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Archive for the ‘History’ Category

Blue Moon (August 31, 2012)

A blue moon will grace the night sky tonight (Aug. 31), giving skywatchers their last chance to observe this celestial phenomenon for nearly three years.

The moon will wax to its full phase at 9:58 p.m.  today, bringing August’s full moon count to two (the first one occurred Aug. 1). Two full moons won’t rise in a single month again until July 2015.

But don’t expect tonight’s full moon to actually appear blue, unless you’re peering through a thick haze of volcanic ash or forest fire smoke. “Blue moon” is not a reference to the satellite’s observed color.

The term has long been used to describe rare or absurd happenings. And farmers once employed it to denote the third full moon in a season — spring, summer, autumn or winter — that has four full moons instead of the usual three. [Photos: The Blue Moon and Full Moons of 2012]

‘The next time you walk outside on a clear night and see the moon smiling down at you, think of Neil Armstrong and give him a wink.’

– Armstrong family statement

This somewhat obscure and complicated definition, in fact, is found in the 1937 edition of the “Maine Farmers’ Almanac.” But in 1946, a writer for “Sky and Telescope” magazine misinterpreted it, declaring a blue moon to be the second full moon in a month with two of them.

Widespread adoption of the new (and incorrect) definition apparently began in 1980, after the popular radio program “StarDate” used it during a show.

Blue moons  occur because lunar months are not synched up perfectly with our calendar months. It takes the moon 29.5 days to orbit Earth, during which time we see the satellite go through all of its phases. But every calendar month (except February) has 30 or 31 days, so two full moons occasionally get squeezed into a single month.

Though the phrase “once in a blue moon” suggests the phenomenon is exceedingly rare, that’s not quite the case. On average, blue moons come around once every 2.7 years, making them more common than the Summer Olympics, or a presidential election in the United States.

Some years even boast two blue moons. This last happened in 1999, and it will occur again in 2018.

Tonight’s blue moon also happens to fall on the day of late astronaut Neil Armstrong’s memorial service. Armstrong, who on July 20, 1969 became the first person to set foot on the moon, died Aug. 25 following complications from heart surgery.

So stargazers may want to keep Armstrong’s “one small step” in mind as they gaze up tonight.

“For those who may ask what they can do to honor Neil, we have a simple request,” Armstrong’s family wrote in a statement shortly after his death. “Honor his example of service, accomplishment and modesty, and the next time you walk outside on a clear night and see the moon smiling down at you, think of Neil Armstrong and give him a wink.”

A blue moon can refer to either the third full moon in a season with four full moons, or the second full moon in a month.[1] Most years have twelve full moons that occur approximately monthly. In addition to those twelve full lunar cycles, each solar calendar year contains roughly eleven days more than the lunar year of 12 lunations. The extra days accumulate, so every two or three years (7 times in the 19-year Metonic cycle), there is an extra full moon. Lunisolar calendars have rules about when to insert such an intercalary or embolismic (“leap”) month, and what name it is given; e.g. in the Hebrew calendar the month Adar is duplicated. The term “blue moon” comes from folklore. Different traditions and conventions place the extra “blue” full moon at different times in the year. In the Hindu calendar, this extra month is called ‘Adhik(extra) masa (month)’. It is also known as purushottam maas, so as to give it a devotional name.

  • In calculating the dates for Lent and Easter, the Clergy identify the Lent Moon. It is thought that historically when the moon’s timing was too early, they named an earlier moon as a “betrayer moon” (belewe moon), thus the Lent moon came at its expected time.[2]
  • Folklore gave each moon a name according to its time of year. A moon that came too early had no folk name, and was called a blue moon, retaining the correct seasonal timings for future moons.
  • The Farmers’ Almanac defined blue moon as an extra full moon that occurred in a season; one season was normally three full moons. If a season had four full moons, then the third full moon was named a blue moon.

A “blue moon” is also used colloquially to mean “a rare event”, reflected in the phrase “once in a blue moon”

Early English and Christian

The earliest recorded English usage of the term “blue moon” was in a 1524 pamphlet violently attacking the English clergy,[4] entitled “Rede Me and Be Not Wrothe” (“Read me and be not angry”; or possibly “Counsel Me and Be Not Angry”[5]): “If they say the moon is belewe / We must believe that it is true” [If they say the moon is blue, we must believe that it is true].

Another interpretation uses another Middle English meaning of belewe, which (besides “blue”) can mean “betray”.[2] By the 18th century, before the Gregorian calendar reform, the medieval computus was out of sync with the actual seasons and the moon, and occasionally spring would have begun and a full moon passed a month before the computus put the first spring moon.[6][7] Thus, the clergy needed to tell the people whether the full moon was the Easter moon or a false one, which they may have called a “betrayer moon” (belewe moon) after which people would have had to continue fasting for another month in accordance with the season of Lent.[8]

Modern interpretation of the term relates to absurdities and impossibilities; the phrase “once in a blue moon” refers to an event that will take place only at incredibly rare occasions.[9]

Visibly blue moon

The most literal meaning of blue moon is when the moon (not necessarily a full moon) appears to a casual observer to be unusually bluish, which is a rare event. The effect can be caused by smoke or dust particles in the atmosphere, as has happened after forest fires in Sweden and Canada in 1950 and 1951,[10] and after the eruption of Krakatoa in 1883, which caused the moon to appear blue for nearly two years. Other less potent volcanos have also turned the moon blue. People saw blue moons in 1983 after the eruption of the El Chichon volcano in Mexico, and there are reports of blue moons caused by Mount St. Helens in 1980 and Mount Pinatubo in 1991.[11]

On September 23, 1950, several muskeg fires that had been smoldering for several years in Alberta, Canada suddenly blew up into major — and very smoky — fires. Winds carried the smoke eastward and southward with unusual speed, and the conditions of the fire produced large quantities of oily droplets of just the right size (about 1 micrometre in diameter) to scatter red and yellow light. Wherever the smoke cleared enough so that the sun was visible, it was lavender or blue. Ontario, Canada and much of the east coast of the United States were affected by the following day, and two days later, observers in Britain reported an indigo sun in smoke-dimmed skies, followed by an equally blue moon that evening.[11]

The key to a blue moon is having lots of particles slightly wider than the wavelength of red light (0.7 micrometre) — and no other sizes present. This is rare, but volcanoes sometimes produce such clouds, as do forest fires. Ash and dust clouds thrown into the atmosphere by fires and storms usually contain a mixture of particles with a wide range of sizes, with most smaller than 1 micrometre, and they tend to scatter blue light. This kind of cloud makes the moon turn red; thus red moons are far more common than blue moons.[12]

Farmers’ Almanac blue moons

In the 19th and early 20th centuries, the Maine Farmers’ Almanac listed blue moon dates for farmers. These correspond to the third full moon in a quarter of the year when there were four full moons (normally a quarter year has three full moons). Full moon names are given to each moon in a season: For example, the first moon of summer is called the early summer moon, the second is called the midsummer moon, and the last is called the late summer moon. When a season has four moons the third is called the blue moon so that the last can continue to be called the late moon.

The division of the year into quarters starts with the nominal vernal equinox on or around March 21.[13] This is close to the astronomical season but follows the Christian computus used for calculations of Easter, which places the equinox at a fixed date in the (Gregorian) calendar.

Some[weasel words] naming conventions[citation needed] keep the moon’s seasonal name for its entire cycle, from its appearance as a new moon through the full moon to the next new moon. In this convention a blue moon starts with a new moon and continues until the next new moon starts the late season moon.

Sky and Telescope calendar misinterpretation

The March 1946 Sky and Telescope article “Once in a Blue Moon” by James Hugh Pruett misinterpreted the 1937 Maine Farmers’ Almanac. “Seven times in 19 years there were — and still are — 13 full moons in a year. This gives 11 months with one full moon each and one with two. This second in a month, so I interpret it, was called Blue Moon.” Widespread adoption of the definition of a “blue moon” as the second full moon in a month followed its use on the popular radio program StarDate on January 31, 1980.[1][14]

Blue moons between 2009 and 2016

The following blue moons occur between 2009 and 2016. These dates use UTC as the timezone; exact dates vary with different timezones.

Seasonal

Using the Farmers’ Almanac definition of blue moon (meaning the third full moon in a season of four full moons), blue moons occur

  • November 21, 2010
  • August 21, 2013
  • May 21, 2016

It seems that The Farmers Almanac, even though it describes the Sky & Telescope ‘invention’ of the new definition, is now using the new definition of blue moon on its calendar,[15] therefore indicating that the blue moon is August 31, 2012 instead of August 21, 2013.

Calendar

Unlike the astronomical seasonal definition, these dates are dependent on the Gregorian calendar and time zones.

Two full moons in one month:[16]

  • 2009: December 2, December 31 (partial lunar eclipse visible in some parts of the world), only in time zones west of UTC+05.
  • 2010: January 1 (partial lunar eclipse), January 30, only in time zones east of UTC+04:30.
  • 2010: March 1, March 30, only in time zones east of UTC+07.
  • 2012: August 2, August 31, only in time zones west of UTC+08.
  • 2015: July 2, July 31

The next time New Year’s Eve falls on a Blue Moon (as occurred on 2009 December 31) is after one Metonic cycle, in 2028. At that time there will be a total lunar eclipse.

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Neil Armstrong was a quiet, self-described “nerdy” engineer who became a global hero when as a steely-nerved U.S. pilot he made “one giant leap for mankind” with the first step on the moon.

The modest man who entranced and awed people on Earth has died. He was 82.

Armstrong died Saturday following complications resulting from cardiovascular procedures, a statement from his family said. It didn’t say where he died.

Armstrong commanded the Apollo 11 spacecraft that landed on the moon July 20, 1969, capping the most daring of the 20th century’s scientific expeditions. His first words after setting foot on the surface are etched in history books and in the memories of those who heard them in a live broadcast.

“That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind,” Armstrong said.

In those first few moments on the moon, during the climax of a heated space race with the then-Soviet Union, Armstrong stopped in what he called “a tender moment” and left a patch to commemorate NASA astronauts and Soviet cosmonauts who had died in action.

“It was special and memorable, but it was only instantaneous because there was work to do,” Armstrong told an Australian television interviewer this year.

Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin spent nearly three hours walking on the lunar surface, collecting samples, conducting experiments and taking photographs.

“The sights were simply magnificent, beyond any visual experience that I had ever been exposed to,” Armstrong once said.

The moonwalk marked America’s victory in the Cold War space race that began Oct. 4, 1957, with the launch of the Soviet Union’s Sputnik 1, a satellite that sent shock waves around the world.

An estimated 600 million people — a fifth of the world’s population — watched and listened to the moon landing, the largest audience for any single event in history.

Parents huddled with their children in front of the family television, mesmerized. Farmers abandoned their nightly milking duties, and motorists pulled off the highway and checked into motels just to watch on TV.

Although he had been a Navy fighter pilot, a test pilot for NASA’s forerunner and an astronaut, Armstrong never allowed himself to be caught up in the celebrity and glamour of the space program.

“I am, and ever will be, a white socks, pocket protector, nerdy engineer,” he said in February 2000 in one of his rare public appearances. “And I take a substantial amount of pride in the accomplishments of my profession.”

A man who kept away from cameras, Armstrong went public in 2010 with his concerns about President Barack Obama’s space policy that shifted attention away from a return to the moon and emphasized private companies developing spaceships. He testified before Congress, and in an email to The Associated Press he said he had “substantial reservations.”

NASA chief Charles Bolden recalled Armstrong’s grace and humility in a statement Saturday.

“As long as there are history books, Neil Armstrong will be included in them, remembered for taking humankind’s first small step on a world beyond our own,” Bolden said.

Armstrong’s modesty and self-effacing manner never faded.

When he appeared in Dayton, Ohio, in 2003 to help celebrate the 100th anniversary of powered flight, he bounded onto a stage before 10,000 people. But he spoke for only a few seconds, did not mention the moon and quickly ducked out of the spotlight.

He later joined former astronaut and Sen. John Glenn to lay wreaths on the graves of airplane inventors Wilbur and Orville Wright. Glenn introduced Armstrong and noted it was 34 years to the day that Armstrong had walked on the moon.

“Thank you, John. Thirty-four years?” Armstrong quipped, as if he hadn’t given it a thought.

At another joint appearance, the two embraced and Glenn commented: “To this day, he’s the one person on Earth, I’m truly, truly envious of.”

Armstrong’s moonwalk capped a series of accomplishments that included piloting the X-15 rocket plane and making the first space docking during the Gemini 8 mission, which included a successful emergency splashdown.

In the years afterward, Armstrong retreated to the quiet of the classroom and his Ohio farm. Aldrin said in his book “Men from Earth” that Armstrong was one of the quietest, most private men he had ever met.

In the Australian interview, Armstrong acknowledged that “now and then I miss the excitement about being in the cockpit of an airplane and doing new things.”

At the time of the flight’s 40th anniversary, Armstrong again was low-key, telling a gathering that the space race was “the ultimate peaceful competition: USA versus U.S.S.R. It did allow both sides to take the high road, with the objectives of science and learning and exploration.”

Glenn, who went through jungle training in Panama with Armstrong as part of the astronaut program, described him as “exceptionally brilliant” with technical matters but “rather retiring, doesn’t like to be thrust into the limelight much.”

Glenn told CNN on Saturday that Armstrong had had a number of close calls in his career, including during the moon landing, when they had less than a minute of fuel remaining on arrival.

“He was a good friend and he’ll be missed,” Glenn told the network.

Derek Elliott, curator of the Smithsonian Institution’s U.S. Air and Space Museum from 1982 to 1992, said the moonwalk probably marked the high point of space exploration.

“The fact that we were able to see it and be a part of it means that we are in our own way witnesses to history,” he said.

The 1969 landing met an audacious deadline that President John F. Kennedy had set in May 1961, shortly after Alan Shepard became the first American in space with a 15-minute suborbital flight. Soviet cosmonaut Yuri A. Gagarin had orbited the Earth and beaten the U.S. into space the previous month.

“I believe this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before the decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to Earth,” Kennedy had said. “No single space project in this period will be more impressive to mankind, or more important to the long-range exploration of space; and none will be so difficult or expensive to accomplish.”

The end-of-decade goal was met with more than five months to spare. “Houston: Tranquility Base here,” Armstrong radioed after the spacecraft settled onto the moon. “The Eagle has landed.”

“Roger, Tranquility,” the Houston staffer radioed back. “We copy you on the ground. You’ve got a bunch of guys about to turn blue. We’re breathing again. Thanks a lot.”

The third astronaut on the mission, Michael Collins, circled the moon in the mother ship Columbia while Armstrong and Aldrin went to the moon’s surface.

Collins told NASA on Saturday that he will miss Armstrong terribly, spokesman Bob Jacobs tweeted.

In all, 12 American astronauts walked on the moon between 1969 and the last moon mission in 1972.

For Americans, reaching the moon provided uplift and respite from the Vietnam War. The landing occurred as organizers were preparing for Woodstock, the legendary rock festival on a farm in New York.

Armstrong was born Aug. 5, 1930, on a farm in Ohio. He took his first airplane ride at age 6 and developed a fascination with aviation that prompted him to build model airplanes and conduct experiments in a homemade wind tunnel. He was licensed to fly at 16, before he got his driver’s license.

Armstrong enrolled in Purdue University to study aeronautical engineering but was called to duty with the U.S. Navy in 1949 and flew 78 combat missions in Korea. After the war, Armstrong finished his degree and later earned a master’s degree in aerospace engineering from the University of Southern California. He became a test pilot with what evolved into the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, flying more than 200 kinds of aircraft from gliders to jets.

Armstrong was accepted into NASA’s second astronaut class in 1962 — the first, including Glenn, was chosen in 1959 — and commanded the Gemini 8 mission in 1966. After the first space docking, he brought the capsule back in an emergency landing in the Pacific Ocean when a wildly firing thruster kicked it out of orbit.

Armstrong was backup commander for the historic Apollo 8 mission at Christmastime in 1968. In that flight, Commander Frank Borman, and Jim Lovell and Bill Anders circled the moon 10 times, and paving the way for the lunar landing seven months later.

Aldrin said he and Armstrong were not prone to free exchanges of sentiment.

“But there was that moment on the moon, a brief moment, in which we sort of looked at each other and slapped each other on the shoulder … and said, `We made it. Good show,’ or something like that,” Aldrin said.

In Wapakoneta, media and souvenir frenzy was swirling around the home of Armstrong’s parents.

“You couldn’t see the house for the news media,” recalled John Zwez, former manager of the Neil Armstrong Air and Space Museum. “People were pulling grass out of their front yard.”

Armstrong, Aldrin and Collins were given ticker tape parades in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles and later made a 22-nation world tour. A homecoming in Wapakoneta drew 50,000 people to the city of 9,000.

In 1970, Armstrong was appointed deputy associate administrator for aeronautics at NASA but left the following year to teach aerospace engineering at the University of Cincinnati.

He remained there until 1979 and during that time bought a farm, where he raised cattle and corn. He stayed out of public view, accepting few requests for interviews or speeches.

“He didn’t give interviews, but he wasn’t a strange person or hard to talk to,” said Ron Huston, a colleague at the University of Cincinnati. “He just didn’t like being a novelty.”

In February 2000, when he agreed to announce the top 20 engineering achievements of the 20th century as voted by the National Academy of Engineering, Armstrong said there was one disappointment relating to his moonwalk.

“I can honestly say — and it’s a big surprise to me — that I have never had a dream about being on the moon,” he said.

Armstrong married Carol Knight in 1999. He had two adult sons from a previous marriage.

His family’s statement Saturday made a simple request for anyone who wanted to remember him:

“Honor his example of service, accomplishment and modesty, and the next time you walk outside on a clear night and see the moon smiling down at you, think of Neil Armstrong and give him a wink.”

-Fox News
Neil Armstrong
Neil Alden Armstrong is an American former NASA astronaut, test pilot, aerospace engineer, university professor, United States Naval Aviator, and the first person to set foot upon the Moon
Died: August 25, 2012, Columbus
Born: August 5, 1930, Wapakoneta
Spouse: Carol Held Knight (m. 1994), Janet Shearon (m. 1956–1994)

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In the Philippines, Independence Day (Filipino: Araw ng Kalayaan) is an annual national holiday observed on June 12, commemorating the Philippine Declaration of Independence from Spain on June 12, 1898. It is the National Day of the Philippines.

The declaration of Philippine independence from the colonial rule of Spain concluded the Philippine Revolution. Philippine independence, however, was not recognized either by the United States or by Spain. The Spanish government later ceded the Philippine archipelago to the United States in the 1898 Treaty of Paris, and the United States granted independence to the Republic of the Philippines on July 4, 1946 in the Treaty of Manila

July 4 was observed in the Philippines as Independence Day until 1962. On 12 May 1962, President Diosdado Macapagal issued Presidential proclamation No. 28, which declared Tuesday, June 12, 1962 a special public holiday throughout the Philippines, “… in commemoration of our people’s declaration of their inherent and inalienable right to freedom and independence. ” On August 4, 1964, Republic Act No. 4166 renamed the July 4 holiday as “Philippine Republic Day”, proclaimed the twelfth day of June as the “Philippine Independence Day”, and enjoined all citizens of the Philippines to observe 12 June with rites befitting Independence Day. June 12 had previously been observed as Flag Day, which was moved to May 28.

Independence Day
Araw ng Kalayaan
Independence DayAraw ng Kalayaan
Aguinaldo Shrine where Emilio Aguinaldo declared independence
Also called Araw ng Kalayaan
Twelfth of June
National day
Observed by Philippines
Type National
Significance Declaring Philippine Independence from Spanish Colonization
Date June 12

Philippine Centennial Celebration

On June 12, 1998, the nation celebrated its centennial year of Independence from Spain. The celebrations were held simultaneously nationwide by then President Fidel V. Ramos and Filipino communities worldwide. A commission was established for the said event, the National Centennial Commission headed by former Vice President Salvador Laurel presided all events around the country. One of the major projects of the commission was the Expo Pilipino, a grand showcase of the Philippines‘ growth as a nation for the last 100 years, located in the Clark Special Economic Zone (formerly Clark Air Base) in Angeles City, Pampanga. Some other important events includes the re-enactment of waving of Philippine Flag at Aguinaldo shrine, and raising of flag at Independence flagpole.

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The Philippine Declaration of independence occurred on June 12, 1898 in Cavite II el Viejo (now Kawit), Cavite, Philippines. With the public reading of the Act of the Declaration of independence, Filipino revolutionary forces under General Emilio Aguinaldo proclaimed the sovereignty and independence of the Philippine Islands from the colonial rule of Spain, which had been recently defeated at the Battle of Manila Bay during the Spanish-American War.

The declaration, however, was recognized by neither the United States nor Spain. The Spanish government later ceded the Philippines to the United States in the 1898 Treaty of Paris that ended the Spanish-American War. The United States finally recognized Philippine independence on July 4, 1946 in the Treaty of Manila. July 4 was observed in the Philippines as Independence Day until August 4, 1964 when, upon the advice of historians and the urging of nationalists, President Diosdado Macapagal signed into law Republic Act No. 4166 designating June 12 as the country’s Independence Day.  June 12 had previously been observed as Flag Day and many government buildings are urged to display the Philippine Flag in their offices.

Philippine Declaration of Independence
Philippine independence.jpg
Created May–June 1898
Ratified June 12, 1898
Location National Library of the Philippines
Author(s) Ambrosio Rianzares Bautista
Emilio Aguinaldo
Signatories 98 delegates
Purpose To proclaim the sovereignty and independence of the Philippines from the colonial rule of Spain

The Proclamation Day

The original Flag raised by President Emilio Aguinaldo in declaring the independence in 1898

In the presence of a huge crowd, independence was proclaimed on June 12, 1898 between four and five in the afternoon in Cavite at the ancestral home of General Emilio Aguinaldo some 30 kilometers South of Manila . The event saw the unfurling of the National Flag of the Philippines, made in Hong Kong by Marcela Agoncillo, Lorenza Agoncillo, and Delfina Herboza, and the performance of the Marcha Filipina Magdalo, as the Nation’s National Anthem, now known as Lupang Hinirang, which was composed by Julián Felipe and played by the San Francisco de Malabon marching band.

The Act of the Declaration of Independence was prepared, written, and read by Ambrosio Rianzares Bautista in Spanish. The Declaration was signed by ninety-eight people, among them an American army officer who witnessed the proclamation. The final paragraph states that there was a “stranger” (stranger in English translation — extrangero in the original Spanish, meaning foreigner) who attended the proceedings, Mr. L. M. Johnson, described as “a citizen of the U.S.A, a Coronel of Artillery”. The proclamation of Philippine independence was, however, promulgated on 1 August, when many towns had already been organized under the rules laid down by the Dictatorial Government of General Aguinaldo

Later at Malolos, Bulacan, the June 12 proclamation was modified upon the insistence of Apolinario Mabini who objected to that the original proclamation essentially placed the Philippines under the protection of the United States.

Surrounding events

Philippine Centennial

On June 12, 1998, the nation celebrated its centennial year of Independence from Spain. The celebrations were held simultaneously nationwide by then President Fidel V. Ramos and Filipino communities worldwide. A commission was established for the said event, the National Centennial Commission headed by former Vice President Salvador Laurel presided all events around the country. One of the major projects of the commission was the Expo Pilipino, a grand showcase of the Philippines‘ growth as a nation for the last 100 years, located in the Clark Special Economic Zone (formerly Clark Air Base) in Angeles City, Pampanga.

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Alphabetical list of countries

Name  Constitutional form Head of state Basis of executive legitimacy
 Afghanistan Republic Executive Presidency is independent of legislature
 Albania Republic Ceremonial Ministry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 Algeria Republic Executive Presidency independent of legislature; ministry subject to parliamentary confidence
 Andorra Constitutional monarchy Ceremonial Ministry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 Angola Republic Executive Presidency is independent of legislature
 Antigua and Barbuda Constitutional monarchy Ceremonial Ministry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 Argentina Republic Executive Presidency is independent of legislature
 Armenia Republic Executive Presidency is independent of legislature
 Australia Constitutional monarchy Ceremonial Ministry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 Austria Republic Ceremonial Ministry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 Azerbaijan Republic Executive Presidency is independent of legislature
 Bahrain Constitutional monarchy Executive Monarch personally exercises power in concert with other institutions
 Bangladesh Republic Ceremonial Ministry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 Barbados Constitutional monarchy Ceremonial Ministry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 Belarus Republic Executive Presidency is independent of legislature
 Belgium Constitutional monarchy Ceremonial Ministry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 Belize Constitutional monarchy Ceremonial Ministry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 Benin Republic Executive Presidency is independent of legislature
 Bhutan Constitutional monarchy Executive Monarch personally exercises power in concert with other institutions
 Bolivia Republic Executive Presidency is independent of legislature
 Bosnia and Herzegovina Republic Ceremonial Ministry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 Botswana Republic Executive Presidency and ministry are subject to parliamentary confidence
 Brazil Republic Executive Presidency is independent of legislature
 Brunei Absolute monarchy Executive All authority vested in absolute monarch
 Bulgaria Republic Ceremonial Ministry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 Burkina Faso Republic Executive Presidency independent of legislature; ministry subject to parliamentary confidence
 Burundi Republic Executive Presidency is independent of legislature
 Cambodia Constitutional monarchy Ceremonial Ministry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 Cameroon Republic Executive Presidency is independent of legislature
 Canada Constitutional monarchy Ceremonial Ministry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 Cape Verde Republic Ceremonial Ministry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 Central African Republic Republic Executive Presidency is independent of legislature
 Chad Republic Executive Presidency is independent of legislature
 Chile Republic Executive Presidency is independent of legislature
 Colombia Republic Executive Presidency is independent of legislature
 Comoros Republic Executive Presidency is independent of legislature
 Costa Rica Republic Executive Presidency is independent of legislature
 Croatia Republic Ceremonial Ministry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 Cuba Republic Executive Power constitutionally linked to a single political movement
 Cyprus Republic Executive Presidency is independent of legislature
 Czech Republic Republic Ceremonial Ministry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 Côte d’Ivoire Republic Executive Presidency independent of legislature; ministry subject to parliamentary confidence
 Democratic Republic of the Congo Republic Executive Presidency independent of legislature; ministry subject to parliamentary confidence
 Denmark Constitutional monarchy Ceremonial Ministry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 Djibouti Republic Executive Presidency independent of legislature; ministry subject to parliamentary confidence
 Dominica Republic Ceremonial Ministry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 Dominican Republic Republic Executive Presidency is independent of legislature
 East Timor Republic Ceremonial Ministry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 Ecuador Republic Executive Presidency is independent of legislature
 Egypt n/a n/a n/a    No constitutionally-defined basis to current regime
 El Salvador Republic Executive Presidency is independent of legislature
 Equatorial Guinea Republic Executive Presidency is independent of legislature
 Eritrea Republic Executive Power constitutionally linked to a single political movement
 Estonia Republic Ceremonial Ministry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 Ethiopia Republic Ceremonial Ministry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 Fiji n/a n/a n/a    No constitutionally-defined basis to current regime
 Finland Republic Ceremonial Ministry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 France Republic Executive Presidency independent of legislature; ministry subject to parliamentary confidence
 FSM Republic Executive Presidency and ministry are subject to parliamentary confidence
 Gabon Republic Executive Presidency is independent of legislature
 Georgia Republic Executive Presidency independent of legislature; ministry subject to parliamentary confidence
 Germany Republic Ceremonial Ministry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 Ghana Republic Executive Presidency is independent of legislature
 Greece Republic Ceremonial Ministry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 Grenada Constitutional monarchy Ceremonial Ministry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 Guatemala Republic Executive Presidency is independent of legislature
 Guinea Republic Executive Presidency is independent of legislature
 Guinea-Bissau n/a n/a n/a    No constitutionally-defined basis to current regime
 Guyana Republic Executive Presidency independent of legislature; ministry subject to parliamentary confidence
 Haiti Republic Executive Presidency independent of legislature; ministry subject to parliamentary confidence
 Honduras Republic Executive Presidency is independent of legislature
 Hungary Republic Ceremonial Ministry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 Iceland Republic Ceremonial Ministry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 India Republic Ceremonial Ministry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 Indonesia Republic Executive Presidency is independent of legislature
 Iran Republic Executive Presidency is independent of legislature
 Iraq Republic Ceremonial Ministry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 Ireland Republic Ceremonial Ministry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 Israel Republic Ceremonial Ministry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 Italy Republic Ceremonial Ministry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 Jamaica Constitutional monarchy Ceremonial Ministry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 Japan Constitutional monarchy Ceremonial Ministry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 Jordan Constitutional monarchy Executive Monarch personally exercises power in concert with other institutions
 Kazakhstan Republic Executive Presidency is independent of legislature
 Kenya Republic Executive Presidency independent of legislature; ministry subject to parliamentary confidence
 Kiribati Republic Executive Presidency is independent of legislature
 Kuwait Constitutional monarchy Executive Monarch personally exercises power in concert with other institutions
 Kyrgyzstan Republic Executive Presidency independent of legislature; ministry subject to parliamentary confidence
 Laos Republic Executive Power constitutionally linked to a single political movement
 Latvia Republic Ceremonial Ministry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 Lebanon Republic Ceremonial Ministry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 Lesotho Constitutional monarchy Ceremonial Ministry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 Liberia Republic Executive Presidency is independent of legislature
 Libya n/a n/a n/a    No constitutionally-defined basis to current regime
 Liechtenstein Constitutional monarchy Executive Monarch personally exercises power in concert with other institutions
 Lithuania Republic Executive Presidency independent of legislature; ministry subject to parliamentary confidence
 Luxembourg Constitutional monarchy Ceremonial Ministry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 Macedonia Republic Ceremonial Ministry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 Madagascar Republic Executive Presidency independent of legislature; ministry subject to parliamentary confidence
 Malawi Republic Executive Presidency is independent of legislature
 Malaysia Constitutional monarchy Ceremonial Ministry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 Maldives Republic Executive Presidency is independent of legislature
 Mali Republic Executive Presidency independent of legislature; ministry subject to parliamentary confidence
 Malta Republic Ceremonial Ministry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 Marshall Islands Republic Executive Presidency and ministry are subject to parliamentary confidence
 Mauritania Republic Executive Presidency independent of legislature; ministry subject to parliamentary confidence
 Mauritius Republic Ceremonial Ministry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 Mexico Republic Executive Presidency is independent of legislature
 Moldova Republic Ceremonial Ministry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 Monaco Constitutional monarchy Executive Monarch personally exercises power in concert with other institutions
 Mongolia Republic Executive Presidency independent of legislature; ministry subject to parliamentary confidence
 Montenegro Republic Ceremonial Ministry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 Morocco Constitutional monarchy Executive Monarch personally exercises power in concert with other institutions
 Mozambique Republic Executive Presidency is independent of legislature
 Myanmar Republic Executive Presidency is independent of legislature
 Namibia Republic Executive Presidency is independent of legislature
 Nauru Republic Executive Presidency and ministry are subject to parliamentary confidence
 Nepal Republic Ceremonial Ministry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 Netherlands Constitutional monarchy Ceremonial Ministry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 New Zealand Constitutional monarchy Ceremonial Ministry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 Nicaragua Republic Executive Presidency is independent of legislature
 Niger Republic Executive Presidency independent of legislature; ministry subject to parliamentary confidence
 Nigeria Republic Executive Presidency is independent of legislature
 North Korea Republic Executive Power constitutionally linked to a single political movement
 Norway Constitutional monarchy Ceremonial Ministry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 Oman Absolute monarchy Executive All authority vested in absolute monarch
 Pakistan Republic Ceremonial Ministry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 Palau Republic Executive Presidency is independent of legislature
 Palestine Republic Executive Presidency independent of legislature; ministry subject to parliamentary confidence
 Panama Republic Executive Presidency is independent of legislature
 Papua New Guinea Constitutional monarchy Ceremonial Ministry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 Paraguay Republic Executive Presidency is independent of legislature
 People’s Republic of China Republic Executive Power constitutionally linked to a single political movement
 Peru Republic Executive Presidency is independent of legislature
 Philippines Republic Executive Presidency is independent of legislature
 Poland Republic Ceremonial Ministry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 Portugal Republic Executive Presidency independent of legislature; ministry subject to parliamentary confidence
 Qatar Absolute monarchy Executive All authority vested in absolute monarch
 Republic of China (Taiwan) Republic Executive Presidency independent of legislature; ministry subject to parliamentary confidence
 Republic of the Congo Republic Executive Presidency is independent of legislature
 Romania Republic Executive Presidency independent of legislature; ministry subject to parliamentary confidence
 Russia Republic Executive Presidency independent of legislature; ministry subject to parliamentary confidence
 Rwanda Republic Executive Presidency is independent of legislature
 Sahrawi Republic Republic Executive Power constitutionally linked to a single political movement
 Saint Kitts and Nevis Constitutional monarchy Ceremonial Ministry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 Saint Lucia Constitutional monarchy Ceremonial Ministry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Constitutional monarchy Ceremonial Ministry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 Samoa Republic Ceremonial Ministry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 San Marino Republic Ceremonial Ministry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 Saudi Arabia Absolute monarchy Executive All authority vested in absolute monarch
 Senegal Republic Executive Presidency independent of legislature; ministry subject to parliamentary confidence
 Serbia Republic Ceremonial Ministry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 Seychelles Republic Executive Presidency is independent of legislature
 Sierra Leone Republic Executive Presidency is independent of legislature
 Singapore Republic Ceremonial Ministry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 Slovakia Republic Ceremonial Ministry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 Slovenia Republic Ceremonial Ministry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 Solomon Islands Constitutional monarchy Ceremonial Ministry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 Somalia Republic Executive Presidency independent of legislature; ministry subject to parliamentary confidence Stateless society
 South Africa Republic Executive Presidency and ministry are subject to parliamentary confidence
 South Korea Republic Executive Presidency is independent of legislature
 South Sudan Republic Executive Presidency is independent of legislature
 Spain Constitutional monarchy Ceremonial Ministry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 Sri Lanka Republic Executive Presidency independent of legislature; ministry subject to parliamentary confidence
 Sudan Republic Executive Presidency is independent of legislature
 Suriname Republic Executive Presidency is independent of legislature
 Swaziland Absolute monarchy Executive All authority vested in absolute monarch
 Sweden Constitutional monarchy Ceremonial Ministry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 Switzerland Republic Executive Presidency and ministry are subject to parliamentary confidence
 Syria Republic Executive Presidency independent of legislature; ministry subject to parliamentary confidence
 São Tomé and Príncipe Republic Executive Presidency independent of legislature; ministry subject to parliamentary confidence
 Tajikistan Republic Executive Presidency independent of legislature; ministry subject to parliamentary confidence
 Tanzania Republic Executive Presidency is independent of legislature
 Thailand Constitutional monarchy Ceremonial Ministry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 The Bahamas Constitutional monarchy Ceremonial Ministry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 The Gambia Republic Executive Presidency is independent of legislature
 Togo Republic Executive Presidency is independent of legislature
 Tonga Constitutional monarchy Executive Monarch personally exercises power in concert with other institutions
 Trinidad and Tobago Republic Ceremonial Ministry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 Tunisia Republic Executive Presidency independent of legislature; ministry subject to parliamentary confidence
 Turkey Republic Ceremonial Ministry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 Turkmenistan Republic Executive Power constitutionally linked to a single political movement
 Tuvalu Constitutional monarchy Ceremonial Ministry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 Uganda Republic Executive Presidency is independent of legislature
 Ukraine Republic Executive Presidency independent of legislature; ministry subject to parliamentary confidence
 United Arab Emirates Constitutional monarchy Executive Monarch personally exercises power in concert with other institutions
 United Kingdom Constitutional monarchy Ceremonial Ministry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 United States Republic Executive Presidency is independent of legislature
 Uruguay Republic Executive Presidency is independent of legislature
 Uzbekistan Republic Executive Presidency is independent of legislature
 Vanuatu Republic Ceremonial Ministry is subject to parliamentary confidence
 Vatican City Absolute monarchy Executive All authority vested in absolute monarch
 Venezuela Republic Executive Presidency is independent of legislature
 Vietnam Republic Executive Power constitutionally linked to a single political movement
 Yemen Republic Executive Presidency is independent of legislature
 Zambia Republic Executive Presidency is independent of legislature
 Zimbabwe Republic Executive Presidency independent of legislature; ministry subject to parliamentary confidence

Map

A color-coded legend of forms of government.

Legend

Note that this chart aims to represent de jure systems of government, not the de facto degree of democracy. Several states constitutionally deemed to be multiparty republics may also be broadly described as authoritarian states.

 

Systems of Governance

Presidential/Separated republics

These are systems in which a president is the active head of the executive branch of government and is elected and remains in office independently of the legislature. The following list includes democratic and non-democratic states:

Full presidential systems

In full presidential systems, the president is both head of state and head of government. There is generally no prime minister, although if one exists he or she serves purely at the pleasure of the president.

Presidential systems without a prime minister
Presidential systems with a prime minister

Semi-presidential systems

In semi-presidential systems, there is usually both a president and a prime minister. In such systems, the president has genuine executive authority, unlike in a parliamentary republic, but some of the role of a head of government is exercised by the prime minister.

Directorial systems

The directorial system is the collective version of the presidential system. In a directorial republic a council jointly exercises both presidential and governmental powers. The council is appointed by the parliament (and democratically elected at local level), but it is not subject to political confidence during its term which has a fixed duration.

Parliamentary republics

A parliamentary republic is a system in which a prime minister is the active head of the executive branch of government and also leader of the legislature. The president’s degree of executive power may range from being reasonably significant (e.g. Pakistan) to little (e.g. India) or none at all (e.g. Ireland). Where the president holds little executive power, his or her function is primarily that of a symbolic figurehead.

Mixed republican systems

A combined head of state and government is elected by the legislature, however they are not subject to parliamentary confidence during their term (although their cabinet is).

Constitutional monarchies

These are systems in which the head of state is a constitutional monarch; the existence of their office and their ability to exercise their authority is established and restrained or held back by constitutional law.

Constitutional monarchies with ceremonial monarchs

Systems in which a prime minister is the active head of the executive branch of government. In some cases the prime minister is also leader of the legislature, in other cases the executive branch is clearly separated from legislature although the entire cabinet or individual ministers must step down in the case of a vote of no confidence.[8][9][dubiousdiscuss] The head of state is a constitutional monarch who only exercises his or her powers with the consent of the government, the people or their representatives.

Constitutional monarchies with active monarchs

The prime minister is the nation’s active executive but the monarch still has considerable political powers that can be used at their own discretion.

Absolute monarchies

Specifically, monarchies in which the monarch’s exercise of power is unconstrained by any substantive constitutional law.

Theocracies

Main article: theocracy

States based on a state religion where the head of state is selected by some form of religious hierarchy.

Single political movement states

States in which political power is by law concentrated within a single political party whose operations are largely fused with the government hierarchy (as opposed to states where the law establishes a multi-party system but this fusion is not achieved anyway through electoral fraud or simple inertia). However, some do have elected governments.

Military junta states

The nation’s military control the organs of government and all high-ranking political executives are also members of the military hierarchy.

Transitional

States which have a system of government which is in transition or turmoil and are classified with the current direction of change.

Systems of Internal Governance

Federal

States in which the federal government shares power with semi-independent regional governments. The central government may or may not be (in theory) a creation of the regional governments; prime examples are Switzerland and the United States.

Regionalised unitary

States in which the central government has delegated some of its powers to regional authorities.

Unitary states

Main article: Unitary state

Confederation

Main article: Confederation

European Union

The exact political character of the European Union is widely debated, some arguing that it is sui generis (unique), but others arguing that it has features of a federation or a confederation. It has elements of intergovernmentalism, with the European Council acting as its collective “president”, and also elements of supranationalism, with the European Commission acting as its executive and bureaucracy.  But it is not easily placed in any of the above categories.

Notes

  1. ^ a b Iran combines the forms of a presidential republic, with a president elected by universal suffrage; and a theocracy, with a Supreme Leader who is ultimately responsible for state policy, chosen by the elected Assembly of Experts. Candidates for both the Assembly of Experts and the presidency are vetted by the appointed Guardian Council.
  2. ^ While the office of prime minister exists, the president is both the head of state and government.
  3. ^ The President of Switzerland serves in a primus inter pares capacity amongst the Swiss Federal Council, the seven-member executive council which constitutes both the presidency and the government.
  4. ^ In Bangladesh, a caretaker government during parliamentary elections. The Caretaker government is headed by a Chief Adviser and a group of neutral, non-partisan advisers chosen from the civil society. During this time, the president has jurisdiction over the defence and foreign affairs ministries.
  5. ^ Collective presidency consisting of three members; one for each major ethnic group.
  6. ^ Formerly a semi-presidential republic, it’s now a parliamentary republic according to David Arter, First Chair of Politics at Aberdeen University, who in his “Scandinavian Politics Today” (Manchester University Press, revised 2008), quotes Jaakko Nousiainen in “From semi-presidentialism to parliamentary government” in Scandinavian Political Studies 24 (2) p95-109 as follows: “There are hardly any grounds for the epithet ‘semi-presidential’.” Arter’s own conclusions are only slightly more nuanced: “The adoption of a new constitution on 1 March 2000 meant that Finland was no longer a case of semi-presidential government other than in the minimalist sense of a situation where a popularly elected fixed-term president exists alongside a prime minister and cabinet who are responsible to parliament (Elgie 2004: 317)”. According to the Finnish Constitution, the President has no possibility to rule the government without the ministerial approval, and substantially has not the power to disband the parliament under its own desire. Finland is actually represented by its Prime Minister, and not by its President, in the Council of the Heads of State and Government of the European Union.
  7. ^ a b Combines aspects of a presidential system with aspects of a parliamentary system. The president is elected by parliament and holds a parliamentary seat, much like a prime minister, but is immune from a vote of no confidence, unlike a prime minister.
  8. ^ Norwegian Parliament web page
  9. ^ CIA factbook on Norway
  10. ^ Bishop of Urgell and President of France serve as ex-officio co-princes who are have their interests known through a representative.
  11. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p One of sixteen constitutional monarchies which recognize Elizabeth II as head of state, who presides over an independent government. She is titled separately in each country (e.g. Queen of Australia), and notionally appoints a Governor-General to each country other than the United Kingdom to act as her representative. The prime minister is the active head of the executive branch of government and also leader of the legislature. These countries may be known as “Commonwealth realms
  12. ^ The UAE’s constitution establishes the state as a federation of emirates, with the federal president drawn from hereditary emirs, but each emirate in turn functions as an absolute monarchy
  13. ^ a b The Vatican is an elective absolute monarchy and a Roman Catholic theocracy; its monarch, the Pope, is the head of the global Roman Catholic Church. His power within the Vatican City State is unlimited by any constitution, but all persons resident within the Vatican have consented to obey the Pope, either by virtue of being ordained Catholic clergy or members of the Swiss Guard.
  14. ^ For more detailed discussion, see John McCormick, European Union Politics (Palgrave Macmillan, 2011), Chapters 1 and 2.

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Queen Elizabeth II in her coronation regalia, 2 June 1953

The Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II is a multinational celebration throughout 2012 marking the 60th anniversary of the accession of Queen Elizabeth II to the thrones of seven countries upon the death of her father, King George VI, on 6 February 1952. She is today queen regnant of 16 sovereign states, 12 of which were British colonies or Dominions at the start of her reign.

Queen Victoria in 1897 is the only other monarch in the histories of the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and a few other Commonwealth realms to have celebrated a Diamond Jubilee. Following the tradition of jubilees past, a Diamond Jubilee medal is being awarded in various countries and holidays and events will be held throughout the Commonwealth. Plans were discussed at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting 2011.

Commonwealth-wide and beyond

In February 2012, a senior adviser was quoted as saying the Queen set two guidelines for the planning of her jubilee: the use of public funds should be minimized, and people should not “be forced to celebrate”

In this special year, as I dedicate myself anew to your service, I hope we will all be reminded of the power of togetherness and the convening strength of family, friendship, and good neighborliness, examples of which I have been fortunate to see throughout my reign and which my family and I look forward to seeing in many forms as we travel throughout the United Kingdom and the wider Commonwealth.

Elizabeth II, 2012
At the 2011 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Perth, Australia, the British Prime Minister David Cameron announced the creation of the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust, which was officially launched in the UK on 6 February 2012. Chaired by former British prime minister Sir John Major, the trust is intended to support charitable organizations and projects across the Commonwealth of Nations, focusing on areas such as cures for diseases and the promotion of all types of culture and education. In early 2012, Prime Minister of Australia Julia Gillard announced the Australian Crown-in-Council would make an A$5.4 million contribution to the Diamond Jubilee Trust. The New Zealand Crown-in-Council later made a $1 million donation to the fund. The Canadian government announced in April that former prime minister Jean Chrétien would be Canada’s representative to the trust.
The first major event of the jubilee celebrations was the Diamond Jubilee Pageant, also branded The World Comes to Windsor, a cavalcade held at Windsor Castle to celebrate the Queen’s visits to and tours of over 250 countries and her passion for horses. The show, which featured 550 horses and 1,100 performers from around the world, was performed on the evenings of 10, 11, 12 and 13 May, after the daytime events of the annual Royal Windsor Horse Show had taken place. The Queen attended the final night. Google displayed a Google Doodle for the Diamond Jubilee featuring the Queen’s profile, corgis, and diamonds. Top Trumps honoured the event with the release of a Queen’s Jubilee Top Trumps mobile application, creating a game out of all of “one’s favorite things”.

On 18 May, the Queen hosted an informal lunch at Windsor Castle for more than twenty current or former monarchs from other countries. In the evening of the same day, the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall hosted a dinner which most of the monarchs also attended, although the Queen herself was not present. Criticism was directed at the presence of the King of Bahrain at the lunch, because of alleged repression of protests against the government of Bahrain in that country in 2011. Protesters against the King assembled outside Buckingham Palace during the dinner, although he did not attend that event.

Armed Forces

On 19 May 2012, The Queen attended the Diamond Jubilee Armed Forces Parade and Muster at Windsor Castle. The parade featured 2600 Royal Navy, British Army and Royal Air Force soliders, sailors and airmen. This was followed by a Drum Head Service and a Royal Air Force fly past.

A Royal Navy Spit head Fleet Review was not held, nor was a separate Army or RAF review as was done for the Silver Jubilee in 1977.

Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh; Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall; Prince Charles, Prince of Wales; Prince William, Duke of Cambridge; Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge; and Prince Harry aboard the MS Spirit of Chartwell during the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant
The Royal Barge Gloriana
The River Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant was held on 3 June; a maritime parade of 1,000 boats from around the Commonwealth — the largest flotilla seen on the river in 350 years — together with other celebrations along the river banks. Heavy rain started during the event, and the commemorative air force flyover at the end was cancelled due to very low cloud base and bad visibility at ground level. The event was attended by various governors-general from the Commonwealth realms other than the UK.
The night after the Thames River Pageant, Prince Philip, the Queen’s husband, fell ill with a bladder infection and was hospitalised. This meant that he would be unable to attend the remainder of the Jubilee events.

Members of the Royal Family, governors-general, and prime ministers from the Commonwealth realms attended various events on 4 and 5 June: A reception was held at Buckingham Palace before the Diamond Jubilee Concert; a service of thanksgiving took place the following day at St. Paul’s Cathedral, also attended by 2,000 other guests; a reception was held at London’s Guildhall; and a luncheon took place at Lancaster House, hosted by the British Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs. Another reception solely for governors-general was held by the Queen at Buckingham Palace.

The lighting of thousands of beacons across the Commonwealth took place on 4 June. The number of beacons was originally set at 2,012; by the closing date for registrations, approximately 4,000 had been submitted in the United Kingdom alone. The first beacon of the Jubilee was lit on the grounds of Apifo’ou College in Nukuʻalofa, Tonga, by Tongan girl scouts and boy scouts using coconut sheath torches. Other nations including Kenya, Australia, New Zealand, India, Sri Lanka, and several Caribbean states took part in the beacon lighting. The world’s most remote beacon was lit in Tristan da Cunha in the south Atlantic, using invasive, non-native plants to fuel the fire. In the United Kingdom, British servicemen and women wounded in battle and individuals representing charities will carry beacons to the summits of the UK’s four highest peaks. One beacon was lit at Treetops Hotel in Aberdare National Park in Kenya, where the Queen was at the moment of her accession to the throne. The Queen lit the beacon outside Buckingham Palace at 10:30 pm, by inserting a large, specially made, diamond-cut crystal into a receptacle. The lighting proceeded until the final beacon was lit in Canada eight hours later.

Commonwealth Realms

Australia

Quentin Bryce, the Governor-General of Australia, announced that the Diamond Jubilee would be celebrated “with a host of national and community events throughout the Commonwealth.” In that vein, it was said in late 2011 that the government of Queensland was planning to declare a holiday in June 2012 to mark the jubilee and that Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, would tour the country.

A detachment of the New South Wales Mounted Police represented Australia at the Diamond Jubilee Pageant held at Windsor.

The Prince of Wales attended a Jubilee reception for all living Victoria Cross and George Cross recipients in London in which he welcomed new Australian member Corporal Ben Roberts Smith VC to the celebrations.

During the central Jubilee weekend in London, the Australian Governor-General, Quentin Bryce was present at the Saint Paul’s Cathedral thanksgiving service. The Governor-General also attended a dinner hosted by the Queen at Buckingham House for all Commonwealth Governors- General.

The Royal Australian Mint announced in August 2011 that it would be releasing a silver proof 50-cent coin to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

A special ecumenical service to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the accession of Queen Elizabeth II to the throne was conducted in St James’ Church, Sydney. The invited preacher was Cardinal George Pell and the Governor of New South Wales, Marie Bashir, was the guest of honour.

The Anglican Church of Australia held a service of Prayer and Thanksgiving to commemorate the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II at St John’s Cathedral in Brisbane on the 20th of May 2012. The service was welcomed by Phillip Aspinall, Anglican Archbishop of Brisbane and the Homily was given by Mark Coleridge, Catholic Archbishop of Brisbane. The guest of honour was the Governor of Queensland, Penelope Wensley, and Ian Walker, MP represented the Government of Queensland.

Paying tribute to Queen Elizabeth II as Queen of Australia in the Australian House of Representatives in Canberra on 6 February 2012, Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard stated the Queen was a revered figure in Australia. Gillard also announced that she would on 4 June light a beacon atop Parliament House and a street in the parliamentary triangle in Canberra would be renamed Queen Elizabeth Terrace. Meanwhile, Western Australian Premier Colin Barnett announced on 28 May that a new waterfront development in Perth would be named Elizabeth Quay in her honour. By coincidence the Jubilee Weekend coincided with the inaugural Western Australia Day Public Holiday in Western Australia.

Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall will tour Australia on behalf of the Queen in November

Bahamas

Prince Harry toured The Bahamas. There, he attended a reception for youth leaders and met with Governor-General of the Bahamas Sir Arthur Foulkes. The Prince attended an outdoor ceremony where children’s schools, clubs, and associations presented themselves and delivered a speech at Government House,where he stated “I stand before you with a deep sense of pride at being asked to convey to you a message of good wishes from The Queen on the occasion of her Diamond Jubilee.” He also took part in maritime exercises organized by the Royal Bahamas Defence Force and toured Harbour Island.

Barbados

The Parliament of Barbados, where the Earl of Wessex read to a joint sitting of the legislature a message from Elizabeth II, Queen of Barbados, on 23 February 2012, to mark the Queen’s diamond jubilee

To mark Elizabeth II’s 60 years as Barbados’ monarch — as Queen of the United Kingdom between 1952 and 1966 and as Queen of Barbados thereafter — the country hosted the Earl and Countess of Wessex between 23 and 24 February. The tour began with Their Royal Highnesses arriving, aboard RFA Fort Rosalie, at the Deep Water Harbour of Bridgetown. At the port, Barbadian military personnel were given inspection. The Earl read to a joint sitting of the Parliament of Barbados a written message from the Queen, in which the monarch stated she has taken note of the level of development Barbados had achieved during its 45 years of independence and called the country a model small state for others around the world. Parliamentary officials responded with thanks to the Queen for her service to the country and Barbadians and invited her to the island to celebrate the 375th anniversary of the Barbadian parliament in 2014. The royal couple opened an exhibit at the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus, and an official state dinner and reception was held at Government House in the evening.

The following day, the Countess visited the Albert C. Graham Children’s Development Centre at Ladymeade Gardens, while the Earl presented eight Duke of Edinburgh’s Gold Awards to Barbadian youth at a dedication ceremony. Directly following, the couple travelled together to a ceremony to commemorate the Diamond Jubilee, where a plaque was unveiled at the Kensington Oval cricket stadium. Other events included Their Royal Highnesses lunching with Prime Minister Freundel Stuart at his residence, Ilaro Court, and touring several areas of Bridgetown that were added to UNESCO‘s list of World Heritage Sites in 2011.

As in other Commonwealth realms, a set of commemorative Diamond Jubilee stamps were released by the Barbados Postal Service.An ecumenical thanksgiving service will also be held at the St. Mary’s Anglican Church in Bridgetown on 3 June and a beacon lighting will take place at the Garrison Savannah the following day, where an official Trooping of the Colour will be performed by the Barbados Defence Force and military tattoo performed by the Royal Barbados Police Force. Members of the Barbados Boys Scout Association with high honours were chosen to aid in the actual beacon lighting.

Belize

In Belize, the Governor-Generalin-Council and the Belize Tourism Board organised a tour of the country by Prince Harry, between 2 and 3 March 2012, as part of the country’s celebrations of Elizabeth II’s 60th year as monarch of Belize, first as Queen of the United Kingdom and then, after 1981, as Queen of Belize. Harry visited Belmopan and San Ignacio and ceremonies and events had less emphasis on state protocol. In the capital, Harry unveiled a series of commemorative stamps issued by the Belize Postal Service,[56] attended the city’s street festival, and dedicated a street as Queen Elizabeth II Boulevard, where he delivered a speech on the sovereign’s behalf. The following day, the Prince journeyed to the OAS Adjacency Zone on the Belize-Guatemala border, where he participated in a cultural programme and toured an immigration facility. He also visited Xunantunich and there met children involved with the Belize Special Olympics Programme and presented a canoe to the Ruta Maya Organization in commemoration of the diamond jubilee. Harry further visited the Price Barracks, where he met members of the Belize Coast Guard Service and Belize Defence Force and laid a wreath at the monument to British soldiers killed while on service in Belize.

Canada

Planning

Forethought about the anniversary began as early as April 2007, when then-Secretary of State for Canadian Heritage (now Minister of Citizenship and Immigration) Jason Kenney requested that the various lieutenant governors begin preparations for the jubilee. Three years later, the question of a national holiday to mark the jubilee was raised in the media and a series of official announcements were made by the Minister of Canadian Heritage, one being that a new painted portrait of the Queen, the first since 1976, would be completed by an Ontario artist by 2012.

The official emblem of the Queen of Canada‘s Diamond Jubilee

The Secretary to the Queen, Kevin S. MacLeod, was charged by the Governor General-in-Council to head the Diamond Jubilee Committee (DJC)—a 14-member group of individuals drawn from the provincial and territorial governments, non-governmental organisations, officials from the Departments of Citizenship and Immigration, National Defence, and Canadian Heritage (DCH), and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police —which is overseeing the organisation of the country’s fêtes for Elizabeth II’s 60 years as Queen of Canada.Similarly, Premier of Alberta Ed Stelmach in February 2011 tasked the Alberta Chief of Protocol and the Private Secretary to the Lieutenant Governor of Alberta to form and head a committee to develop plans for Alberta’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations. As with other royal events, the DCH will play a large role in organisation and planning. $7.5 million of resources granted to the DCH in the previous budget approved by the federal parliament has been allocated for federal jubilee celebrations, education and awareness, and distribution to community groups; $2 million is for events in the Queen’s honour and $3.7 million is allocated for the Diamond Jubilee medal. The total amount was reduced by Minister of Canadian Heritage James Moore from the DJC’s original estimate of $8.8 million.

Pre-events

A corbel within the Sovereigns’ Arches of the federal parliament‘s Senate foyer was sculpted into a rendition of the Queen and unveiled on 9 December 2010 by Governor General of Canada David Johnston. The Royal Canadian Mint also issued an “extensive set” of coins to mark the anniversary.

During her tour of Canada in mid-2010, the Queen on 3 July dedicated the Queen Elizabeth II Gardens outside her official residence in Manitoba and there planted an Amber Jubilee Ninebark shrub, the species having been created specifically for the Diamond Jubilee. At Rideau Hall in Ottawa, she also on 30 June unveiled a commemorative stained glass window showing herself and Queen Victoria with their respective royal cyphers and renditions of the Centre Block of the Canadian parliament during the reign of each monarch. The window, a gift from the Senate, was installed above the Senate entrance to the Centre Block and dedicated by the Governor General on 7 February 2012.

The Royal Standard of Elizabeth II, Queen of Canada, which was flown at various locations across Canada during Diamond Jubilee Week

A Diamond Jubilee Week began on Accession Day (6 February) 2012. That day, the Queen’s personal standard for Canada was unfurled in Ottawa, both at the monarch’s residence Rideau Hall and on Parliament Hill, as well as at provincial royal residences and legislatures across the country;⁠permission was granted by the Queen to break the usual protocol of flying the banner only where the sovereign is personally present At noon on the same day, the Peace Tower carillon played a tribute to the Queen. The Prime Minister and the leader of the Liberal Party of Canada issued statements commending the Queen for her six decades of “dedicated service to our country, to the Commonwealth and to the world.

Also on 6 February, the first of the 60,000 Canadian Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medals to be distributed to citizens and permanent residents were handed out; 60 individuals were given theirs personally by the Governor General at Rideau Hall.  Federal Member of Parliament (MP) Louis Plamondon, along with other members of the Quebec separatist Bloc Québécois,  refused his medal and stated the money being spent by the Crown on jubilee events and markers was a waste. Citizens for a Canadian Republic claimed that day that the government’s spending of money on the Queen’s jubilee was to be expected “from the personality cult dynasties of North Korea or Syria, not Canada.” The Saint-Jean-Baptiste Society claimed it will stage “counter-celebrations”

In Nova Scotia, the provincial government announced the establishment of educational programmed, related to the Queen and her role in Canadian government, and the one-time award of the $2000 Diamond Jubilee Award Scholarship to 60 Grade 12 students in the province. There and in other provinces, various events were held on Accession Day and other days during the week.

After the end of Diamond Jubilee Week, further governmental events took place in Canada and abroad: At the opening of the British Columbia legislature on 14 February, the province’s lieutenant governor, Steven Point, along with Premier Christy Clark and parliamentary officials, presided over a ceremony at the parliament buildings that marked the Diamond Jubilee. The Speaker of the Senate, Noël Kinsella, and Speaker of the House of Commons, Andrew Scheer, were received by the Queen at Buckingham Palace on 21 February 2012, where they presented a loyal address to the sovereign. And Lieutenant Governor of Ontario David Onley mounted at the viceregal suite at the Ontario Legislative Building an exhibition entitled 60 in 60, to “show six decades of Her Majesty’s devotion and service to Canada.”

Royal tour

Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, speaks to the public outside of the Ontario Legislative Building during his tour of Canada for the Diamond Jubilee

Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, toured parts of the country in May, making stops in New Brunswick, Ontario, and Saskatchewan. In an editorial he wrote for The Globe and Mail, Charles stated he wanted his activities during the tour to reflect the jubilee’s “central theme of service to others” and expressed that he was “returning to Canada in this special Jubilee year, to renew my own pledge of service and to encourage others to consider how they might contribute their own particular talent”.  In that vein, he in all three provinces visited with people associated with his organization The Prince’s Charities Canada and presented Diamond Jubilee Medals to recipients.

The couple arrived at Saint John Airport on the evening of 20 May. The following day, they were formally welcomed to Canada by the Governor General and met at Canadian Forces Base Gagetown with young Canadian Forces veterans and mentors involved in the Military Entrepreneurship program before moving on to Saint John. There, they undertook a walking tour of Prince William Street to observe heritage projects and meet the 2002 Committee for the Prince of Wales Municipal Heritage Leadership Prize, participated in a citizenship ceremony, attended Victoria Day events, and opened the Diamond Jubilee IT Centre at Hazen-White-St. Francis School. They then flew on to Toronto to meet with emergency workers and their families and observe the annual fireworks show at Ashbridges Bay that marks Victoria Day and the Queen’s official Canadian birthday.

The Saskatchewan Legislative Building, the centenary of which was marked by PrinceCharles, Prince of Wales, and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, as part of their Canadian Queen’s Diamond Jubilee tour

On 22 May, the couple attended an event at Queen’s Park, hosted by the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario. After, the Duchess of Cornwall visited The Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada, of which she is colonel-in-chief, laying at the armoury a wreath in memory of fallen Canadian soliers, while the Prince of Wales saw the Digital Media Zone at Ryerson University, toured the construction site of the athletes’ village for the 2015 Pan American Games (where Premier of Ontario Dalton McGuinty announced a portion of Front Street running through the village would be named Diamond Jubilee Promenade), visited theYonge Street Mission, and met with the national leadership of the Assembly of First Nations. The couple also attended a luncheon hosted by the government of Ontario and participated at Fort York in a Canadian Forces event commemorating the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812, the Prince there wearing his uniform of a lieutenant-general of the Canadian Army.

They arrived in Regina on 23 May and marked the centenary of Saskatchewan’s legislative building, participated in a reception held by the Lieutenant Governor of Saskatchewan at Government House, toured the First Nations University of Canada, and visited an environmentally friendly water purification plant. In the evening, the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall attended at the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) Depot Division Drill Hall a performance of the Regina Symphony Orchestra, of which Prince Charles is patron. There, the Prime Minister announced that Charles was to be appointed Honorary Commissioner of the RCMP, taking the post from his mother, the Queen, who was to become the RCMP’s Commissioner-in-Chief.

New Democratic Party MP Pat Martin, an open anti-monarchist, stated in the House of Commons that the tour was “a bread-and-circuses routine” intended to distract from cuts to the federal civil service.[94] The Minister of Canadian Heritage, James Moore, said the tour would be the “least expensive for taxpayers” of those that had taken place since 2009.

Further events

After performing in the Diamond Jubilee Pageant at Windsor Castle, members of the equestrian Musical Ride of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) on 23 May, at the Queen’s request, took part in the Changing of the Guard as they formed the Queen’s Life Guard outside Buckingham Palace for 24 hours. Said by the contingent’s commander to be a “way for Canada and the Mounties to salute her Majesty the Queen in her Diamond Jubilee year”,  it was the second time the RCMP had performed the task, the first being in 1897 (when the force was named the Northwest Mounted Police), as a part of the Diamond Jubilee celebrations for Queen Victoria.

We, Your Majesty’s loyal and dutiful subjects, the House of Commons of Canada in Parliament assembled, beg to offer our sincere congratulations on the happy completion of the sixtieth year of Your reign.

In this, the Diamond Jubilee year of your reign as Queen of Canada, we trust that Your gracious and peaceful reign may continue for many years and that Divine Providence will preserve Your Majesty in health, in happiness and in the affectionate loyalty of Your people.

Parliament of Canada, 2012

In the federal parliament on 31 May, a loyal address to the Queen was passed.The Lieutenant Governor of Manitoba held a Diamond Jubilee garden party at the province’s Government House on 26 May. The Royal British Columbia Museum on 1 June opened an exhibition of approximately 100 Cecil Beaton photographs of Elizabeth II throughout her life.

In the United Kingdom, Canada House, the location of the Canadian High Commission to that country, held a Big Jubilee Lunch on 3 June and two beacons were lit on the building’s roof the following evening, the night of the Diamond Jubilee Concert. Governor General Johnston attended both events and Prime Minister Harper was at the latter. Harper was also granted an audience with the Queen at Buckingham Palace on 5 June.

A team of Canadian and British mountaineers reached the summit of Mount Barbeau, in Canada’s arctic, by 3 June and there held a tea party in celebration of the jubilee. From the summit, they sent a loyal greeting to the Queen via satellite, to which the monarch promised to reply.

Upcoming

The Lieutenant Governor of Saskatchewan will hold a garden party at Government House on Canada Day and a conference on the Canadian Crown will be conducted on 25 October. Communities across Canada are also planning events to mark the jubilee.

Jamaica

Prince Harry toured Jamaica between 5 and 8 March 2012,participating in various events marking his grandmother’s Diamond Jubilee as Jamaica’s queen regnant, first as Queen of the United Kingdom, between 1952 and 1962, and subsequently as Queen of Jamaica (Jamaica will also thus be concurrently celebrating 50 years of independence). During the tour, the Prince partook in military exercises with the Jamaica Defence Force, visited Bustamante Hospital for Children and, in Trelawny Parish, visited Water Square, Falmouth Pier, and the William Knibb Baptist Church, where he paid respect at the William Knibb memorial. The Prince attended an event for the charity Rise Life,[113] ran with Usain Bolt at the latter’s training ground at the University of the West Indies, Mona. There, he was also named an Honorary Fellow of the university. A Jamaica Night reception was held at the Royal Caribbean Hotel in Montego Bay and Governor-General of Jamaica Sir Patrick Allen hosted a dinner at King’s House as a combined celebration of the Diamond Jubilee and Jamaica’s 50th anniversary of independence. The Prime Minister, Portia Simpson Miller, stated the tour was intended to “highlight the country’s tourism developments on the North Coast and the important work being done in the area of youth and children”.

The Governor-General and his wife travelled to London, United Kingdom (UK), to partake in various events there in June, including a reception held by the High Commissioner of Jamaica to the UK.

New Zealand

In New Zealand, the Clerk of the Executive Council, Rebecca Kitteridge is overseeing the organisation of that country’s celebrations of Elizabeth’s 60 years as Queen of New Zealand.

Sir Jerry Mateparae, the Governor-General of New Zealand, unveiled New Zealand’s Diamond Jubilee emblem and announced a full programmed would be announced in due course.New Zealand Post and the Reserve Bank of New Zealand announced in January 2012 the release a silver proof dollar coin to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the following month the Ministry for Culture and Heritage added Crown-related entries to Te Ara: The Encyclopedia of New Zealand and an essay on the jubilee to NZ.History.net.nz. The Governor-General-in-Council also launched, via the Ministry of Health, the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Research Grant, “seeking to purchase research projects that transfer knowledge from initiatives with proven effectiveness, into practice in the health sector”.

The official emblem of the Queen of New Zealand‘s Diamond Jubilee

The New Zealand Army Band took part in the Diamond Jubilee Pageant held at Windsor. The Band also took part in the changing of guard ceremony at Buckingham Palace to celebrate the Jubilee.

The Prime Minister, John Key, moved a motion in the House of Representatives congratulating the Queen on her Diamond Jubilee on 7 February.

Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall will tour New Zealand on behalf of the Queen in November.

Oceanic realms

Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge will visit the Solomon Islands and Tuvalu.[31]

Other Caribbean and West Indies realms

The Queen’s realms throughout the Caribbean and West Indies are planning a number of Diamond Jubilee events. Using RFAFort Rosalie, Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, and Sophie, Countess of Wessex, will visit other Caribbean realms, including: Antigua and Barbuda, Grenada, and Saint Lucia.

Saint Kitts and Nevis

Historical re-enactments were put on in Saint Kitts and Nevis for the Earl and Countess of Wessex, who arrived on 3 March 2012. There, the couple met with Governor-General Sir Cuthbert Sebastian, Prime Minister Denzil Douglas, and other dignitaries, watched cultural shows (including the performance of a calypso song about the Queen), and the Earl unveiled a plaque commemorating the Diamond Jubilee and officially designated the Basseterre Valley Park as the Royal Basseterre Valley Park. They also visited Brimstone Hill Fortress National Park and the children’s ward of the JNF Hospital and the Children’s Home before attending a state dinner and fireworks display at Port Zante.[125]

Saint Lucia

The Earl and Countess of Wessex arrived in Saint Lucia on 21 February 2012 and there participated in Independence Day celebrations and attended receptions held by the Governor-General of Saint Lucia. They also visited the Association of Saint Lucia and the Saint Lucia School of Music.

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

In Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, a Diamond Jubilee Celebrations Committee was established to oversee events staged to mark, between February and June 2012, the Diamond Jubilee of Elizabeth II’s accession as queen regnant of the country, from 1952 to 1979 as Queen of the United Kingdom and thereafter as Queen of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. The committee head, former Minister of Culture Rene Baptiste, stated the aim was to “showcase what we have to offer, as well as our loyalty to the Parliament…” The Earl and Countess of Wessex, aboard RFA Fort Rosalie, arrived for their tour of country on 25 February and visited the restored Botanic Gardens St. Vincent and planted a Pink Poui tree, attended an official lunch at Government House, and planted Royal Palms on the Grenadines.

Trade unionist Noel Jackson said he heard displeasure expressed by Vincentians towards the royal tour and that “a lot of people were cursing.” Senator Julian Francis, the General Secretary of the governing Unity Labour Party, stated the public reaction to the presence of the royal couple “confirmed to me that we could not have won the 2009 referendum on a republic. The outpouring of the people in St. Vincent to come and greet Prince Edward yesterday confirmed to me that people, in the majority in St. Vincent, still want the monarchy… It was like a carnival in town yesterday.”

A Diamond Jubilee Lecture has been set to be delivered in March, a flower show and tea party will be held at Government House on 4 and 5 May, a stamp exhibition will be mounted at the National Trust headquarters and an exhibition of photographs of the Queen in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines at the National Public Library. A Queen’s Birthday parade will take place, as will a Diamond Jubilee Beacon Event on 4 June, part of the wider plan to light such beacons at the same time across the Commonwealth.

United Kingdom

The United Kingdom’s Diamond Jubilee logo

Planning

In the United Kingdom, national and regional events to mark the Diamond Jubilee are being coordinated by the Queen-in-Council and her Royal Household at Buckingham Palace.[130] As with the Golden Jubilee in 2002, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport is responsible for coordinating the Cabinet-led aspects of the celebrations. Events are being planned so as to keep the use of tax money to a minimum; most funds used to fund celebrations are being drawn from private donors and sponsors. Only the cost of security is to be borne by Her Majesty’s Treasury. The British logo for the Diamond Jubilee was selected through a contest held by the BBC children’s programme Blue Peter; the winning design, announced in February 2011, was created by ten-year-old Katherine Dewar. Drupal, a free open-source content management system, was used for the official website.

Extended weekend

On 5 January 2010, the Lord President of the Council and Business Secretary Lord Mandelson announced that an extra bank holiday would take place on 5 June 2012. By moving the Spring Bank Holiday (the last Monday in May) to 4 June, this will result in a four-day holiday in honour of the Diamond Jubilee. As national holidays are a devolved matter, Scotland’s first minister confirmed that the bank holiday would be held on 5 June in Scotland. Some economists later theorised that the holiday could reduce the country’s gross domestic product by 0.5% in the second quarter of the year, though this would be partially offset by increased sales for the hospitality and merchandise sectors.

A public bus in Altrincham in a special livery for the Diamond Jubilee

Many events were staged in London during the bank holiday weekend.The River Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant was held on 3 June. The Diamond Jubilee Concert, with a preceding afternoon picnic in the palace gardens for the 10,000 concert ticket holders, was held the following day, in front of Buckingham Palace, and featured acts representing each decade of the Queen’s 60 year reign.

Street parties were permitted to take place across the country. Special community lottery grants, called The Jubilee People’s Millions, are being offered by the Big Lottery Fund and ITV.

The final day of the official Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations included a morning Service of Thanksgiving at St Paul’s Cathedral, attended by the Queen and members of the royal family. Will Todd’s anthem The Call of Wisdom, commissioned especially for this event, was performed by the Diamond Choir made up of about 40 children from all around the UK.

The anti-monarchy campaign group Republic criticized the allocation of funds for jubilee events while cuts were made elsewhere, warned that schools could be in breach of the law by celebrating the jubilee without teaching about republican perspectives, and accused the BBC of bias in favor of the Queen. The group held a protest at the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant.

Permanent tributes

A mosaic picture of Elizabeth II in Towner Gallery in Eastbourne. The picture is produced by Helen Marshall for the diamond jubilee using more than 5,000 photos sent by the BBC viewers.

To mark the jubilee, the Queen has bestowed Royal Borough status on Greenwich, in southeast London. In addition, a competition was held to grant in 2012 city status to towns and either a lord mayoralty or lord provostship to one city. City status was awarded to Chelmsford in England, Perth in Scotland and St Asaph in Wales. Armagh was awarded the Lord Mayoralty. The Olympic park in East London, created for the 2012 London Olympics, will be named the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park following the Olympics. Further, the Woodland Trust has made plans to establish 60 Jubilee woodlands during 2011 and 2012, one of which is to be 500 acres and the remainder 60 acres each.

A stained glass window, paid for by MPs and members of the House of Lords, was unveiled in the Queen’s presence at Westminster Hall in March 2012.In addition, a majority of MPs have endorsed a proposal to name the clock tower of Westminster Palace that houses Big Ben, the Elizabeth Tower.[161]

Other events

On Accession Day, 6 February, a 62-gun salute was mounted on the banks of the River Thames, near the Tower of London and the Queen made a visit to Norfolk, one of the first places the monarch visited after acceding to the throne. Later in the month, Queen Elizabeth attended a multi-faith (Bahá’í, Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Jain, Jewish, Muslim, Sikh, and Zoroastrian) reception held at the residence of the Archbishop of Canterbury, Lambeth Palace, in honour of the jubilee.

The Queen addressed both houses of parliament in Westminster Hall on 20 March 2012. Also in March, the Royal Commonwealth Society launched the Jubilee Time Capsule to mark the jubilee. The British Broadcasting Corporation and Andrew Marr created the television documentary The Diamond Queen, in which various members of the Royal Family and current and former politicians spoke about the sovereign and her life. The documentary was criticized by the campaign group Republic, which argued that it breached BBC guidelines on impartiality.

At Buckingham Palace, a display of the Queen’s diamonds will be opened to the public.On 4 June, the bells in each of the 34 church bell towers along the River Welland valley will ring in succession, ending with the ringing of the bell at Fosdyke 60 times.

On 19 May, the Queen attended the Diamond Jubilee Armed Forces Parade and Muster, the British Armed Forces‘ own tribute to the monarch, in Windsor Castle and nearby Home Park. The first time all three services had assembled for the Queen for such an event at the same time, it featured military reviews and a 2,500 strong military parade through the town, as well as a military flypast featuring 78 aircraft.

Overseas territories

Prince Richard, Duke of Gloucester, toured the British Virgin Islands (BVI) in March 2012. On Montserrat, he met participants in the Sailability BVI programme, including Special Olympics medallists, and staff and associates of the Eslyn Henley Ritchie Learning Centre, BVI Technical and Vocational Institute, BVI Services, and the Department of Youth Affairs and Sports.

Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, and Sophie, Countess of Wessex, will visit the British Overseas Territory of Gibraltar, between 11–13 June 2012, and Montserrat. The Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation expressed “upset and concern” about the couple’s tour of Gibraltar, which Spain claims as Spanish territory.

Other Commonwealth countries

Visits are planned by Princess Anne to Zambia and Mozambique, while the Duke of Gloucester will make official visits to Uganda and Malta. In Asia, Prince Andrew, Duke of York, will visit India, while Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, will make visits to Malaysia and Singapore.

Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, and Sophie, Countess of Wessex, visited Trinidad and Tobago, as did Governor General of Canada David Johnston.

South Africa

South Africa, one of the original Dominions at the time of the Statute of Westminster in 1931, left the Commonwealth while ruled by the Apartheid Era National Party Government on 31 May 1961, and rejoined on 1 June 1994 after the first democratic election. Two significant functions to mark Her Majesty’s Diamond Jubilee in South Africa will be held in Cape Town.

The British Consulate in Cape Town,in conjunction with the Hout Bay and Llandudno Heritage Trust will host a firing of ancient muzzle loading cannons at East Fort in Hout Bay, which once formed part of the multiple defences of the historic Cape of Good Hope. The fort was established during the period of Dutch control of the Cape in 1781 and was greatly extended after the British took over the Cape in 1795 and subsequently in 1806. The Hout Bay and Llandudno Heritage Trust has restored the Fort’s original Swedish made 18 pounder muzzle loading cannons dating from 1752 and will fire two rolling salvo salutes, of six cannon shots each, in the Queen’s honour and in recognition of the bond of friendship between South Africa and Great Britain. The South African Navy Band will be in attendance and the guns will be fired by VIPs who will be guided by gunners of the “Honourable Order of Hout Bay Artillerymen”.

The Heritage Trust has held firings for numerous events, including previous functions associated with Britain, India, Holland, France and during a visit of a NATO fleet to Cape Town, the most recent being the visit of the Royal Navy frigate HMS Montrose in February 2012.

The Trust believes that the Hout Bay Battery is the oldest frequently used working battery of original muzzle loading cannons in the world.

The second function will be held at the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront in the heart of the historic Port of Cape Town which has a long-standing relationship with the British monarchy, dating back to 1870, when Prince Alfred opened the Breakwater Basin, today part of the V&A Waterfront.

A flotilla from the Royal Cape Yacht Club will sail past the Hildebrand Ristorante and into-the Victoria Basin and the Cape Town Highlanders will march from Ferryman’s to Nobel Square. British Consul General Chris Trott will light a beacon, followed by a further six-gun salute and both South African and British national anthems, to mark the 60 years of Queen Elizabeth II’s service to her people and the people of the world.

Other countries

Hong Kong

In Hong Kong, a former British dependent territory and the most populous one until 1997, had The Big Jubilee Lunch on 3 June 2012, organized by the Royal Commonwealth Society in Hong Kong. On 5 June 2012, there will be a service of thanksgiving at the territory’s Anglican St. John’s Cathedral.

Prince Phillip

About 2 pm on 4 June 2012 (the second day of the festivities) HRH Prince Philip was brought to King Edward VII Hospital in London with a bladder infection, and after that had to miss the festivities. The Queen insisted that she would continue to go to these events without her consort. Early on 5 June 2012 HRH Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, the Queen’s son, went to visit Prince Philip. After the visit Prince Edward said that his father was watching the celebrations via television. Prince Philip’s absence caused rearrangements to provide someone to escort the Queen.

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A transit of Venus across the Sun takes place when the planet Venus passes directly between the Sun and Earth, becoming visible against (and hence obscuring a small portion of) the solar disk. During a transit, Venus can be seen from Earth as a small black disk moving across the face of the Sun. The duration of such transits is usually measured in hours (the transit of 2012 lasted 6 hours and 40 minutes). A transit is similar to a solar eclipse by the Moon. While the diameter of Venus is more than 3 times that of the Moon, Venus appears smaller, and travels more slowly across the face of the Sun, because it is much farther away from Earth.

Transits of Venus are among the rarest of predictable astronomical phenomena. They occur in a pattern that repeats every 243 years, with pairs of transits eight years apart separated by long gaps of 121.5 years and 105.5 years. The periodicity is a reflection of the fact that the orbital periods of Earth and Venus are close to 8:13 and 243:395 commensurabilities.

The last transit of Venus was on 5 and 6 June 2012, and was the last Venus transit of the 21st century; the prior transit took place on 8 June 2004. The previous pair of transits were in December 1874 and December 1882. After 2012, the next transits of Venus will be in December 2117 and December 2125.

Venus transits are historically of great scientific importance as they were used to gain the first realistic estimates of the size of the Solar System. Observations of the 1639 transit, combined with the principle of parallax, provided an estimate of the distance between the Sun and the Earth that was more accurate than any other up to that time. In addition, the June 2012 transit will provide scientists with a number of other research opportunities, particularly in the refinement of techniques to be used in the search for exoplanets.

Conjunctions

Diagram of transits of Venus and the angle between the orbital planes of Venus and Earth

Venus, with an orbit inclined by 3.4° relative to the Earth’s, usually appears to pass under (or over) the Sun at inferior conjunction. A transit occurs when Venus reaches conjunction with the Sun at or near one of its nodes—the longitude where Venus passes through the Earth’s orbital plane (the ecliptic)—and appears to pass directly across the Sun. Although the inclination between these two orbital planes is only 3.4°, Venus can be as far as 9.6° from the Sun when viewed from the Earth at inferior conjunction. Since the angular diameter of the Sun is about half a degree, Venus may appear to pass above or below the Sun by more than 18 solar diameters during an ordinary conjunction.

Sequences of transits repeat every 243 years. After this period of time Venus and Earth have returned to very nearly the same point in their respective orbits. During the Earth’s 243 sidereal orbital periods, which total 88757.3 days, Venus completes 395 sidereal orbital periods of 224.701 days each, equal to 88756.9 Earth days. This period of time corresponds to 152 synodic periods of Venus.

The pattern of 105.5, 8, 121.5 and 8 years is not the only pattern that is possible within the 243-year cycle, because of the slight mismatch between the times when the Earth and Venus arrive at the point of conjunction. Prior to 1518, the pattern of transits was 8, 113.5 and 121.5 years, and the eight inter-transit gaps before the AD 546 transit were 121.5 years apart. The current pattern will continue until 2846, when it will be replaced by a pattern of 105.5, 129.5 and 8 years. Thus, the 243-year cycle is relatively stable, but the number of transits and their timing within the cycle will vary over time.

Ancient and medieval history

Cuneiform clay tablet of observations

Venus Tablet of Ammisaduqa“, a cuneiform clay tablet of astrological forecasts from the Neo-Assyrian period. Library of Ashurbanipal. Ref:K.160 .

Ancient Indian, Greek, Egyptian, Babylonian, Mayan, and Chinese observers knew of Venus and recorded the planet’s motions. The early Greek astronomers called Venus by two names—Hesperus the evening star and Phosphorus the morning star. Pythagoras is credited with realizing they were the same planet. There is no evidence that any of these cultures knew of the transits. Venus was important to ancient American civilizations, in particular for the Maya, who called it Noh Ek, “the Great Star” or Xux Ek, “the Wasp Star“; they embodied Venus in the form of the god Kukulkán (also known as or related to Gukumatz and Quetzalcoatl in other parts of Mexico). In the Dresden Codex, the Maya charted Venus’ full cycle, but despite their precise knowledge of its course, there is no mention of a transit.

Modern observations

Measuring Venus transit times to determine solar parallax

Aside from its rarity, the original scientific interest in observing a transit of Venus was that it could be used to determine the distance from the Earth to the Sun, and from this the size of the Solar System, by employing the parallax method and Kepler’s third law. The technique involved making precise observations of the different durations of the transit when viewed from widely separated points on the Earth’s surface. The distance between the points on the Earth was then used as a baseline to calculate the distance to Venus and the Sun via triangulation.

Although by the 17th century astronomers could calculate each planet’s relative distance from the Sun in terms of the distance of the Earth from the Sun (an astronomical unit), an accurate absolute value of this distance had not been determined.

In 1627, Johannes Kepler became the first person to predict a transit of Venus, by predicting the 1631 event. His methods were not sufficiently accurate to predict that the transit would not be visible in most of Europe, and as a consequence, nobody was able to use his prediction to observe the phenomenon.

1639 – first scientific observation

Jeremiah Horrocks makes the first observation of the transit of Venus in 1639, as imagined by the artist J. W. Lavender in 1903

The first recorded observation of a transit of Venus was made by Jeremiah Horrocks from his home at Carr House in Much Hoole, near Preston in England, on 4 December 1639 (24 November under the Julian calendar then in use in England). His friend, William Crabtree, also observed this transit from Broughton, near Manchester. Kepler had predicted transits in 1631 and 1761 and a near miss in 1639. Horrocks corrected Kepler’s calculation for the orbit of Venus, realized that transits of Venus would occur in pairs 8 years apart, and so predicted the transit in 1639. Although he was uncertain of the exact time, he calculated that the transit was to begin at approximately 3:00 pm. Horrocks focused the image of the Sun through a simple telescope onto a piece of paper, where the image could be safely observed. After observing for most of the day, he was lucky to see the transit as clouds obscuring the Sun cleared at about 3:15 pm, just half an hour before sunset. Horrocks’ observations allowed him to make a well-informed guess as to the size of Venus, as well as to make an estimate of the distance between the Earth and the Sun. He estimated that distance to be 59.4 million miles (95.6 Gm, 0.639 AU) – about two thirds of the actual distance of 93 million miles (149.6 million km), but a more accurate figure than any suggested up to that time. The observations were not published until 1661, well after Horrocks’ death.

1761 and 1769

Diagram from David Rittenhouse’s observations of the 1769 transit of Venus

In 1663 Scottish mathematician James Gregory had suggested in his Optica Promota that observations of a transit of the planet Mercury, at widely spaced points on the surface of the Earth, could be used to calculate the solar parallax and hence the astronomical unit. Aware of this, a young Edmond Halley made observations of such a transit in 1676 from Saint Helena, but was disappointed to find that there had been only one other observation of the event and was not satisfied that the resulting calculation of the solar parallax at 45″ was accurate. In 1678 he proposed that more accurate calculations could be made using measurements of a transit of Venus, although the next such event was not due until 1761. Halley died in 1742, but in 1761 numerous expeditions were made to various parts of the world so that precise observations of the transit could be made in order to make the calculations as described by Halley—an early example of international scientific collaboration. In an attempt to observe the first transit of the pair, scientists and explorers from Britain, Austria and France travelled to destinations around the world, including Siberia, Norway, Newfoundland and Madagascar. Most managed to observe at least part of the transit, but successful observations were made in particular by Jeremiah Dixon and Charles Mason at the Cape of Good Hope.

On the basis of his observation of the transit of Venus of 1761 from the Saint Petersburg Observatory, Mikhail Lomonosov predicted the existence of an atmosphere on Venus. Lomonosov detected the refraction of solar rays while observing the transit and inferred that only refraction through an atmosphere could explain the appearance of a light ring around the part of Venus that had not yet come into contact with the Sun’s disk during the initial phase of transit.

For the 1769 transit, scientists traveled to Hudson Bay (Canada), San José del Cabo (Baja California, then under Spanish control), Tahiti, and Norway. The Czech astronomer Christian Mayer was invited by Catherine the Great to observe the transit in Saint Petersburg with Anders Johan Lexell, while other members of Russian Academy of Sciences went to eight other locations in the Russian Empire.[22] In Philadelphia, the American Philosophical Society erected three temporary observatories and appointed a committee, of which David Rittenhouse was the head. The results of these observations were printed in the first volume of the Society’s Transactions, published in 1771

Observations were also made from Tahiti at a location still known as “Point Venus”.[24] This occurred on the first voyage of James Cook,[25] after which Cook explored New Zealand and Australia.

The “black drop effect” as recorded during the 1769 transit

The 1882 transit of Venus

Transit of Venus from Degania A, Israel, 2004

The unfortunate Guillaume Le Gentil spent eight years travelling in an attempt to observe either of the transits. His unsuccessful journey led to him losing his wife and possessions and being declared dead (his efforts became the basis of the play Transit of Venus by Maureen Hunter)

Unfortunately, it was impossible to time the exact moment of the start and end of the transit because of the phenomenon known as the “black drop effect“. This effect was long thought to be due to Venus’ thick atmosphere, and initially it was held to be the first real evidence that Venus had an atmosphere. However, recent studies demonstrate that it is an optical effect caused by the smearing of the image of Venus by turbulence in the Earth’s atmosphere or imperfections in the viewing apparatus.

In 1771, using the combined 1761 and 1769 transit data, the French astronomer Jérôme Lalande calculated the astronomical unit to have a value of 153 million kilometers (±1 million km). The precision was less than hoped-for because of the black drop effect, but still a considerable improvement on Horrocks’ calculations

1874 and 1882

Transit observations in 1874 and 1882 allowed this value to be refined further. Several expeditions were sent to the Kerguelen Archipelago for the 1874 observations. The American astronomer Simon Newcomb combined the data from the last four transits, and he arrived at a value of about 149.59 million kilometers (±0.31 million kilometers). Modern techniques, such as the use of radio telemetry from space probes, and of radar measurements of the distances to planets and asteroids in the Solar System, have allowed a reasonably accurate value for the astronomical unit (AU) to be calculated to a precision of about ±30 meters. As a result, the need for parallax calculations has been superseded.

2004

Further information: Transit of Venus, 2004

There was a good deal of interest in the 2004 transit as scientists attempted to measure the pattern of light dimming as Venus blocked out some of the Sun’s light, in order to refine techniques that they hope to use in searching for extrasolar planets. Current methods of looking for planets orbiting other stars only work for a few cases—planets that are very large (Jupiter-like, not Earth-like), whose gravity is strong enough to wobble the star sufficiently for us to detect changes in proper motion or Doppler shift changes in radial velocity, Jupiter or Neptune sized planets very close to their parent star, or through gravitational microlensing by planets which pass in front of background stars with the planet-parent star separation comparable to the Einstein ring. Measuring light intensity during the course of a transit, as the planet blocks out some of the light, is potentially much more sensitive, and might be used to find smaller planets. However, extremely precise measurement is needed: for example, the transit of Venus causes the Sun’s light to drop by a mere 0.001 magnitude, and the dimming produced by small extrasolar planets will be similarly tiny.

2012

Further information: Transit of Venus, 2012

The full 2012 transit in 5–6 June 2012 was visible from the Pacific Ocean, including Hawaii, northwestern North America, northern Asia, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Philippines, New Zealand, central and eastern Australia, and the Pacific islands. For most of North America and northwestern South America, the start of the transit was visible before sunset, while people in southern Asia, the Middle East, eastern Africa, western Australia, and most of Europe were able to observe the end of the transit as the Sun rose

As with the 2004 transit, the 2012 transit provided scientists numerous research opportunities, in particular in regard to the study of exoplanets. Research of the 2012 Venus transit includes:

  • Measuring dips in a star’s brightness caused by a known planet transiting the Sun will help astronomers find exoplanets. Unlike the 2004 Venus transit, the 2012 transit occurred during an active phase of the 11-year activity cycle of the Sun, and it is likely to give astronomers practice in picking up a planet’s signal around a “spotty” variable star.
  • Measurements made of the apparent diameter of Venus during the transit, and comparison with its known diameter, will give scientists an idea of how to estimate exoplanet sizes.
  • Observation made of the atmosphere of Venus simultaneously from Earth-based telescopes and from the Venus Express gives scientists a better opportunity to understand the intermediate level of Venus’ atmosphere than is possible from either viewpoint alone. This will provide new information about the climatology of the planet.
  • Spectrographic data taken of the well-known atmosphere of Venus will be compared to studies of exoplanets whose atmospheres are thus far unknown.
  • The Hubble Space Telescope used the Moon as a mirror to study the light that bounces off Venus to determine the makeup of its atmosphere. This will be a technique that astronomers could also use to study exoplanets.

Past and future transits

William Crabtree observing the transit of Venus, from The Manchester Murals by Ford Madox Brown

Currently, transits occur only in June or December (see table) and the occurrence of these events slowly drifts becoming later in the year by about two days every 243-year cycle. Transits usually occur in pairs, on nearly the same date eight years apart. This is because the length of eight Earth years is almost the same as 13 years on Venus, so every eight years the planets are in roughly the same relative positions. This approximate conjunction usually results in a pair of transits, but it is not precise enough to produce a triplet, since Venus arrives 22 hours earlier each time. The last transit not to be part of a pair was in 1396. The next will be in 3089; in 2854 (the second of the 2846/2854 pair), although Venus will just miss the Sun as seen from the Earth’s equator, a partial transit will be visible from some parts of the southern hemisphere.[35]

Past transits of Venus
Date(s) of
transit
Time (UTC) Notes Transit path
(HM Nautical
Almanac Office)
Start Mid End
1396 November 23 15:45 19:27 23:09 Last transit not part of a pair.
1518 May 25–26 22:46
May 25
01:56
May 26
05:07
May 26
1526 May 23 16:12 19:35 21:48 Last transit before invention of telescope
1631 December 7 03:51 05:19 06:47 Predicted by Kepler
1639 December 4 14:57 18:25 21:54 First transit observed by Horrocks and Crabtree
1761 June 6 02:02 05:19 08:37 Lomonosov, Chappe d’Auteroche and others observe from Russia
1769 June 3–4 19:15
June 3
22:25
June 3
01:35
June 4
Cook sent to Tahiti to observe the transit
1874 December 9 01:49 04:07 06:26 Pietro Tacchini leads expedition to Muddapur, India. A French expedition goes to New Zealand’s Campbell Island
1882 December 6 13:57 17:06 20:15 John Philip Sousa composes a march, the “Transit of Venus“, in honor of the transit.
2004 June 8 05:13 08:20 11:26 Various media networks globally broadcast live video of the Venus transit.
2012 June 5–6 22:09
June 5
01:29
June 6
04:49
June 6
Visible in its entirety from Hawaii, Alaska, Australia, New Zealand, the Pacific and Eastern Asia, with the beginning of the transit visible from North America and the end visible from Europe
Future transits of Venus
Date(s) of
transit
Time (UTC) Notes Transit path
(HM Nautical
Almanac Office)
Start Mid End
2117 December 10–11 23:58
December 10
02:48
December 11
05:38
December 11
Visible in entirety in eastern China, Japan, Taiwan, Indonesia, and Australia. Partly visible on extreme U.S. West Coast, and in India, most of Africa, and the Middle East.
2125 December 8 13:15 16:01 18:48 Visible in entirety in South America and the eastern U.S. Partly visible in Western U.S., Europe, and Africa.
2247 June 11 08:42 11:33 14:25 Visible in entirety in Africa, Europe, and the Middle East. Partly visible in East Asia and Indonesia, and in North and South America.
2255 June 9 01:08 04:38 08:08 Visible in entirety in Russia, India, China, and western Australia. Partly visible in Africa, Europe, and the western U.S.
2360 December 12–13 22:32
December 12
01:44
December 13
04:56
December 13
Visible in entirety in Australia and most of Indonesia. Partly visible in Asia, Africa, and the western half of the Americas.
2368 December 10 12:29 14:45 17:01 Visible in entirety in South America, western Africa, and the U.S. East Coast. Partly visible in Europe, the western U.S., and the Middle East.
2490 June 12 11:39 14:17 16:55 Visible in entirety through most of the Americas, western Africa, and Europe. Partly visible in eastern Africa, the Middle East, and Asia.
2498 June 10 03:48 07:25 11:02 Visible in entirety through most of Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and eastern Africa. Partly visible in eastern Americas, Indonesia, and Australia.

Over longer periods of time, new series of transits will start and old series will end. Unlike the saros series for lunar eclipses, it is possible for a transit series to restart after a hiatus. The transit series also vary much more in length than the saros series.

Grazing and simultaneous transits

Sometimes Venus only grazes the Sun during a transit. In this case it is possible that in some areas of the Earth a full transit can be seen while in other regions there is only a partial transit (no second or third contact). The last transit of this type was on 6 December 1631, and the next such transit will occur on 13 December 2611. It is also possible that a transit of Venus can be seen in some parts of the world as a partial transit, while in others Venus misses the Sun. Such a transit last occurred on 19 November 541 BC, and the next transit of this type will occur on 14 December 2854. These effects occur due to parallax, since the size of the Earth affords different points of view with slightly different lines of sight to Venus and the Sun. It can be demonstrated by closing an eye and holding a finger in front of a smaller more distant object; when you open the other eye and close the first, the finger will no longer be in front of the object.

The simultaneous occurrence of a transit of Mercury and a transit of Venus does occur, but extremely infrequently. Such an event last occurred on 22 September 373,173 BC and will next occur on 26 July 69,163, and again on 29 March 224,508. The simultaneous occurrence of a solar eclipse and a transit of Venus is currently possible, but very rare. The next solar eclipse occurring during a transit of Venus will be on 5 April 15,232. The last time a solar eclipse occurred during a transit of Venus was on 1 November 15,607 BC. It could be noticed that the day after the Venerean transit of 3 June 1769 there was a total solar eclipse,which was visible in Northern America, Europe and Northern Asia.

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