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Highlights from the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee weekend

An image of the Queen is projected onto Buckingham Palace (Jacob King/PA)
An image of the Queen is projected onto Buckingham Palace (Jacob King/PA)

The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations have seen antics on the balcony, flag-waving Windsors and an unexpected royal double act with a famous bear.

Here are some of the highlights from the four days of festivities.

The Jubilee Queen

After 70 years on the throne, the Queen remains the leading lady with the crowds roaring and erupting into three cheers as she stepped onto the Palace balcony, not once but twice, on the first day.

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The Queen and her cousin the Duke of Kent inspecting the troops from Buckingham Palace (Chris Jackson/PA)

But the brief appearances left the 96-year-old tired.

She rallied to attend a special beacon lighting at Windsor Castle in the evening.

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The Queen smiles as she symbolically leads the lighting of the principal Jubilee beacon (Steve Parsons/PA)

But the Palace announced she would be missing the church service on the Friday.

Then, as the finale, the Queen appeared on the balcony after the Pageant on Sunday, bringing the proceedings to a close.

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The Queen on the balcony on the final day (Leon Neal/PA)

Dressed in a vibrant green double crepe wool dress and coat, she was flanked by a ‘magnificent seven’ of future kings and queens and great-grandchildren as the crowds sang the national anthem.

Scenes on The Mall

The Great British public took to the celebrations with gusto, with hundreds of thousands of flag-waving royal fans packing onto The Mall in central London.

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Crowds on The Mall leading to Buckingham Palace, following Trooping the Colour (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

Spring sunshine set the mood for jubilant scenes on Thursday as the crowds gathered in honour of the monarch after the Trooping the Colour spectacle on Thursday.

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Members of the Household division during the Trooping the Colour ceremony (Jeff J Mitchell/PA)

Louis steals the show

The youngest Cambridge sibling provided the entertainment and captured hearts from the Palace balcony.

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The Queen with Prince Louis on the balcony of Buckingham Palace (Aaron Chown/PA)

Four-year-old Louis let out a howl and covered his ears during the Jubilee flypast, with his “Gan Gan” the Queen sweetly interacting with her great-grandson, leaning down to chat to him and point out the planes.

He sat on grandpa the Prince of Wales’ lap at the Jubilee pageant and gave his mum the Duchess of Cambridge a kiss on the cheek and a cuddle.

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Prince Louis sits on Charles’ lap during the Platinum Jubilee Pageant (Chris Jackson/PA)

He stood on his chair, waved his hands in the air, wriggled around and stuck his finger in his ear during the show.


A chain of more than 3,500 beacons stretching across the UK and around the Commonwealth were set ablaze late on the first evening marking the Jubilee in the time-honoured way.

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A Platinum Jubilee beacon is lit on Lyle Hill, Greenock as Piper Major John MacLeod of Inverclyde Pipes and Drums plays (Andrew Milligan/PA)

The principal beacon was a 21-metre living Tree Of Trees sculpture towering above Buckingham Palace, symbolically illuminated by the Queen from Windsor while the Duke of Cambridge watched in London.

The return of Harry and Meghan

It had been a while but the return of the Sussexes for the first time at an official public royal occasion since Megxit drew much media attention.

All eyes were on Harry and Meghan at the service of thanksgiving in St Paul Cathedral on Friday.

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The Duke and Duchess of Sussex and Zara Tindall leaving the service (Henry Nicholls/PA)

But the reunion of Harry and the Duke of Cambridge proved elusive with the Sussexes sat in the second row, far across the aisle from the duke’s father, brother and sister in law Kate.

Penguin feeding and leading the band

Members of the royal family toured the UK, with the Princess Royal feeding penguins in Edinburgh Zoo in Scotland and the Earl of Wessex pulling a pint of Guinness during a trip to Bangor in Northern Ireland.

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The Princess Royal, accompanied by Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence as they feed penguins Edinburgh Zoo (Andrew Milligan/PA)

Prince George and Princess Charlotte made a surprise appearance at Cardiff Castle on their first official visit to Wales

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Charlotte laughs as she conducts a band next to her brother, Prince George (Ashley Crowden/PA)

The excited princess conducted the orchestra in a rendition of We Don’t Talk About Bruno from the Disney film Encanto, while George played with the sound and lighting decks, as they met performers preparing for a Jubilee concert at the castle.

The Queen and Paddington bear

The monarch delighted the nation when she starred alongside Paddington in a surprise comedy sketch and showed the bear from deepest darkest Peru how she stored marmalade sandwiches in her famous black Launer handbag.

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The Queen and Paddington (Buckingham Palace/ Studio Canal/BBC Studios/Heyday Films/PA)

Offering a fresh insight into the Queen’s sense of humour and her wry wit, the secretly-filmed skit, played at the start of the BBC’s Platinum Party at the Palace on Saturday night, showed the pair enjoying a chaotic afternoon tea.

Royal sing-song

The Cambridges enjoyed the party atmosphere as The Firm sang along with the tunes at the Jubilee concert.

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The royal box at the Jubilee concert (Jacob King/PA)

Prince George belted out Sweet Caroline, while the Duke of Cambridge knew the words to Jason Donovan’s rendition of Any Dream Will Do.

Charles’ moving tribute

“You laugh and cry with us and, most importantly, you have been there for us,” Charles told Queen in a moving thank you toast at the televised concert.

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The Prince of Wales encourage the crowd to cheer his mother (Yui Mok/PA)

Calling the monarch mummy, he took to the stage to praise the Queen for her “lifetime of selfless service”.

He rallied the crowd into cheering the absent monarch who was 20 miles away at Windsor, saying if they were “loud enough she might, might just hear us”.

Stars of the show

Acts including Queen + Adam Lambert, Alicia Keys, and Eurovision’s Sam Ryder triumphed at the star-studded show.

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Adam Lambert performs during the Platinum Party at the Palace staged in front of Buckingham Palace (Yui Mok/PA)

Soul legend Diana Ross closed the open-air set, with her first live performance in the UK in 15 years.

Corgi drones

Drones flying over the Palace created a giant corgi in the sky and spelled out the message “Thank you Ma’am” in lights, thrilling concert goers.

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Drone show displaying a corgi during the Platinum Party at the Palace (Joe Giddens/PA)

Big Jubilee Lunches

As many as 18 million people are believed to have gathered with their friends, families and neighbours for traditional Jubilee street parties on Sunday for the final day of the celebrations

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The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall attend the Big Jubilee Lunch with tables set up on the pitch at The Oval cricket ground (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall mingled with guests at the flagship Big Jubilee Lunch in The Oval cricket ground.

Charles said he hoped “bickering” does not return after a feeling of “togetherness” across the nation over weekend.

The Pageant

A cast of 6,000 performers took to the streets of central London, with the procession spared the rain.

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Dancers during the Platinum Jubilee Pageant (Jonathan Brady/PA)

Attendees enjoyed a parade of hundreds of “national treasures” including Kate Moss, Naomi Campbell, and Sir Cliff Richard, with Ed Sheeran taking to the stage to sing at the end.

The Queen’s message

At the end of the weekend, the Queen pledged to continue to serve as monarch “to the best of my ability supported by my family”.

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The Queen appears on the balcony of Buckingham Palace at the end of the Platinum Jubilee Pageant (Frank Augustein/PA)

It was an acknowledgment of her fragility but a commitment to continue as monarch.

She said in her written message she was “humbled and deeply touched” by the public’s reaction to her 70 years, adding: “While I may not have attended every event in person, my heart has been with you all.”