Prince Louis steals the show at Queen’s Jubilee celebrations
Queen Elizabeth II pulled back the curtain on her historic Platinum Jubilee celebrations on Sunday, making a rare public appearance during the last of four days of festivities.
The 96-year-old monarch, who has problems walking and standing, appeared twice in person on the balcony of Buckingham Palace after the Trooping the Color military parade on Thursday.
The effort forced her to pull out of a thanksgiving church service on Friday, as well as the Epsom Derby horse race and star-studded concert on Saturday.
But she reappeared briefly after a public parade reflecting the changes in music, dance, fashion, culture and society since her accession to the throne in 1952.
Huge crowds stretching for hundreds of meters (yards) along the mall outside the palace cheered as she emerged onto the balcony and waved.
Dressed in green with a matching hat, her white-gloved hand holding a cane, she was flanked by the three future kings: Princes Charles, William and George.
Singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran concluded the contest with a rendition of his 2017 hit “Perfect” and the national anthem “God Save the Queen.”
Sunday’s £15m ($18.7m, €17.5m) ‘Platinum Jubilee Pageant’, with some 10,000 in attendance, began with a parade by the UK Armed Forces and of the Commonwealth which she leads.
The Queen’s hologram was projected onto the Queen’s 260-year-old Gold State Coach, who led the celebration of her record-breaking reign.
Some 6,000 disabled and non-disabled performers from street theatre, carnival and puppetry joined in celebrating the Queen’s life and reign.
Among the highlights is an aerial artist suspended beneath a vast helium balloon, called a heliosphere, bearing the image of the sovereign.
The carnival featured a giant oak tree flanked by pole dancers, a huge moving wedding cake, bangra beaters, steel bands, as well as Afro-Caribbean carnival animals and a towering dancing dragon.
In the royal box, Charles entertained his four-year-old grandson Prince Louis, bouncing him on his lap to the beat of the music.
Elsewhere across the country, it is estimated that more than 10 million people braved overcast skies to share food with friends, family and neighbors to mark the occasion.
End of era
Two public holidays on Thursday and Friday, longer opening hours for pubs, street parties and other events have temporarily lifted the gloom of soaring inflation and political unrest, plus two years of enforced closures of Covid.
Many saw it as a once-in-a-generation event to mark the closing of an extraordinary chapter in British life and recognize its most famous national symbol.
On Saturday night, she made a surprise on-screen appearance, having tea with the beloved character from the children’s book and film Paddington Bear.
In the pre-recorded video, she tapped rock band Queen’s beat “We Will Rock You” – the concert’s opening number – on a fine china teacup and saucer to get the party started .
A peak of 13.4 million viewers watched the concert on television, the BBC said.
The Queen has previously made an appearance with James Bond actor Daniel Craig for the opening of the London 2012 Olympic Games.
A running theme has been the dramatic social, political and technological changes in Britain and around the world since the Queen’s accession to the throne – and her constant presence through it all.
With Charles now 73, the next Jubilee – likely for his eldest son William’s 25th year on the throne – could be at least 50 years away.
“She’s been the queen all my life,” said American John Barli, 66.
“She’s the grandmother of the world as far as I’m concerned,” he told The Sunday Times.
But it has also been recognized that the second Elizabethan era – five centuries after the first – is almost over.
A spectacular light show lit up the palace and the night sky above on Saturday, including images of a corgi, a purse and a teapot.
A message simply said: “Thank you, Madam.”
“Inevitably there was a farewell feel to this celebration,” The Sunday Telegraph said of Saturday’s gig, which was headlined by Diana Ross.
“But there is also the keen awareness that we will never see the likes of this monarch again.”
“It won’t be the same without our queen,” Julie Blewitt, 56, from Manchester told AFP on Friday outside St Paul’s Cathedral.
“It’s such a shame that she won’t be around for long.”
The weekly Observer called him “part of a long goodbye that began with his solitary presence at Prince Philip’s funeral last year”.
The Queen gradually prepared the public for the familiar figure of Charles to take over as King.
The jubilee was “an opportunity to reflect on all that has been achieved over the past 70 years, as we look to the future with confidence and enthusiasm”, she said in a message on Wednesday.
Yet the institution Charles and, after him, William will lead will be different from the one Elizabeth inherited in the aftermath of World War II.
At the time, Great Britain was still a great colonial power, but republican movements are accelerating in the 14 Commonwealth countries where the Queen is also head of state, particularly in Australia and the Caribbean.
(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)