Unless you've been completely incommunicado for the past year, you would be aware that this year is Queen Elizabeth II's Platinum Jubilee. But here's some facts and figures you may not be aware of...

• The Platinum Jubilee marks the 70th year of the start of Queen Elizabeth II's reign - she officially ascended the throne on the 6th February, 1952, following the death of her father, King George VI (the day is marked as Accession Day). It is the first time a British monarch has reached such a milestone.

• Previous milestones passed by the Queen include her Sapphire Jubilee (65 years - 2017), her Diamond Jubilee (60 years - 2012); her Golden Jubilee (50 years - 2002), and her Silver Jubilee (25 years - 1977).

• Queen Elizabeth II became Britain's longest reigning monarch on 9th September, 2015. The record had previously been held by Queen Victoria who ruled for 18 years and 27 days (from 20th June, 1837, to 22nd January, 1901).

UK Queen Elizabeth II

Britain's Queen Elizabeth II looks on during an audience with Switzerland's President Ignazio Cassis (not pictured), at Windsor Castle, Britain, on 28th April. PICTURE: Dominic Lipinski/Pool via Reuters.

• While celebrations surrounding the Platinum Jubilee are being held across the year, they will centre on the four day Bank Holiday weekend of 2nd to 5th June. The weekend will begin with Trooping the Colour, the Queen’s Birthday Parade, held on Thursday, 2nd June, which will also include an RAF flyby and the traditional appearance of the Royal Family on the balcony of Buckingham Palace. Other events on the weekend include a Service of Thanksgiving at St Paul's Cathedral in London, the Queen's attendance at the Derby at Epsom Downs, and a 'Platinum Party' at Buckingham Palace attended by 22,000 and broadcast live on the BBC. On Sunday, tens of thousands of Big Jubilee Lunches will be held across the UK and the Platinum Jubilee Pageant will be held revisiting iconic moments from the Queen’s reign and featuring some 10,000 people including the military, more than 6,000 volunteers, performers, key workers and 2,500 members of the general public as well as the Gold State Carriage.

Thousands of beacons will also be lit over the weekend to mark the jubilee including The Principal beacon, involving The Tree of Trees - a 21 metre high 'tree' constructed of 350 smaller tree - which will be lit in a special ceremony at Buckingham Palace at 9pm on 2nd June.  



• Other initiatives being held to mark the occasion across the year include The Queen's Green Canopy under which UK citizens are being invited to plant their own tree during the year and a network of 70 Ancient Woodlands are being dedicated and 70 Ancient Trees identified to celebrate Her Majesty’s 70 years of service. 

• The Jubilee celebrations also feature an official pudding - named last week as a lemon and Swiss roll amaretti trifle.

• Among the more unusual Platinum Jubilee tributes to the Queen has been the unveiling of a Barbie doll modelled in her image. Dressed in an ivory gown with a blue sash adorned with miniature medallions and ribbons, the figure also has a tiara based on the one Elizabeth wore on her wedding day.

• The Platinum Jubilee isn't just being celebrated in the UK - commemorations are also being held in Commonweath nations and territories where the Queen is head of state including Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and a number of Caribbean Island states.

• The concept of a Jubilee comes from the Bible's Old Testament where it was marked every 50 years and has been described as an "economic, cultural, environmental and communal reset, when the land and people rest, and all those who are in slavery are set free to return to their communities". In the modern world, the concept is most closely associated with monarchies.

- With Reuters.