Queen Elizabeth reappears in jubilee celebration

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LONDON — Queen Elizabeth II said she felt “humiliated” after delighted crowds on Sunday with a surprise appearance on the balcony of Buckingham Palace, closing the celebrations on the last day of his jubilee.

On a day when Britons celebrated the queen with a parade and picnics, the queen made an unscheduled appearance on the balcony in a bright green dress and hat. She smiled and waved to the crowd below as she walked out with Prince Charles and his wife Camilla, Prince William and his wife Kate, and his children George, Charlotte and Louis. She was, in a single painting, a snapshot of the Windsor dynasty.

The Royal Marines Band played the national anthem, “God Save the Queen”, with the crowd singing along as the queen looked out over the vast crowd, which stretched as far as the eye could see.

As the jubilee long weekend drew to a close, the queen sent a message of thanks.

In a palace statement, signed by Elizabeth R., the queen said: “When it comes to how to fulfill seventy years as your Queen, there is no one guide to follow. It really is a first time. But I have been moved and deeply moved that so many people have taken to the streets to celebrate my Platinum Jubilee.

“While I may not have personally attended all of the events, my heart has gone out to all of you; and I remain committed to serving you to the best of my ability, with the support of my family,” she said.

The queen was the clear star for the last four days, either appearing in person or virtually at events. But Charles and William, the next two kings, also played prominent roles, a sign of the ongoing transition of power.

The queen’s appearance on Sunday was not scheduled. The queen was last seen in public on Thursday, her first day of celebrations during her record-breaking Platinum Jubilee. Following that appearance, also on the balcony of Buckingham Palace, the palace issued a statement saying the queen was withdrawing from some events after experiencing “certain discomfort.” She returned to Windsor Castle, which is now her main base.

But eagle-eyed royal fans at Buckingham Palace in London on the last day of the four-day celebration noticed that the Royal Standard flag, flown only when the monarch is in residence, was hoisted over Buckingham Palace in the afternoon. .

Crowds had gathered at the palace and nearby streets on Sunday for the Jubilee Pageant, a carnival that wound through nearby streets and included the Gold State Coach, an elaborate carriage drawn by eight horses. An image of the queen from her coronation was projected on the windows, making her look like she was sitting inside the carriage.

Meanwhile, millions of people took part in street parties and the “Big Jubilee Luncheon” over the weekend, some of which ended early due to the British weather. Street parties, a tradition that began after World War I, are a fixture during major royal occasions.

Buckingham Palace said more than 85,000 people had signed up to host the Great Jubilee Luncheons, with Charles and Camilla laying out the bag of groceries at London’s Oval Cricket Ground. Some of those picnicking said they were fans of the royals and that this was a time to reflect on their popular queen, her long service and the very real feeling that this was a nation that celebrated her on a scale that will not be equalizer. again. Others said they weren’t really worried about the monarchy, but accepted an excuse for a party with bubbles and bunting after the tedious pandemic years. Most Britons still approve of the monarchy, but its popularity has waned in the last decade, especially among the young.

A street party in south-west London had face painting, guitar strumming and a street bake on the list. A local fire truck showed up at one point and the firefighters helped the youths hose down other children, to the delight of all. The firefighters left when they received a call from the fire department, but later returned for a cake.

Observing the scene, Kwame Gyamfi, 43, a mechanical design engineer, said that street parties, which don’t happen that often, “are necessary to bring people together. People have been in lockdown for almost two years,” he said, referring to the coronavirus pandemic.

Millions across the UK attended block parties on June 5 for Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee. Street parties are often held during major royal events. (Video: Karla Adam, Allie Caren/The Washington Post)

In Colchester, a city in south-east England founded by the Romans, there was a lot of partying, in part because, as one of the oldest “towns” in England, it was given “city” status to mark the jubilee (which which means more money for the city coffers). ).

Lin Gildea, a retired director who hosted one of the Big Luncheons, beamed with quiet satisfaction as neighbors brought in plates of poppy cake, Victoria pound cake and Chelsea muffins, along with cans of beer, bottles of champagne and pots of tea.

And the food kept coming, until the tables creaked.

Gildea thought that the Big Lunch was just one more gift from the monarch, an opportunity for people to have fun, and talk about real estate values ​​and travel times.

“I am not a massive monarchist, but this queen is one in a million,” she said.

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