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Crowds gather to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee at Trooping the Colour

London: Happy and glorious they are. Hundreds of thousands of Britons are already lining the streets of London to kickstart four days of partying fit for a Queen.

The Platinum Jubilee celebration for the 96-year-old monarch begins at 10am on Thursday (7pm AEST) with the traditional Trooping of Colour, which has marked the official birthday of the British Sovereign for more than 260 years.

While it is a celebration of the institution, the people came for a glimpse of their beloved Queen, who has endured a torrid 18 months. She lost her husband of 73 years, Prince Philip, last year while later battling with COVID-19 and combating a physical frailty which has on some days rendered her immobile.

This is the official Platinum Jubilee portrait of the Queen, released on June 2.

This is the official Platinum Jubilee portrait of the Queen, released on June 2.Credit:Buckingham Palace

Approximately 1500 soldiers, 240 horses and 400 musicians are parading from Buckingham Palace and down The Mall to Horse Guard’s Parade, alongside members of the royals on horseback and in carriages.

The Queen – who used to attend on horseback herself, but recently has travelled by carriage – will be obliged to watch from the palace balcony as Prince Charles, colonel of the Welsh Guards, takes the customary salute at Horse Guards Parade.

He will inspect the troops in their scarlet red tunics - designed by the Duke of Wellington to create an optical illusion of their numbers and fool the enemy - from his position on the parade ground where the Queen’s dais would have traditionally been placed.

Wearing his Irish Guards tunic and bearskin, Prince William, will ride alongside him on a horse called George, the same name as his eldest son. Anne, the Princess Royal, joins them.

Prince William conducts a final official review before the Trooping the Colour parade.

Prince William conducts a final official review before the Trooping the Colour parade.Credit:Getty

Thursday marks not only the start of the Jubilee, but also the 69th anniversary of the coronation of Elizabeth, who became queen on the death of her father George VI in February 1952.

Earlier, the Queen thanked all those involved in her Platinum Jubilee celebrations ahead of the long holiday weekend of pomp, parties, parades and public holidays to herald her record-breaking 70 years on the British throne.

“Thank you to everyone who has been involved in convening communities, families, neighbours and friends to mark my Platinum Jubilee, in the United Kingdom and across the Commonwealth,” Elizabeth said in a statement.

“I continue to be inspired by the goodwill shown to me, and hope that the coming days will provide an opportunity to reflect on all that has been achieved during the last 70 years, as we look to the future with confidence and enthusiasm.”

Loyal Britons sing the national anthem as they gather in the Mall.

Loyal Britons sing the national anthem as they gather in the Mall. Credit:AP

Having flown in from the United States, Prince Harry and wife Meghan made their public return to Britain, but they will be watching from a window as non-working members of the family. It is the first time the pair had seen their wider family since they left for a new life in California in 2020.

The Sussexes and their two children will view the parade alongside the monarch’s other grandchildren and great-grandchildren from the Major General’s Office overlooking Horse Guards Parade.

Prince Andrew, 62, who settled a US lawsuit in February in which he was accused of sexually abusing a woman when she was underage, is not expected to attend the day’s festivities.

The Queen will take a salute from the balcony of Buckingham Palace for the first time in her 70 years of the event, in a compromise which spared her a long shift on a dais for the long ceremony and ensured her participation in the occasion.


The military parade, which officially opened the Jubilee celebrations, will conclude with the Queen, alongside the next three kings - Charles, William and his son George – and their families, watching the fly-past of aircraft by the Royal Air Force from the balcony. A 41-gun salute will be fired in nearby Green Park to mark the occasion, followed by a thundering 142-gun salute from the Tower of London, while noon-time cannon will be fired in her honour across Britain and from Royal Navy ships at sea.

In the evening (Friday morning AEST), beacons will be lit across the country and the Commonwealth, with the queen leading the lighting of the Principal Platinum Jubilee Beacon at her Windsor Castle home.

Across Australia, royal purple illumination will this weekend light up landmark buildings, including Parliament House in Canberra, the Shrine of Remembrance in Melbourne and the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

On Friday, Harry and Meghan will join the other royals - but not the Queen - at a thanksgiving service at London’s St Paul’s Cathedral, while on Saturday royal family members will attend the Epsom Derby horse race.

Later, there will be a concert outside Buckingham Palace, featuring the likes of Queen, Alicia Keys, and Diana Ross.

On Sunday, officials estimate more than 16,000 street parties will take place in Britain, and the British government says some 600 “Big Jubilee Lunches” will be held in 80 countries from Greenland to New Zealand.

Celebrations will conclude with a pageant through the British capital.


“The queen is what is great in Great Britain,” said Mary-Jane Willows, 69, from Cornwall, southwest England, who was camping out on the Mall boulevard, leading to Buckingham Palace, where lamp posts are bedecked in Union flags.

“Without the queen, Britain would be Britain, but she makes it great. She stands for everything that I am proud of.”

with Reuters

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