LONDON (AFP) – At the coronation of her platinum jubilee, Queen Elizabeth II appeared on the balcony of Buckingham Palace on Sunday, delighting fans who had been hoping to catch a glimpse of her during the final day of celebrations marking the Queen’s 70th anniversary. throne.
The 96-year-old Queen has reduced her schedule in recent months due to mobility issues. Prior to Sunday, the Queen had only appeared twice in public during the four-day weekend of festivities. Officials said she felt “uncomfortable” during those Thursday events.
Thousands crowded outside Buckingham Palace in the culmination of a boisterous and colorful celebration as the Queen appeared on the balcony with her son and heir Prince Charles, his wife Camilla, her great-grandson Prince William and his family.
The Queen, who was dressed in bright green, waved and smiled after the crowd chanted “God save the Queen.” Her appearance, which lasted for a few minutes, was followed by a delightful performance of ABBA’s song “Dancing Queen”.
It was a great finale to a massive street contest that celebrated the life of the Queen and highlighted Britain’s diversity. Thousands of people took to the streets of London, and many spoke with excitement and pride about their Queen and their country.
Sunday’s beauty pageant began with a spectacular military parade in which 200 horses marched through the mall to Buckingham Palace. They surrounded the Golden State Coach, a golden chariot that took the Queen to her coronation 69 years ago. A virtual version of her, taken from an archival video of her coronation in 1953, was projected into the windows of a bus.
After the pomp and processions, came a mix of acts celebrating the diversity of modern Britain and the Commonwealth, from hip-hop and Bollywood dancers to drag queens and Mardi Gras style floats. About 6,000 artists walked along a three-kilometre (nearly two miles) road lined with a sea of Union flags, telling the story of the Queen’s life with dances, vintage cars, vibrant costumes, carnival music and giant puppets.
There have been some of Britain’s most famous cultural exports, from the Daleks in “Doctor Who” to James Bond’s elegant Aston Martins. Celebrities including singer Cliff Richard danced and sang from convertible double decker buses designed to represent the sights and sounds of every decade, beginning in the 1950s.
“It’s such an honor to be a part of this, we have the best queen in the world, right? The best in the world,” said Warren Jobson, the biker who took part in the show.
The organizers expected the competition to be watched by a billion people around the world.
The keenest Royal fans braved the wet and cold weather and camped out at the mall overnight to secure the best view of the competition. Some came to see the celebrities who presented – like Ed Sheeran, who sang his song “Perfect” while a huge video screen showed pictures of the Queen and her family – while others just wanted to be part of a historic moment.
“It’s part of history, and it’s never going to happen again. It’s something special, so if you’re going to do it you have to go big or come home,” said Shawn Wallen, 50.
The Queen did not join her family at the Royal Trust to watch the competition. Prince Harry and his wife Meghan are also on their first family trip to the UK since they gave up royal duties and moved to the US in 2020. The couple came to the UK for the big weekend, but largely stayed abroad. From the spotlight during the events of the Platinum Jubilee.
Thousands of people flocked to the mall after the show ended in an attempt to see the Queen, filling the vast space in a matter of minutes.
The Queen delighted the country when she appeared in a surprise comedy video that opened Saturday with a concert in front of Buckingham Palace. in the video, The King has tea with the mobile computerized Paddington Bear – She revealed that, just like the furry character, she was biased towards marmalade sandwiches and liked to keep them in her handbag.
Diana Ross and rock band Queens headlined the star-studded tribute party Saturday night, which also featured Rod Stewart, Doran Duran, Alicia Keys and Andrea Bocelli.
Prince Charles, the Queen’s eldest son and heir to the throne, has highlighted his mother’s role as a symbol of unity and stability through the decades.
“Your Majesty, my mother,” said Charles, addressing the Queen, “you are laughing and crying with us, and most importantly, you have been there for us all these seventy years.”
On Sunday, Charles and his wife Camilla mingled with the crowds at The Oval Cricket Ground in London for the “Great Jubilee Lunch”.
Likewise, millions across the country have set long tables, balloons, and picnic fare for street parties and similar national barbecues.
Joe Kearney, Srdjan Nedelijkovic and Maria Grazia Moro contributed to this report.
Follow all of the AP’s stories about Britain’s royal family at https://apnews.com/hub/queen-elizabeth-ii.
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