How Elizabeth I used parties as a weapon against the Catholic threat to her throne

Anna Whitelock reveals how celebrations marking the anniversary of Elizabeth I's accession became critical, not simply for spectacle and festivity, but for security and defence...

Procession portrait of Queen Elizabeth I. (Fine Art Images/Heritage Images/Getty Images)

This article was first published in the June 2012 issue of BBC History Magazine 

Queen Elizabeth II’s accession day, celebrated on 6 February 2012, was heralded by Boris Johnson, the mayor of London, with the tribute: “Warm congratulations to Her Majesty on the 60th anniversary of her accession. Here’s to a sparkling diamond jubilee. God Save the Queen!”

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