Queen Elizabeth II described being “deeply humbled and deeply touched” as military bands, dancers, performers and celebrities marched through the streets of London to mark the final day of the Platinum Jubilee celebrating 70 years on the British throne.
There was no guide to deciding how to mark 70 years as Queen, the 96-year-old monarch joked in a statement posted by Buckingham Palace on Twitter.
“While I may not have attended all of the events in person, my heart is with you all and I remain committed to serving you to the best of my ability, supported by my family,” the Queen said.
“I have been inspired by the kindness, joy and relatedness that has been so evident in recent days, and I hope that this renewed sense of togetherness will be felt for many years to come.”
Under blazing skies, open-top buses, vintage cars, Olympic cyclists and troops from Britain and the Commonwealth lined the route the Queen took on her coronation day in 1953.
Reflecting the different decades of the Queen’s reign, dancers dressed in 1950s outfits danced down The Mall – the wide boulevard leading to Buckingham Palace – as Morris Minor cars displayed Union Jack flags and honked their horns.
The Gold State Coach that ferried the Queen to Westminster Abbey to be crowned there in 1953 has been seen in public for the first time in 20 years.
Sunday’s show in central London was due to conclude the fourth and final day of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee which was marked by a military parade, a Royal Air Force flyover, a service of thanksgiving and a concert sparkling.
The monarch was not present at the start of the parade, with her son and heir apparent Prince Charles and grandson Prince William watching from the seating area outside Buckingham Palace.
However, the Queen delighted Platinum Jubilee revelers by making an unscheduled appearance on the balcony of Buckingham Palace to conclude the four days of celebrations.
Dressed in bright green, the Queen smiled and waved as she appeared alongside Charles, William and her eldest, George. Charles’ wife Camilla, William’s wife Kate and their two young children made up the unusually small family group on the balcony.
During the Queen’s appearance, a celebrity chorus including Sir David Jason, Harry Redknapp, Sir Cliff Richard, Sandie Shaw and Felicity Kendal took part in a mass rendition of God Save The Queen.
The 96-year-old monarch had pulled out of several events during the Platinum Jubilee due to “episodic mobility issues”.
On Sunday afternoon, she was greeted with huge cheers, trumpets and a performance of the national anthem before retreating inside.
The cast of “Mamma Mia” then delighted the delighted crowd with a performance of “Dancing Queen” on a stage outside the palace.
Hundreds of thousands of royal supporters showed up to watch the events and enjoy picnics in what is for many the first major national public event since the COVID-19 pandemic.
Singer Ed Sheeran and more than 100 “national treasures” ranging from former football player Gary Lineker to model Kate Moss, runner Mo Farah and children’s TV puppet Basil Brush were also part of the eccentric parade of 10,000 people.
It also included people dressed in flowers, swans and animals, while others danced to Abba.
A series of ‘Big Jubilee Lunches’ have taken place across Britain, at around 16,000 street parties.
Another 600 such gatherings have taken place around the world, including in Canada, Brazil, New Zealand, Japan and South Africa.
Reflecting the country’s quirky sense of humour, races were held between Corgis, the breed of dog adored by the Queen, while on Saturday the monarch appeared in a comedy skit with Paddington Bear before tapping to the beat of the Queen’s anthem “We Will Rock You”. “.
The final day of the festivities comes after Prince Charles, 73, paid a personal tribute to his mother at the pop concert outside Buckingham Palace on Saturday night.
“You have made a lifelong commitment to service, you continue to deliver. That is why we are here,” he said in his message to the Queen, who was at her Windsor Castle residence at the outside London.
“You have met us and spoken with us. You have laughed and cried with us and, more importantly, you have been there for us, for these 70 years,” Charles added, calling the Queen a “mum”.
Elizabeth ascended the throne aged 25 on the death of her father, George VI, in 1952, inheriting dominion from a Britain still emerging from the ravages of World War II and with Winston Churchill as her Prime Minister.
In total, there were 14 British Prime Ministers and 14 American Presidents during his reign; the Berlin Wall has risen and fallen; Britain joined and left the European Union; and his once mighty empire disintegrated, replaced by a Commonwealth of 54 nations.
Opinion polls suggest a majority of Britons think the monarchy should stay and a recent Ipsos survey found nine out of 10 respondents support the Queen.
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