Bognor town crier writes official proclamation for beacon lighting at Queen’s platinum jubilee

A proclamation written by Bognor’s town crier will be read aloud by 145 town criers across the country and commonwealth as beacons are lit to honour the Queen’s historic platinum jubilee.

Friday, 4th June 2021, 4:08 pm

Jane Smith, who has been Bognor’s town crier since 2017, has been announced as the official author of a proclamation which will be read by 145 criers across the country and commonwealth as beacons are lit in honour of the Queen’s platinum jubilee next year.

The lighting of the beacons, which commemorates landmark years in a monarch’s reign, is a long tradition in the UK.

The beacons were lit in 1977, 2002 and 2012 in recognition of Elizabeth II’s Gold, Silver and Diamond Jubilees respectively. When they are lit once again on June 2 2022, it will be in honour of the Queen’s 70th year on the throne- the first Platinum Jubilee in the history of the British monarchy.

Jane Smith - Bognor Regis Town Crier. Pic S Robards SR2104281 SUS-210428-162502001

And Bognor Regis will be right at the heart of that history, with a proclamation authored by the town’s very own crier.

“I’ve known for quite a long time. I wrote the cry back in March and I’ve just been waiting since then. So, it’s been kicking around for some time and we weren’t allowed to say anything until it was announced. I had to just send it off and try to put it to the back of my mind. It’s bonkers, isn’t it?” Ms Jane said.

Ms Smith was offered the opportunity when a fellow town crier who knew the Queen’s pageant master put her name forward. Several months on, Ms Smith says she never thought she’d be writing proclamations for the Queen’s platinum jubilee.

“I’ve read out proclamations for Royal Births and engagements and things like that,” she said “And I always thought it was pretty cool just to be able to do that, even if they were only notes that were taken from the palace web page and stuff, but now this time I got to actually write one!”

For the first time in history beacons will be lit in each of the Commonwealth’s capital cities to celebrate the Queen’s jubilee, which means Ms Smith’s words won’t just be read aloud all over the UK, but in countries as far away as Canada, Hawaii and New Zealand.

As proud as she is, Ms Smith hopes all that international attention helps put Bognor Regis on the map.

“I just want to have that recognition for the town. For people to think ‘oh wow Bognor Regis is not the butt of everyone’s jokes.’

“It would be really nice for people to think ‘oh yeah, let’s go to Bognor for a day on the beach.’ Just to raise the profile of the town, that would be amazing.”