Britain enjoyed celebrations for 70 years on the throne of Queen Elizabeth II on Saturday as it hosted a spectacular “palace party” featuring Diana Ross, Andrea Bocelli and Rod Stewart, while Prince Charles paid his respects from the heart.
The concert, the culmination of the third day of public events on the occasion of the 96-year-old monarch’s record platinum jubilee, was attended by 22,000 ticket holders who watched the performers on a purpose-built 360-degree stage in front of Buckingham Palace.
“You met us and talked to us, you laugh and cry with us and, most importantly, you have been there for us for these 70 years,” Charles said from the stage as the event came to an end.
– ‘Happy Jubilee, Madam’ –
She appeared twice in public on the balcony of Buckingham Palace on the first day of the celebration on Thursday, but that left her “in some discomfort”, the palace said, amid constant difficulties in walking and standing.
As the star-studded show began that evening, the monarch surprisingly appeared on screen in a comic pre-recorded scene drinking tea with a beloved British character from a children’s book and the film character Paddington Bear.
“That’s very kind,” the queen replied, before the couple began beating the rhythm of the drum song “We Will Rock You” by the rock band Queen on their tea cups and saucers with silver spoons.
– ‘Honored’ –
“It’s wonderful to be back,” guitarist Brian May told the BBC, highlighting one of the most enduring jubilee paintings of 2002, playing “God Save the Queen” on the roof of Buckingham Palace.
Other performers included Rod Stewart, who sang Neil Diamond’s hit “Sweet Caroline,” and British runner-up at 2022 Eurovision Song Contest Sam Ryder.
“I feel deeply honored to have spent time with you over the years,” Obama said, recalling his own nervousness during a visit to Buckingham Palace and thanking the Queen for “your outstanding example.”
The palace was magnificently lit during the evening, including a message from natural history broadcaster David Attenborough and an accompanying video with the Queen.
The Duke of Cambridge used his speech to praise the Queen’s commitment to preserving and combating climate change.
The couple celebrated the first birthday of their second child, Lilibet, on Saturday.
Britain declared Thursday and Friday public holidays to mark the royal milestone, which drew attention to the future of a monarchy without a queen.
The jubilee events began on Thursday with the pompous military parade Trooping the Color, while the traditional service of the Church of England was held on Friday, led by senior members of the royal family – including Harry and Megan – in St. Paul’s Cathedral.
Ed Sheeran will round out the celebration on Sunday, singing her 2017 hit “Perfect”.