Buckingham Palace has not said whether the 96-year-old monarch, who has difficulty walking, will make an appearance again at the end of the parade, which will end outside the palace with the national anthem “God Save the Queen” (which God save the queen).
Some 10,000 soldiers, dancers, puppeteers and artists are expected there. The 260-year-old Golden State Carriage, traditionally used for weddings and coronations, will open the parade.
The queen will not be there, but digital images will recreate the magic of her coronation in June 1953, Buckingham Palace said.
Ed Sheeran is also expected at the end, for a tribute to Queen Elizabeth, always extremely popular, and her husband Prince Philip, who died last year.
Hoping that the rain won’t spoil the party, more than 10 million people are also due to take part in Jubilee lunches between neighbors on Sunday, joyfully celebrating the historic reign of a queen who is both close and mysterious, a reassuring symbol of stability in a century of great upheavals.
Many of the participants in the celebrations which lasted four days, taking advantage of a major holiday weekend, were aware of the historical dimension of this platinum jubilee.
Never has a British monarch reigned so long, and it is unlikely that this record will be broken in the future: the Crown Prince Charles is 73 years old, his son William, second in the order of succession, soon 40 years old.
“It’s a unique opportunity, it will never happen again,” Julie Blewitt, 56, told AFP, who came from the north of England for the festivities. “It won’t be the same without the queen.”
– Radiant but frail-
Elizabeth II appeared radiant but frail on Thursday, leaning on a cane on the balcony of Buckingham Palace with 17 members of the royal family, to greet the tens of thousands of people massed near the palace.
But due to “some discomfort”, she was absent on Friday at a religious service in her honor at Saint Paul’s Cathedral, with 2,000 guests including 50 members of the royal family.
On Saturday, this horse racing enthusiast also did not attend the famous Epsom Derby, where jockeys had organized a guard of honor which went to Princess Anne who represented her. The queen, who had hardly ever missed this appointment in 70 years of reign, watched it on television.
Prince Charles, heir to the throne, represents it more and more often.
Transition is underway, and while the Queen has no intention of stepping down, true to her 1947 promise to serve her subjects all her life, she is preparing them for what comes next.
“We look to the future with confidence and enthusiasm,” she had written to them at the start of the Jubilee celebrations.
Already in February, when she had officially reached 70 years of reign, she had written to them: “When in the fullness of time my son Charles becomes king, I know that you will give him and his wife Camilla the same support you gave me”. Elizabeth II had at the time decided a sensitive question in the United Kingdom, the future title of Camilla, who will become queen consort.
The succession may not be simple, however, Charles being much less popular than his mother, at 50% favorable opinions against 75%.
Only 32% of Britons think he will make a good king (YouGov, April 2022). And the monarchy has been challenged during recent trips by members of the royal family, on the slave past of the British Empire.
“They have to reinvent themselves for the new generations” commented Mark Cornell, who came from the north of England for the jubilee, admitting that he was not an unconditional fan.