Top highlights from Queen Elizabeth II’s platinum jubilee weekend

Just in case you missed the celebrations, these are the main events from the jubilee weekend

Queen Elizabeth II appears on the balcony of Buckingham Palace at the end of the platinum jubilee pageant on Sunday, day four of her celebrations. PA
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It has been an action-packed long weekend for the platinum jubilee, with Queen Elizabeth II appearing on the balcony at Buckingham Palace, flag-waving Windsors and an unexpected royal double act with a famous bear.

Here are some of the highlights from the four days of festivities.

The jubilee queen

After 70 years on the throne, the queen remains the leading lady with the crowds roaring and erupting into three cheers as she stepped on to the Palace balcony, not once but twice, on the first day.

But the brief appearances left the monarch tired.

Queen Elizabeth, 96, rallied to attend a special beacon lighting at Windsor Castle in the evening.

But the palace announced she would be missing the church service on the Friday.

Then, as the finale, she appeared on the balcony after the Pageant on Sunday, bringing the proceedings to a close.

Dressed in a vibrant green double crepe wool dress and coat, she was flanked by a "magnificent seven" of future kings and queens and great-grandchildren as the crowds sang the national anthem.

Scenes on The Mall

The Great British public took to the celebrations with gusto, with hundreds of thousands of flag-waving royal fans packing on to The Mall in central London.

Spring sunshine set the mood for jubilant scenes on Thursday as the crowds gathered in honour of the monarch after the Trooping the Colour spectacle on Thursday.

Louis steals the show

The youngest Cambridge sibling provided the entertainment and captured hearts from the palace balcony.

Louis, 4, let out a howl and covered his ears during the jubilee flypast, with his “Gan Gan” the queen sweetly interacting with her great-grandson, leaning down to chat to him and point out the planes.

He sat on his grandpa, the Prince of Wales’ lap at the jubilee pageant and gave his mum the Duchess of Cambridge a kiss on the cheek and a cuddle.

He stood on his chair, waved his hands in the air, wriggled around and stuck his finger in his ear during the show.

Day 4 of Queen Elizabeth II's platinum jubilee celebrations - in pictures

Beacons

A chain of more than 3,500 beacons stretching across the UK and around the Commonwealth were set ablaze late on the first evening, marking the jubilee in the time-honoured way.

Beacons lit around the world to mark Queen Elizabeth II's platinum jubilee - in pictures

The principal beacon was a 21-metre living Tree of Trees sculpture towering above Buckingham Palace, symbolically lit by the queen from Windsor while the Duke of Cambridge watched in London.

The return of Harry and Meghan

It had been a while but the return of the Sussexes for the first time at an official public royal occasion since Megxit drew much media attention.

All eyes were on Prince Harry and Meghan at the service of thanksgiving in St Paul Cathedral on Friday.

But the reunion of Prince Harry and the Duke of Cambridge proved elusive, with the Sussexes sitting in the second row, far across the aisle from his father, brother and sister-in-law Kate.

Penguin feeding and leading the band

Members of the royal family toured the UK, with Anne, the Princess Royal, feeding penguins in Edinburgh Zoo in Scotland and Prince Edward, the Earl of Wessex, pulling a pint of Guinness during a trip to Bangor in Northern Ireland.

Prince George and Princess Charlotte made a surprise appearance at Cardiff Castle on their first official visit to Wales

The excited princess conducted the orchestra in a rendition of We Don’t Talk About Bruno from the Disney film Encanto, while Prince George played with the sound and lighting decks, as they met performers preparing for a jubilee concert at the castle.

The Queen and Paddington bear

The monarch delighted the nation when she starred alongside Paddington in a surprise comedy sketch and showed the bear from deepest, darkest Peru how she stored marmalade sandwiches in her famous black Launer handbag.

Offering a fresh insight into the Queen’s sense of humour and her wry wit, the secretly filmed skit played at the start of the BBC’s Platinum Party at the Palace on Saturday night, showed the pair enjoying a chaotic afternoon tea.

Royal sing-song

The Cambridges enjoyed the party atmosphere as the family sang along with the tunes at the jubilee concert.

Prince George belted out Sweet Caroline, while the Duke of Cambridge knew the words to Jason Donovan’s rendition of Any Dream Will Do.

Charles’s moving tribute

“You laugh and cry with us and, most importantly, you have been there for us,” Prince Charles told Queen Elizabeth in a moving thank-you toast at the televised concert.

Calling the monarch "Mummy", he took to the stage to praise the queen for her “lifetime of selfless service”.

He rallied the crowd into cheering the absent monarch who was 30 kilometres away at Windsor, saying if they were “loud enough she might, might just hear us”.

Stars of the show

Acts including Queen + Adam Lambert, Alicia Keys and Eurovision’s Sam Ryder were loudly cheered at the star-studded show.

Soul legend Diana Ross closed the open-air set, with her first live performance in the UK in 15 years.

Corgi drones

Drones flying over the Palace created a giant corgi in the sky and spelled out the message, “Thank you Ma’am” in lights, thrilling concert goers.

Big jubilee lunches

As many as 18 million people are believed to have gathered with their friends, families and neighbours for traditional jubilee street parties on Sunday for the final day of the celebrations

The Prince of Wales and his wife Camilla mingled with guests at the flagship big jubilee lunch at The Oval cricket ground.

Prince Charles said he hoped “bickering” did not return after a feeling of “togetherness” across the nation over the weekend.

The Pageant

A cast of 6,000 performers took to the streets of central London, with the procession spared the rain.

Those attending enjoyed a parade of hundreds of “national treasures” including Kate Moss, Naomi Campbell, and Sir Cliff Richard, with Ed Sheeran taking the stage at the end.

The Queen’s message

At the end of the weekend, the queen pledged to continue to serve as monarch “to the best of my ability supported by my family”.

It was an acknowledgment of her fragility but a commitment to continue as monarch.

She said in her written message that she was “humbled and deeply touched” by the public’s reaction to her 70 years, adding: “While I may not have attended every event in person, my heart has been with you all.”

Royal fashion at platinum jubilee celebrations - in pictures

Updated: June 05, 2022, 11:30 PM
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