Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations begin

Four days of celebrations in honor of Queen Elizabeth II 70 years on the throne is underway with an exhibition of British military traditions spanning from the age of horses and cannons to the age of jet aircraft.

Official Platinum Jubilee celebrations began on Thursday with Trooping the Colour, an annual military parade that has marked the sovereign’s official birthday since 1760.

The Queen took to the balcony of Buckingham Palace just after 12:20 p.m. (9:20 p.m. AEST), resplendent in blue and using a cane.

Prince William dons bearskin hat as UK celebrates Platinum Jubilee

Her Majesty, who first emerged alongside Prince Edward, Duke of Kent, was to be joined by working members of the Royal Family before 70 planes roared.

The Jubilee is commemorated with a four-day holiday weekend in the UK.

The celebration of Elizabeth’s reign includes a service of thanksgiving on Friday at St Paul’s Cathedral in Londona concert at Buckingham Palace on Saturday and a performance put on by thousands of performers from schools and community groups across the country on Sunday afternoon.

Throughout the weekend, neighborhood organizations and individuals are expected to hold thousands of street parties across the country, repeating a tradition that began with the Queen’s coronation in 1953.

Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Louis of Cambridge, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Princess Charlotte of Cambridge, Prince George of Cambridge and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge on the balcony of Buckingham Palace during the Trooping the Color Parade. (Getty)

The 96-year-old Queen is Britain’s longest-serving monarch and the first to reach seven decades on the throne.

The jubilee gives many people – even those who are often indifferent to the monarchy – the opportunity to reflect on the state of the nation and the enormous changes that have taken place during its reign.

Former Prime Minister John Major – one of 14 prime ministers during the Queen’s reign – said the monarch’s stoic presence had helped lead the country over the decades.

Cambridge Children Parade Color
Prince George, Prince Louis and Princess Charlotte in the carriage procession to Trooping the Color during Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee in the Mall. (Photo: Karwai Tang) (Wireframe)

“The Queen has represented us better for over 70 years,” he told the BBC.

In a written jubilee message, the Queen thanked those in Britain and across the Commonwealth involved in organizing the celebrations.

Queen Elizabeth II smiles broadly as she watches the Trooping the Color ceremony from the balcony at Buckingham Palace. (AP)

“I know many happy memories will be created on these festive occasions,” Elizabeth said.

“I continue to be inspired by the goodwill that has been shown to me and hope that the next few days will be an opportunity to reflect on all that has been achieved over the past 70 years as we look to the future. future with confidence and enthusiasm.”

Congratulations arrived from world leaders. French President Emmanuel Macron called Elizabeth “a golden thread that binds our two countries” and “very few constants” on the international scene.

Kate Middleton parades the color
Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, at the Trooping the Color parade. (Photo by Chris J. Ratcliffe/Getty Images) (Getty)

“You are our friend, such a close ally, our example of service to others,” Macron told the Queen in a video message in English.

The name of the long weekend’s first event, Trooping the Colour, refers to a regimental flag, or “colour”, which is flown in the ranks.

Britain’s annual tradition for the Queen’s birthday is a ceremonial re-enactment of how battle flags were once shown to soldiers to ensure they would recognize a crucial rallying point if they became disoriented in combat.

The Queen’s Guard during the Trooping the Color Parade. (Getty)

The troops taking part come from the domestic division of the army, made up of the seven regiments that perform ceremonial duties for the Queen. Their members are fully trained soldiers and often deployed overseas when not on ceremonial duty.

Each year, a different unit has the honor of displaying its color. The 1st Battalion, Irish Guards will be honored at the Platinum Jubilee.

Thousands of people, some of whom camped out overnight, lined the parade route, many sporting Union Jack flags, party hats or plastic tiaras.

Members of Band of the Household Cavalry take part in the Queen's Birthday Parade, the Trooping the Color in London, Wednesday June 2, 2022, the first of four days of celebrations to mark the Platinum Jubilee.  The UK holiday long weekend events are set to celebrate the monarchs' 70 years of service.  (Paul Ellis/Pool Photo via AP)
Members of the Household Cavalry Band take part in the Queen’s Birthday Parade. (AP)

Carly Martin, who took a late night bus from south London with her daughter, said she came “to make memories”.

“You will never see this again in your lifetime,” she said.

“At least not in mine, maybe not in my daughter’s… 70 years old – that’s all I’ve ever known.”

The Queen is set to appear twice on the balcony of Buckingham Palace, but Prince Charles will play a key role at the event, taking the salute of passing soldiers on behalf of his mother.

Princess Anne parades the color
Princess Anne, Princess Royal. rides a horse during the Trooping the Color Parade. (Photo by Chris J. Ratcliffe/Getty Images) (Getty)

Elizabeth has been having trouble getting around lately, and her courtiers have been careful to make things as easy as possible for her.

The day before the first big events, the royal supporters find the best spots in the Mall and get ready to sleep there. (Getty)

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will join other members of the Royal Family to watch the show. The couple traveled from their home in California to join in the celebrations.

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