Queen Elizabeth II has described she was “deeply humbled and deeply moved” as military bands, dancers, performers and celebrities paraded through the streets of London to mark the final day of the Platinum Jubilee marking her 70 years on the British throne.
There was no guidebook to follow when it came to celebrating 70 years as queen, the 96-year-old monarch joked in a statement released by Buckingham Palace on Twitter.
“While I may not have attended every event in person, my heart has been with you all and I remain committed to serving you as best I can, supported by my family,” the Queen said.
“I have been inspired by the kindness, joy and kinship that has been so evident in the past few days, and I hope this newfound sense of togetherness will be felt for many years to come.”
Under leaden skies, open-topped buses, vintage cars, Olympic cyclists and troops from Britain and the Commonwealth traveled the route the Queen took on her coronation day in 1953.
Reflecting the various decades of the Queen’s reign, dancers dressed in 1950s outfits danced through the Mall—the grand boulevard leading to Buckingham Palace—while Morris Minor cars carried Union Jack flags and honked.
The Gold State Coach who brought the Queen to Westminster Abbey to be crowned in 1953 was seen again in public for the first time in 20 years.
Sunday’s parade through central London would conclude the fourth and final day of the Queen’s platinum anniversary, which featured a military parade, a Royal Air Force flight, a thanksgiving service and a dazzling concert.
The Queen was not present at the start of the parade, while her son and heir Prince Charles and grandson Prince William watched from the seating area in front of Buckingham Palace.
However, the Queen delighted Platinum Jubilee revelers by creating an unplanned Buckingham Palace balcony to end the four days of celebration.
The Queen, who wore bright green, smiled and waved as she appeared next to Charles, William and his eldest child, George. Charles’ wife Camilla, William’s wife Kate and their two younger children formed the unusually small family group on the balcony.
During the Queen’s performance, a chorus of celebrities including Sir David Jason, Harry Redknapp, Sir Cliff Richard, Sandie Shaw and Felicity Kendal took part in a massive rendition of God Save The Queen.
The 96-year-old monarch had withdrawn from several platinum anniversary events due to “episodic mobility issues”.
On Sunday afternoon, she was greeted by loud cheers, trumpets and a rendition of the national anthem before retreating inside.
The cast of “Mamma Mia” then delighted the excited audience with a performance of “Dancing Queen” on a stage outside the palace.
Hundreds of thousands of royal supporters have turned 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 pop Basil Brush were also part of the 10,000-strong eccentric parade.
It also included people dressed as flowers, swans and animals, while others danced to Abba.
A series of “Big Jubilee Lunches” were held across Britain, as part of an estimated 16,000 street parties.
Another 600 such gatherings took place around the world, including in Canada, Brazil, New Zealand, Japan and South Africa.
Reflecting the country’s quirky sense of humor, races were held between Corgis, the breed of dog beloved by the Queen, while the Monarch appeared on Saturday in a comedic sketch with Paddington Bear before tapping in time with the Queen- song “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 promised to serve all your life, you continue to deliver. That is why we are here,” he said in his message to the Queen, who was at her residence at Windsor Castle outside London.
“You met us and talked to us. You laugh and cry with us and, most importantly, you have been there for us for 70 years,” added Charles, referring to the Queen as “mummy”.
Elizabeth ascended to the throne at the age of 25 after the death of her father, George VI, in 1952, inheriting rule over a Britain still emerging from the ravages of World War II and with Winston Churchill as Prime Minister.
In total, there have been 14 British Prime Ministers and 14 American Presidents during her reign; the Berlin wall rose and fell; Britain joined and left the European Union; and the once mighty empire fell apart and was replaced by a Commonwealth of 54 nations.
Opinion polls suggest a majority of Britons think the monarchy should continue and a recent survey by Ipsos found that nine out of ten respondents supported the Queen.
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