Rod Stewart, Alicia Keys, Andrea Bocelli, Duran Duran… After the pomp and meditation, the biggest names of the pop/rock or classical scene paraded on stage, in front of the gates of Buckingham Palace, for this closing show the third and penultimate day of the platinum jubilee festivities of the 96-year-old sovereign, who has longevity unequaled in the United Kingdom.
Queen Adam Lambert launched the evening, punctuated by numerous tributes, with the hits “We Will Rock You”, “Don’t Stop Me Now” then “We are the Champions” in front of 22,000 spectators waving Union Jack flags, as well as Crown Prince Charles and his eldest son William, who came with his wife Kate and two of their children, also with pennants.
Tens of thousands of onlookers, without tickets, followed the concert on giant screens on the Mall, a prestigious artery overlooking the palace.
“It’s wonderful to be back,” Queen guitarist Brian May told the BBC, 20 years after making his mark performing the national anthem “God Save the Queen” perched on the roof of the palace, for the sovereign’s golden jubilee.
But the real star of the evening, Elizabeth II, was absent due to fragile health, having preferred to watch the concert on television, broadcast live on the BBC.
Beloved for her sense of duty and deadpan humor, she nevertheless made a surprise appearance in a short humorous video released before kick-off, where she has tea with the clumsy icon of the game, Paddington Bear. British children’s literature.
“Happy Jubilee, ma’am, and thank you, for everything,” he told her. “It’s very nice”, she replies, taking from her inseparable handbag a toast with orange jam which her guest loves, before tapping the rhythm of “We Will Rock You” on her porcelain cup with his silver spoon.
However passionate about racing, Elizabeth had already given up going to the famous Epsom Derby horse races on Saturday, 30 km from London, which she very rarely missed. She was represented there by her daughter, Princess Anne.
She had already missed the church service at St Paul’s Cathedral on Friday, having suffered ‘discomfort’ on the first day of celebrations on Thursday, when she appeared on the balcony of Buckingham Palace, beaming but frail, leaning on a cane , for the military parade.
Among those absent on Saturday were also Prince Harry and his wife Meghan, who came from California to participate in the jubilee, but who had chosen to celebrate in privacy the first birthday of their daughter Lilibet, whom the queen would have met for the first time.
– Happy parenthesis –
American diva Diana Ross, 78, “absolutely delighted to have been invited to perform on such an important occasion”, is due to close this two and a half hour evening celebrating the contribution of the United Kingdom and the countries of the Commonwealth to the music, the environment, sports and musicals over the past 70 years.
A joyous parenthesis of patriotic unity in the cost of living crisis, the Jubilee celebrations last until Sunday, thanks to a long four-day holiday weekend.
The weather has so far cooperated. But rain is expected on Sunday, when tens of thousands of outdoor lunches between neighbors are planned.
A large parade should end the celebrations at the end of the afternoon in London with some 10,000 participants.
It will end in front of Buckingham Palace, where Ed Sheeran should sing in honor of the Queen and Prince Philip, her husband who died last year, his famous ballad “Perfect”.
A symbol of stability in a century of great upheaval, Elizabeth II ascended the throne at the age of 25, on February 6, 1952. She has gone through history with a constancy and dedication for which the British are grateful to her.
Many of those attending the jubilee celebrations were aware that this might be the last time they would see their sovereign.
“That’s our story and we’ll never see that again, because obviously next time she’s going to be a king, she’s our last queen. And I think she’s a wonderful queen,” Wendy Flynn told AFP. a housewife attending a street party in London.