Queen Elizabeth II waves from palace balcony to mark end of platinum jubilee celebrations

Guided to Buckingham Palace’s balcony by Prince Charles, the Queen closed celebrations with one last brief appearance

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Queen Elizabeth II, 96, stepped on to the balcony at Buckingham Palace to bring her historic platinum celebrations to a close with a brief final appearance.

Filled with poignancy, it was a moment for the history books, as the frail one-of-a-kind monarch, resplendent in vivid green, bid farewell to the vast crowds from the palace.

As the monarch walked slowly and careful on to the famous frontage, Prince Charles placed his hand on his mother’s elbow, guiding her as she used her walking stick.

The queen wore a Stewart Parvin outfit — a vibrant green double crepe wool dress and coat, adorned with the Bow Brooch.

She teamed it with a Rachel Trevor-Morgan hat with a black pom-pom.

Her 70-year milestone is unlikely to ever be repeated and tens of thousands crammed into The Mall to take their chance to serenade their sovereign with the British national anthem in unison.

Flanked by her three heirs — son, grandson and great-grandson — it offered a glimpse into the monarchy’s future.

She shared the stage with just seven of her family — the Prince of Wales, Prince William and Prince George, as well as two future Queens — Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall and Kate, Duchess of Cambridge — and Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis.

As the anthem was sung, the Queen surveyed the scenes before her, deep in thought.

Then with smiles and a few waves of her white-gloved hands, she turned and was gone, back through the doors, achieving her aim of being seen to be believed in less than three minutes.

Immediately after the event, Queen Elizabeth issued a written message about the four days of celebrations, saying: “When it comes to how to mark 70 years as your Queen, there is no guidebook to follow. It really is a first. But I have been humbled and deeply touched that so many people have taken to the streets to celebrate my platinum jubilee.

“While I may not have attended every event in person, my heart has been with you all; and I remain committed to serving you to the best of my ability, supported by my family.

“I have been inspired by the kindness, joy and kinship that has been so evident in recent days, and I hope this renewed sense of togetherness will be felt for many years to come.

“I thank you most sincerely for your good wishes and for the part you have all played in these happy celebrations.”

She signed off her message with the signature Elizabeth R.

The queen served as the uniting focal point for the four days of festivities — glowing tributes were paid, her image projected on to the palace and prayers said.

But in reality, it was a jubilee without its leading lady for much of the time, unsurprising given her age and her mobility difficulties, as she missed the thanksgiving service, the Epsom Derby and the pop concert.

Queen Elizabeth was on public view in person for just over 27 minutes throughout the weekend.

Her sanctuary as she rested was Windsor Castle, where, her granddaughter Zara Tindall said, she watched the Epsom Derby in her “comfy clothes”.

But her presence was felt large — and the pre-recorded comedy sketch with Paddington Bear shed fresh light on her humour and love of fun.

With the monarch confessing to not being able to move, observers will be questioning whether Elizabeth II will be asked to take to the balcony again as she continues with her lifelong pledge to serve.

Updated: June 06, 2022, 3:40 AM
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