Jubilees don’t come around very often in British history, and a look back over time shows the monarchy chose only the best for their celebration tipple.
Queen Elizabeth II recently marked 60 years on the throne with a Jubilee celebration to rival the best this month. The British monarch is said to have enjoyed a range of wine to mark the anniversary, with Champagne, Burgundy, Loire and Claret in her royal cellars.
Of the reds, there were reported to be Chateau Latour à Pomerol; Chasse Spleen, Fonroque, Meyney, Phélan Ségur, Montrose, Ducru Beaucaillou, Gazin, Léoville Barton, Léoville Poyferré, and a little Haut Brion, Margaux, Mouton and d’Yquem enjoyed by royalty and their guests.
Fine and rare wines have been enjoyed by the head of state throughout our glorious history, and Nick Stephens from Bordeaux Undiscovered has traced back which wines were enjoyed at each Jubilee celebration, all the way back to the first ‘proper’ occasion in 1809, to mark 50 years of King George III's reign.
To mark the occasion, the King and other members of the royal family attended a private service in Windsor and a grand fête and firework display at Frogmore. Royal cellar records from the 1760s showed that the King had a liking for German Hock (the British name for dry white wines from the Rhine river valley) and Claret – and his Court had a preference for Port.
Queen Victoria is our longest-reigning monarch, and was lucky enough to celebrate both Golden and Diamond Jubilees in 1887 and 1897. There were several celebrations lined up to mark the occasion, with a feast at the palace as well as a progress to St Paul’s Cathedral and past the many landmarks of London.
Shortly after the procession, the queen wrote in her journal: “No one ever, I believe, has met with such an ovation as was given to me, passing through those six miles of streets.”
In terms of wine, Queen Victoria’s royal cellars records indicate that in 1838 her cellar master ordered eight hogsheads and four butts of Sherry, 16 hogsheads of 1834 Chateau Lafite, also Chateaux Latour, Gruaud Larose and Margaux.
King George V also had a liking for French wine, celebrating his Silver Jubilee with a 1929 Chateau Latour Martillac.
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