Britain celebrates the second day of Queen Elizabeth’s platinum jubilee on Friday, attended by senior royals and politicians, which the 96-year-old monarch himself will miss due to ongoing mobility issues.
Four days of events began on Thursday, as a happy-looking Elizabeth waved to the crowd from the balcony of Buckingham Palace following a military parade and Royal Air Force flyover, and later the lighting of the Principal Platinum Jubilee Beacon at her Windsor Castle home. led. ,
Celebrations continue with a national service of thanks at St Paul’s Cathedral in London to pay tribute to the sovereign’s 70 years on the throne.
But the Queen, who has been forced to cancel several events recently due to “episodic mobility problems”, will be absent late on Thursday, leaving little out of the day’s party atmosphere.
“The Queen thoroughly enjoyed today’s birthday parade and flypast, but experienced some discomfort,” Buckingham Palace said in a statement.
Officials said the activity involved in traveling to and from Windsor Castle, where she spends most of her time, to London, was enormous and was a regrettable but sensible decision.
A palace source said it was always the Queen’s expectation that she would be involved rather than make a firm commitment.
She will not be absent alone. A Buckingham Palace spokesman said on Thursday that his second son, 62-year-old Prince Andrew, has tested positive for COVID-19 and will also miss the service.
It would potentially spare the royals some awkwardness Andrew’s reputation was shattered after he settled a US lawsuit in February that accused him of sexually abusing a woman when she was underage, claims that he denied.
Grandsons Prince Harry and his wife Meghan, who have made almost no public appearances in Britain since stepping down from royal duties two years ago, are expected to attend.
The couple moved to the United States to lead a more independent life and have since made some stinging attacks on Buckingham Palace and the royal family.
The service will include Bible readings, prayers and hymns to express gratitude for Elizabeth’s reign. Political figures from the UK and around the world will be in attendance, and Prime Minister Boris Johnson will give a reading.
David Ison, Dean of St. Paul’s, will say, “We come together in this cathedral today to offer thanks and praise to God for the reign of Her Majesty Queen, and especially for her seventy years of faithful and dedicated service. could.”
The cathedral’s “Great Paul” bell – the largest in the country and dating to 1882 – will also be sounded on a royal occasion for the first time since it was restored last year after a mechanism broke down in the 1970s.
Following the service, a reception will be held at the Guildhall hosted by the Lord Mayor of the City of London.
Thursday marked not only the jubilee, but also the 69th anniversary of the coronation of Elizabeth, who became queen upon the death of her father, George VI, in February 1952.
She has now been on the throne longer than any of her predecessors at 1,000 years and is the third longest-reigning monarch of a sovereign state. Opinion polls show that he is extremely popular and respected among the British people.
“She is and always has been a very special person in our lives,” said retired teacher Sandra Wallace, 74, one of thousands who visited central London on Thursday.