The Diamond Jubilee: The Weekend Fit for a Queen
Today marks the final day of the much anticipated Diamond Jubilee celebrations. It was definitely action-packed, to say the least. Click through the slideshow for the weekend highlights!
By Brooke Benjamin
The four-day long festivities began on Sat., June 2, with the Queen fittingly attending the Epsom Derby. The Queen has had a long-standing love for horses, which was decidedly apparent as she looked on seemingly engrossed by the classic racing event. The Queen did not enter a horse into this year’s derby as she typically would. Several other members of the Royal Family joined the Queen for the trip to the races, but predictably, all eyes were locked on her Royal Majesty. The crowd greeted her with roaring cheers, as many patriotically waved the Union Jack flag upon her arrival. Despite the looming threat of rain, the Queen looked dazzling in a white silk dress with a blue floral print and a royal blue crepe wool coat by Stewart Parvin and matching hat by Rachel Trevor Morgan.
On Sun., June 3, it was time for the Thames Flotilla. Approximately 1, 000 boats took to the Thames in tribute to the Queen’s 60th year on the throne. Organizers of the event estimate it to have been the largest assembly on the river in the past 350 years. The Queen along with members of the Royal Family lead the brigade on a festooned royal barge, surrounded by skiffs, barges, narrowboats, motor launches, row boats and sailing vessels. This particular event holds great significance as it reflects on Britain’s rich history; monarchs used the river as their main highway for centuries. Despite the less than stellar weather, the crowds showed up in scores. Many even camped out overnight through the persistent rain to secure prime riverside spots.
On Mon., June 4, the Royals got ready to rock! Thousands gathered at Buckingham Palace to see a string of artists that many would deem as music royalty. Paul McCartney, Elton John and Stevie Wonder were just a few of the performers in the star-studded lineup. Other members of the Royal Family including the Prince William and Duke of Cambridge, Prince Harry, Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall as well as friends of the family and dignitaries joined the Queen in the Royal Box to watch the show on a specially erected stage in front of the palace. The concert did not disappoint, as it featured an enchanting light and picture show reflected onto the palace itself. News of Prince Philip’s hospitalization put a slight damper on the evening, but still it seems a good time was had by all.
Today is the last day of the Jubilee festivities and has unquestionably been the most monumental. First on the agenda was a Queen’s Thanksgiving Service held at St. Paul’s Cathedral earlier today. The entire Royal Family pulled out the fashion stops, but the Queen especially stunned onlookers with her impeccably embroidered mint green ensemble. The Queen and her family then made their way to a City of London Livery lunch at Westminster Hall. The weekend came to a climactic close this afternoon as an estimated 1.5 million people gathered below the balcony of Buckingham Palace to shower the Royals with unwavering adoration. The patriotic crowd decked out in the Union Jack colours flanked the gates to the palace, touchingly singing renditions of “Land of Hope and Glory” and “God Save the Queen.” Sadly, Prince Philip was notably missing as he remains in hospital care. Spitfires soared above the crowds, leaving red, white and blue stripes painted across the sky. It was truly the height of the celebrations, and everyone including the Royal Family watched the show in utter amazement. There was an undeniable outpouring of support for the long-serving Queen. In case there was any thoughts of a diminishing love for the monarchy, the very triumphant Diamond Jubilee celebrations will throw that idea right out the window.