Addresses to Her Majesty in Westminster Hall on Wednesday 4th May. There will be a national thanksgiving service at St. Paul's Cathedral on Tuesday 7th June. Thanksgiving services will also be held in Glasgow Cathedral on Tuesday 17th May and in Llandaff Cathedral on Friday 24th June. Special services will be held throughout the country.

In England, Wales and Northern Ireland the Spring Bank Holiday will be changed to Monday 6th June and a special Silver Jubilee Bank Holiday will be held on Tuesday 7th June. In Scotland an additional public holiday will take place on dates arranged by the District Councils.

One of the novel features in the central programme will be The Queen's river progress on the Thames, from Greenwich to Lambeth, on Thursday 9th June. The Queen has expressed a wish to meet people in as many parts of the United Kingdom as possible during her Jubilee celebrations, and she will accordingly be visiting all the major centres of population during the course of the spring and summer.

The Government welcome the arrangements—many of them involving imaginative and original ideas—being made by local authorities and by private individuals and organisations in all walks of life to celebrate Her Majesty's Silver Jubilee, and I would like to pay particular tribute to the work done by the London Celebrations Committee under the chairmanship of Lord Drogheda. As is right on such an occasion, people will have the opportunity, not simply to pay tribute to The Queen, but also to celebrate and enjoy themselves as The Queen herself would wish.

The Prince of Wales will lead a National Appeal, to be known as The Queen's Silver Jubilee Appeal, devoted to young people and in particular to encouraging them to help others in the community in which they live. The Official Souvenir Programme for the Silver Jubilee, to be published in support of the Appeal will be on sale to the public throughout the country on Monday 25th April, and on the previous day His Royal Highness will broadcast in support of the Appeal.

The Queen has approved the institution of a commemorative silver medal, to be struck for issue as a personal award from Her Majesty to members of the Crown Services and to others in the United Kingdom and other Commonwealth countries.

As already announced, the Royal Mint will issue a commemorative crown piece with a face value of 25 pence.

Four special stamps commemorating the Silver Jubilee will be issued by the Post Office in May.

The Central Office of Information has established a Jubilee Central Information Service; and the British Tourist Authority is arranging to supply information about the celebrations to persons abroad who may be considering visiting Great Britain in Jubilee year.

A revised outline programme listing the principal events in which The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh will be participating appears below.