This week, the country celebrates 70 years of the Queen’s reign – as she is soon to be the only British monarch to ever reach their Platinum Jubilee.
Fifty years ago, Glasgow welcomed stars such as Dolly Parton and Michael Jackson for the Queen’s Silver Jubilee. During a tour of Scotland, she spent a day enjoying all that the city had to offer.
Marking the 25th anniversary of her coronation, Queen Elizabeth II headed to Glasgow for a Silver Jubilee tour – and was met with some of the biggest performers of the time at the King’s Theatre.
READ MORE –Glasgow pubs and clubs to stay open for extra hour for Queen’s Platinum Jubilee
Back in 1977, the Royal Tour began on May 17 when the Queen arrived at Glasgow Central Station. The visit drew in crowds of thousands with a trip to the cathedral, a walk in George Square and a lunch at City Chambers on her agenda.
Along with Prince Philip, the Queen enjoyed an afternoon of football at Hampden Park and watched the home side win 2-1. This was followed by a quick trip to Kelvingrove Museum and Art Gallery, where they enjoyed an exhibition on the Queen’s 25-year reign.
The day was finished off with a Jubilee Gala Performance at the King’s Theatre, where Dolly Parton, the Jackson 5, Sydney Devine, and Frankie Howerd entertained the Monarch.
This was queen of country music, Dolly Parton’ first visit to Scotland and she was oblivious to what was waiting for her. The Jolene singer was told en route from the US that her concert in Glasgow would be performed in front of the Queen.
At the time she told the Evening News: “When they told me on the plane I was appearing in front of the Queen I just jumped up and down telling everyone. It’s just one of the biggest thrills of my life.
Sign up to our Glasgow Live nostalgia newsletters for more local history and heritage content straight to your inbox
“When I was a little girl I grew up in a world of kings and queens and princes and princesses in fairy tales, now I’m going to meet one.”
Meanwhile, down at the stage door, a member of staff at the King’s was also in for a shock, when an American youngster asked him to take him across to Bath Street and show him where to buy a bottle of lemonade. That young boy turned out to be Michael Jackson, then a member of his family’s iconic pop group; The Jackson 5. The stars also performed for the Queen that evening.
Comedian Frankie Howerd, who received an OBE that same year, caused a stir with the Duke of Edinburgh ahead of his performance. Prince Philip told Howerd he should swap outfits with Ronnie Corbett, who was sporting a dinner suit, to which he responded: “My mother comes from this part of Scotland so I’m entitled to wear it.”
The following day the Queen continued her tour visiting a school in Cumbernauld and shaking hands with some children in Govan, before heading onto Perth. The Royals then travelled to Dundee, where they were reportedly met by over 10,000 people in the city’s Camperdown Park.
Moving north to Aberdeen, locals were 20 people deep on pavements hoping to catch a glimpse of the Monarch before the Scottish tour ended in Edinburgh with a youth pageant at Meadowbank Stadium. Check out our gallery of snaps from the Queen’s 1977 visit to Glasgow below.