At a big concert in front of Buckingham Palace with many stars from music, society and sport, thousands celebrated the 70th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II’s throne in London. The Queen herself made the start in a video clip that showed her having tea with the popular film character Paddington. “Thanks for everything,” said the bear – then the rock band Queen opened the show. The US singers Alicia Keys and Diana Ross were to appear on several stages. Around 30 members of the royal family were among the 22,000 spectators.
Nevertheless, many royal celebrities gathered in the grandstand, including heir apparent Prince Charles and his eldest son, Prince William. However, his brother Harry and his wife Meghan, who traveled to London from the USA on the occasion of the throne anniversary, were not present. Her second child Lilibet had her birthday on Saturday.
On the third day of the anniversary celebrations for Queen Elizabeth II, the focus was initially on the Queen’s great-granddaughter. “Wishing Lilibet a Happy 1st Birthday,” the Royal Family’s official account tweeted on Saturday, along with a balloon emoji. As reported by the media, the 96-year-old monarch wanted to meet her grandson Prince Harry’s daughter personally on Saturday.
The 37-year-old came to London with his wife Duchess Meghan (40), son Archie (3) and Lilibet. It is the family’s first visit together to Harry’s old home. Lilibet also received birthday wishes from the official account of Harry’s older brother Prince William and his wife Duchess Kate. The brothers’ relationship is considered to be heavily burdened because of serious allegations by Harry and Meghan against the palace.
William traveled to Wales on Saturday with his wife Kate and their two older children, Prince George, 8, and Princess Charlotte, 7. In the capital, Cardiff, they attended an anniversary concert on behalf of the Queen. In the evening, William, like his father Prince Charles, was expected to attend a mega party at Buckingham Palace in London. There the two future kings wanted to pay tribute to the Queen in speeches to the visitors. Elizabeth II has been Queen since 1952. Never before has a monarch sat longer on the British throne. The platinum jubilee is celebrated with numerous events nationwide, for which the government granted an additional holiday once.
Representing the Queen, her daughter Princess Anne attended the traditional Epsom Derby horse race. The 71-year-old was greeted with cheers and British flags on Saturday. Also present were her second husband Tim Laurence and their children Peter Phillips and Zara Tindall from their first marriage. The Princess Royal was in good spirits in the Royal Box as she waved to the crowd.
The Queen had decided not to attend to recover from the previous celebrations. The equestrian fanatic has been thought to be watching the race on television at her Windsor Castle residence.
In honor of the Queen, 40 jockeys who had ridden for the horse owner and breeder in the past formed an honor guard in royal racing suits. Then the national anthem was played. Five of the Queen’s previous racehorses were on display at the site.Princess Anne is an experienced rider herself, having competed as a member of the British team at the 1976 Summer Olympics. In 1971 the Queen-daughter won gold at the European Eventing Championships and silver in 1975.
Elizabeth II has recently had “mobility issues” and uses a cane on her rare public appearances. She was represented on Friday at the celebrations in St. Paul’s by her son Prince Charles (73), who arrived at the cathedral in festive clothes with his wife Camilla. Large parts of the royal family were already waiting there – for the first time in two years, Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan, who had traveled from the United States for the 70th anniversary of the Queen’s throne.
Harry and Meghan were greeted with much cheering. Harry wore his military insignia to the event at St Paul’s Cathedral in London, while Meghan appeared in a cream coat and hat. According to their biographer Omid Scobie, Harry, Meghan and their two children attended a luncheon with other members of the royal family at Windsor Castle on Thursday. The Queen had the opportunity to meet her great-granddaughter Lilibet in person for the first time.
Unlike the day before, the extended circle of the Royal Family was also invited to the thanksgiving service – as were Prime Minister Boris Johnson, several members of his government, many other politicians and guests from other areas of society and the Commonwealth of States.
Johnson was booed upon arrival. The shouts of onlookers could be heard clearly as the prime minister walked up the steps of the cathedral with his wife Carrie Johnson on Friday morning. This was in stark contrast to the jubilation witnessed by Head of State Queen Elizabeth II at her public appearances on Thursday. Johnson is under immense domestic political pressure because of the “Partygate” scandal surrounding lockdown parties in Downing Street.
In honor of the Queen, the largest bell in the country called “Great Paul” rang on Friday – for the first time for a royal occasion. Built in 1882, the bell was silent for decades because a mechanism broke. In 2021 it was restored.
Even if the pandemic in Great Britain is considered to be over, there were cancellations of the service due to the corona virus: both the second eldest son of Queen Prince Andrew and the Archbishop of Canterbury, who was supposed to hold the service, apologized for infections. Masks were not worn in the church with hundreds of guests.
The palace emphasized that the monarch had enjoyed the celebrations very much so far. When she appeared on the balcony at Buckingham Palace on Thursday, the monarch looked happy and carefree. She greeted the crowd and talked to her great-grandson Louis, who attracted attention with his grimaces.