Queen Elizabeth just celebrated her Platinum Jubilee in June, and the festivities cost over $30 million. Taxpayers aren’t happy about the frivolously expensive ceremony. Here’s what we know about the celebration and what taxpayers say about it.
Queen Elizabeth’s Platinum Jubilee was a 4-day celebration
96-year-old Queen Elizabeth II was just honored with a Platinum Jubilee, a four-day celebration observing the 70th anniversary of the Queen’s accession.
The lavish ceremony ran from Thursday, June 2, through Sunday, June 5. The United Kingdom’s Spring bank holiday, which typically falls on the last Monday of May, was moved to June 2 and combined with an extra bank holiday on June 3 to create a four-day weekend for the festivities.
The event marked the first time any British monarch had celebrated a platinum jubilee. Other Commonwealth nations and territories, including Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the Cayman Islands, and Papua New Guinea, also honored the momentous occasion.
Many Commonwealth countries issued commemorative coins and stamps, and beacons were lit in the capital cities of every Commonwealth nation for the first time. Trees were also planted in the Queen’s honor in many locations.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle notably returned to the UK for the celebration, along with their two children, Archie and Lilibet. It was the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s first public appearance in the UK since 2019.
Harry previously told Oprah (via Marie Claire) that, although the “UK is [his] home,” he and Markle had to leave due to a “lack of support and lack of understanding” from the royal family. But it is widely believed that Harry has a soft spot for his grandmother, so he returned to honor Queen Elizabeth, despite the family rift.
Queen Elizabeth’s Platinum Jubilee cost about $30 million
The four-day weekend celebrating the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee started on Thursday with a military parade of more than 1,400 soldiers, 400 musicians, and 200 horses. A cathedral service was held on Friday, and a party at Buckingham Palace took place on Saturday. The festivities concluded on Sunday with a £15 million pageant carnival featuring celebrity performers.
In 2021, Chancellor Rishi Sunak and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport (DCMS), both responsible for hosting the event, said the government would set aside £28 million (equivalent to over $33 million) for the celebration. In March, that number was stated again in the House of Commons committee report (per Fortune).
The over $30 million cost has drawn criticism from UK taxpayers. Some are outraged at the frivolous expense in a country still recovering from the global pandemic, facing a cost of living crisis, and involved in the war in Ukraine.
It’s important to note that the sum of £28 million did not distinguish between amounts funded by taxpayer dollars versus partner organizations. For example, the DCMS claimed that the £15 million pageant finale was paid for by independent fundraising, not taxpayer money.
Taxpayers are furious about the cost of Queen Elizabeth’s Platinum Jubilee amid an economic crisis
Many taxpayers in the UK are still furious about the cost of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. They sounded off on social media and didn’t hold anything back.
“The amount of money being spent on lavish celebrations for the Queen’s Jubilee is not only nauseating but also in extremely poor taste considering the conditions that many are suffering in during this cost of living crisis,” one person tweeted. “It cannot be justified.”
Another person seemingly compared Queen Elizabeth to Marie Antoinette by tweeting, “The Queen’s jubilee is going to cost us £15 million pound[s]. At a time of a national cost of living crisis, this [is] a massive #LetThemEatCake moment. Google how that turned out for the elites.”
And one person simply tweeted, “I’m sorry, the Queen’s jubilee cost £28 million?!? F*** the monarchy.”