LONDON – Now we know what’s inside Queen Elizabeth II‘s handbag.
The long-standing mystery was solved on Saturday when the British monarch made the second star of her career, appearing in a mini film to start a concert celebrating 70 years on the throne. The sketch shows a queen drinking cream tea with British national treasure Paddington Bear at Buckingham Palace.
After drinking all his tea and ruining cakes, a bear from the deepest Peru in a coat told Elizabeth that she always has a spare supply of jam sandwiches with her, picking up her red hat to reveal her favorite treat.
“Me too,” the queen replied before opening her bag and declaring, “I keep mine here.”
The scene was reminiscent of the moment Elizabeth appeared as a Bond girl in a short film for the opening ceremony of the 2012 London Olympics.
“Her Majesty is well known for her sense of humor, so it should come as no surprise that she decided to take part in tonight’s sketch,” the palace said. “There was interest in the filming and animation process, and the opportunity to invite a famous bear for tea was too much fun to miss.”
The Queen’s performance with the animated bear caused laughter and loud applause from the overwhelmed audience at the concert in front of Buckingham Palace, which was the culmination of the third of the four days of the ceremony celebrating her platinum jubilee. The 96-year-old monarch did not personally attend the concert because of what the palace describes as “episodic mobility problems”.
Despite the queen’s absence, the mood was high during the event, which culminated in the appearance of the monarch’s son and grandson. Prince Charles and his son Prince William paid tribute to the Queen in separate speeches that paid tribute to the past and looked to the future.
Anne Middleton, 61, who arrived from Cardiff, Wales to celebrate the jubilee, said she liked Paddington’s sketch and that the Queen’s decision to skip the event did not diminish the festivities.
“Not for me,” she said, head to toe adorned with UK and Wales flags. “She showed up on the first day and we know she would have been there if she could have been.”
Charles began his short speech by addressing the Queen with “Your Majesty, Mother”, and then paid tribute to her “life’s selfless service”.
The Queen’s eldest son and heir recalled the ever-growing list of world leaders Elizabeth had met and the endless piles of government papers she had reviewed during her reign that now stretched from the early days of the Cold War to the information age. But he also highlighted his mother’s role as a symbol of stability, uniting the UK and the Commonwealth as they negotiated this rapidly changing world.
“You met us and talked to us. You are laughing and crying with us and, most importantly, you have been there for us, for these 70 years, ”said Charles as scenes from the Queen’s life were projected on the palace walls. “You promised to serve your whole life – you continue to provide. That’s why we’re here. That’s what we’re celebrating tonight. “
William preceded his father with remarks that highlighted the Queen’s longstanding commitment to the environment, as he stressed the need to combat climate change. The presentation began with a recording of the Queen’s 1989 Christmas message, in which she called on all nations to work together to protect the country for “our children and the children of our children”.
That message is still relevant today, William said.
“I firmly hope that my grandmother’s words are true in 70 years, just like tonight, that we gather as peoples in a common cause, because then there is always room for hope.
The Queen did not attend any of the jubilee ceremonies since Thursday, when she waved to the supporters from the balcony of Buckingham Palace.
The monarch also decided not to go to the derby in Epsom earlier on Saturday, and at the prestigious annual horse race she was represented by her daughter, Princess Anne.
The Queen, known as a horse lover, missed the Epsom derby only a few times. Five of her former racehorses paraded on Saturday, and 40 jockeys riding for the queen formed the honor guard before the national anthem was played.
“She has been breeding horses for more than 60 years,” Frankie Dettori, one of the jockeys, told the BBC. “She knows all the bloodlines and she has won many races and she is very educated,”
“I’m sure he will find TV today and watch it live, because he loves Derby very much,” he added.
It was the second time in so many days that the Queen’s mobility problems stole the crowd a chance to see her.
On Friday, the Queen skipped the special Thanksgiving service in her honor at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London. Palace officials said she had experienced “some discomfort” at events the day before, including waving to a huge crowd from Buckingham Palace.
Prince Harry and his wife Meghan were among nearly 50 members of the royal family who gathered Friday at St. Paul’s Cathedral to pay their respects to the absent head of state. It was their first public appearance in the UK since they retired from royal office and moved to California two years ago.
Apart from attending the service on Friday, the couple has not been in the spotlight so far. Their two children, Archie and Lilibet, who turned one Saturday, have not yet appeared during this trip. A spokesman for the couple said that they spent the day “privately” and that they would not join about 30 other members of the royal family at Saturday’s concert.
Meanwhile, members of the royal family traveled to Wales and Northern Ireland as part of celebrations across the UK
William and his wife Kate brought two of their three children – 8-year-old Prince George and 7-year-old Princess Charlotte – to Cardiff Castle in Wales before a separate concert at the castle in honor of the Queen.
The Queen’s youngest son, Prince Edward, and his wife Sophie, Countess of Wessex, visited the coastal entertainment fair on the theme of the 1950s in Belfast. Edward tried his hand at drinking a pint of Guinness at a restaurant, while Sophie took part in a dance demonstration from the 50s and 60s.
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