On Thursday, London was awash in red, white, and blue as massive crowds went to the city to watch the Queen and her family honour the Platinum Jubilee.
The area around Buckingham Palace and nearby St James’ Park was filled with local and foreign tourists, some of whom had camped out overnight to attend the opening event of the four-day weekend festivities.
And the monarch certainly lived up to her reputation as a faithful crowd-pleaser after 70 years on the throne. She may not have been up to the ceremonial function of riding a horse as part of Trooping the Colour at the age of 96, but she did emerge on Buckingham Palace’s famed balcony following the military parade to tremendous applause.
The Queen smiled as she took the salute as soldiers and officers returned from Horse Guards Parade during Trooping the Colour. She was dressed in a dusky dove blue Angela Kelly costume with matching hat.
The “great military performance” entailed “months of training and centuries of history,” as well as 1,500 soldiers and commanders, 400 musicians, 250 horses, and 70 planes, according to the UK Ministry of Defence.
The heir to the throne, Prince Charles, represented his mother in the ceremonial role that she has historically performed. His sister Princess Anne and his son, Prince William, went alongside him on horseback.
Other members of the royal family, including Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, who was accompanied by her three children, and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, rode down The Mall in carriages to the parade area.
Other royals watched from the Major General’s Office adjacent while the Colour of the Irish Guards was trooped at Horse Guards Parade, during which military bands played in formation and undertook a complex movement known as “the spinwheel.”
The Queen arrived on the balcony of Buckingham Palace with her cousin, the Duke of Kent, a little time later.
During the Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee celebrations on Thursday, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall rides in a carriage with Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and her family.
She was joined by three of her four children, as well as numerous family members, in a second balcony appearance. The Queen ordered last month that only royals doing official responsibilities would be allowed on the balcony, thus Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex did not appear.
The Sussexes, on the other hand, had watched the Trooping of the Colour with other royals from the Major General’s office at Horse Guards Parade earlier in the day, in their first public appearance with the royal family since they left their jobs as royals two years ago.
Prince Andrew, who was stripped of royal duties and his HRH title in January following his civil sexual assault case in the United States, did not appear on the balcony due to the Queen’s choice to only invite working royals. He will not be attending Friday’s thanksgiving service at St Paul’s Cathedral with his family since he has tested positive for coronavirus. CNN was informed by a royal source. The duke had visited his mother in the previous three days, but he has been undergoing regular testing and has not seen her since he was found to be positive.
The stunning RAF flypast, an awe-inspiring air show comprising 70 aircraft, including the Red Arrows, was the highlight of the proceedings for many.
The 4-year-old Prince Louis, on the other hand, did not appear to be impressed with the show. As the spectacle to honour his great-70 grandmother’s years on the monarchy proved a little much, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s youngest child was photographed holding his hands over his ears and drawing faces. Nonetheless, his family appeared unconcerned about Prince Louis’ failure to follow etiquette, smiling and chatting with one another as the jets continued to fly — even forming a formation to represent the number 70 at one point.
Over 3,000 beacons will be lit later across the United Kingdom, the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man, and UK Overseas Territories. At Buckingham Palace, the main beacon will be illuminated in a special ceremony. Beacons are lit to commemorate royal occasions such as jubilees, weddings, and coronations. In the capital cities of Commonwealth countries, beacons will be illuminated as well.