Queen Elizabeth and “working” royals kick off anniversary celebrations

Celebrations for the Queen’s platinum jubilee began on Thursday morning with a parade and flyby around Buckingham Palace with the bittersweet realization that Britain is unlikely to experience anything like it again.

The milestone marks 70 years on the throne of Queen Elizabeth II, who first ascended the throne in February 1952 at the age of just 25. Britain has a special four-day bank holiday from Thursday to celebrate the longest-serving 96-year-old monarch in British history.

Despite missing the Trooping the Color ceremony, the Queen appeared on the balcony of Buckingham Palace two hours into the festivities to “inspect” the troops, and was later joined by “working” members of the Royal Family (i.e. not Prince Andrew or Prince Harry). and Meghan Markle) for a Royal Air Force flyby that had Tom Cruise running for his money. The monarch stood alongside her son and heir to the throne, Prince Charles, and her youngest grandson, a feisty four-year-old Prince Louis.

The morning began with a lavish parade of Royalty, more than 1,400 soldiers, 200 horses, 400 musicians and a very well behaved Irish Wolfhound, who made their way with great pomp from Buckingham Palace, down the Mall and into the nearby Horse Guard’s paraded for a Trooping the Color display featuring military pageantry from the 1st Battalion, the Irish Guard and hundreds of other Household Division officers and soldiers.

Prince Charles, Prince William and Princess Anne (aka Princess Royal) rode – impressively – all the way on horseback, while Camilla Parker Bowles and Kate Middleton sat in a carriage alongside Princes George and Louis and Princess Charlotte, which wowed waved to royal watchers along the Mall. The Queen’s youngest son, Prince Edward, and his family also followed in a carriage.

Among those notably missing that day was Prince Andrew, who is no longer of public service and whose military ties were removed by the Queen after Virginia Guiffre brought a sexual assault case against him. (The prince reached an out-of-court settlement with Guiffre in February.)

Also out of sight were Prince Harry and Markle, whose attendance at the Queen’s platinum jubilee has been a hot topic in the UK since stepping down as senior royals in 2020, and who gave Oprah Winfrey a bombshell interview about her experience with the firm last year.

The couple and their two young children, Archie and Lilibet, eventually arrived in the UK for the celebrations. Though they’ve kept a low profile so far – watching Thursday’s celebrations from the Major General’s office – it’s likely they’ll be seen at other family events over the weekend, like Saturday’s Platinum Party in the park.

Former US President Barack Obama was among the high-profile figures to offer congratulations to the Queen. Obama, who first met the Queen with Michelle Obama in 2009, said he has always had a “special relationship” with the monarch.

“Her Majesty has reassured us with her grace and generosity,” Obama said. “She reminded me a bit of my grandmother… Her life was a gift not just for Britain but for the whole world. May the light of your crown continue to reign supreme.”

Actress and singer Julie Andrews also shared her wishes for the Queen.

“I remember well the beautiful radio speech you gave on your 21st birthday. They are committed to serving the people of Britain and the Commonwealth. In all the years since, you’ve never broken that promise. My heartiest congratulations to you, ma’am, and thank you,” Andrews said.

https://variety.com/2022/politics/global/queen-jubilee-parade-harry-meghan-andrew-1235283342/ Queen Elizabeth and “working” royals kick off anniversary celebrations

Charles Jones

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