LONDON ( Associated Press) – In a crucial moment for her platinum jubilee, Queen Elizabeth II appeared on the balcony of Buckingham Palace on Sunday, delighting fans who celebrated the monarch’s 70 years during the final day of festivities. Hoping to catch a glimpse of him. Throne.
The 96-year-old emperor has cut his schedule in recent months due to problems with movement. Prior to Sunday, the Queen had only appeared in public twice during the four-day holiday weekend celebrations. Officials said she experienced “discomfort” during those events on Thursday.
As the monarch appeared on the balcony with his son and heir, Prince Charles, his wife Camilla and their eldest grandson Prince William and their family, thousands gathered outside Buckingham Palace for the climax of a spirited, colorful spectacle .
The Queen, dressed in bright green, waved and smiled as the crowd chanted “God Save the Queen”. Her appearance, which lasted only a few minutes, was followed by a crowd-pleasing performance by ABBA’s “Dancing Queen.”
It was the evocative culmination of a massive street competition celebrating the life of the Queen and highlighting Britain’s diversity. Thousands took to the streets of London, many with enthusiasm and pride, talking about their queen and country.
Sunday’s competition began with a spectacular military parade in which 200 horses marched from the Mall to Buckingham Palace. He waved the gold kingdom coach, a gilded carriage that had carried the queen 69 years earlier for her coronation. A virtual version of him, taken from the archival video of his 1953 coronation, was shown on the windows of the coach.
The pomp and spectacle was followed by a fusion of acts celebrating the diversity of modern Britain and the Commonwealth, from hip hop and Bollywood dancers to queens and Mardi Gras-style floats. Some 6,000 performers parade along the three-kilometer (about two-mile) route with a sea of Union flags, telling the story of the Queen’s life with dance, vintage cars, vibrant costumes, carnival music and giant puppets.
From the Daleks in “Doctor Who” to the charming Aston Martins in James Bond, some of Britain’s best-loved cultural exports were here. Celebrities including singer Cliff Richard danced and sang on open-top double-decker buses designed to represent the sights and sounds of each decade starting in the 1950s.
“It’s a great honor to be a part of this, we’ve got the best queen in the world, isn’t it? The best country in the world,” said Warren Jobson, a biker who took part in the parade.
Read more: Queen Elizabeth II to miss Platinum Jubilee service amid ‘discomfort’
Organizers expected the pageant to be viewed by 1 billion people worldwide.
The most eager royal fans weathered the wet, chilly weather and camped out at the mall all night to secure the best view of the competition. Some people came to watch the performers – like Ed Sheeran, who sang his song “Perfect” while a giant 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, 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 go home,” said 50-year-old Sean Wallen.
Seeing the spectacle, the queen did not join the royal compartment with her family. Neither did Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan, who made their first family trip to the UK since they moved from royal duties to the US in 2020. The couple came to the UK for the big holiday weekend but remained largely out. Platinum remained in the limelight during Jubilee events.
Thousands of people rushed to watch the queen after the parade ended, which fills the vast expanse within minutes.
The monarch delighted the nation when she appeared in a surprise comedy video while inaugurating a concert held in front of Buckingham Palace on Saturday. In the video, Monarch sips tea with computer-animated Paddington Bears — and reveals that, like the beloved character, she was partial to marmalade sandwiches and liked to keep them in her handbag.
Diana Ross and rock band Queen kicked off Saturday night’s star-studded tribute concert, which also featured Rod Stewart, Duran Duran, Alicia Keys and Andrea Bocelli.
Prince Charles, the Queen’s eldest son and heir to the throne, has for decades highlighted his mother’s role as a symbol of unity and stability.
Addressing the Queen as “Your Majesty, Mother”, Charles said: “You laugh and cry with us and most importantly you have been there for us these 70 years.”
On Sunday, Charles and his wife, Camilla, met with the crowd for the “Big Jubilee Lunch” at the Oval cricket ground in London.
Similarly millions across the country set out long tables, balloons and picnic fare for equally patriotic street parties and barbecues.
Joe Kearney, Srijan Nedeljkovic and Maria Grazia Muru contributed to this report.