Entertainment Celebrity Royal Queen makes surprise balcony appearance on last day of Platinum Jubilee festivities

Queen makes surprise balcony appearance on last day of Platinum Jubilee festivities

Britons partied in their thousands in honour of the Queen

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The Queen has appeared at the balcony of Buckingham Palace, delighting fans who had hoped to catch a glimpse of her during celebrations marking the monarch’s 70 years on the throne.

Tens of thousands of people partied in the street and cheered on parades through central London, while millions watched a pop concert outside Buckingham Palace which was broadcast on live television.

In a message to the nation, the Queen thanked the public for their good wishes.

“When it comes to how to mark 70 years as your Queen, there is no guidebook to follow,” she said in a statement on Monday morning (Australian time)

“It really is a first. But I have been humbled and deeply touched that so many people have taken to the streets to celebrate my Platinum Jubilee.

“While I may not have attended every event in person, my heart has been with you all; and I remain committed to serving you to the best of my ability, supported by my family.”

The monarch added: “I have been inspired by the kindness, joy and kinship that has been so evident in recent days, and I hope this renewed sense of togetherness will be felt for many years to come.”

The Queen had missed most of the celebrations after experiencing ‘discomfort’. Photo: Getty

The 96-year-old monarch has curtailed her schedule in recent months due to problems moving around.

Prior to her balcony appearance, the queen had only been seen in public twice during the four-day holiday weekend celebrations.

Thousands massed outside Buckingham Palace for the climax of a boisterous, colourful pageant cheered as the monarch appeared on the balcony with her son and heir, Prince Charles, his wife Camilla, and her eldest grandson Prince William and his family.

There was no sign of Prince Harry and wife Meghan Markle, who were in town for their first family trip to Britain since they stepped away from royal duties in 2020.

The queen, dressed in bright green, waved and smiled after the crowds belted out God Save The Queen.

Her appearance, which only lasted a few minutes, was followed by a crowd-pleasing performance of ABBA’s Dancing Queen.

It was an uplifting finale to a massive street pageant celebrating the queen’s life and highlighting Britain’s diversity.

Thousands of people turned out on the streets of London, many speaking with excitement and pride about their queen and country.

Sunday’s pageant began with a spectacular military parade featuring 200 horses marching down the Mall to Buckingham Palace.

They flanked the gold state coach, a gilded carriage that transported the Queen to her coronation 69 years ago. A virtual version of her, drawn from archival video from her 1953 coronation, was shown at the coach’s windows.

After the pomp and pageantry came a melange of acts celebrating the diversity of modern Britain and the Commonwealth, from hip hop and Bollywood dancers to drag queens and Mardi Gras style floats.

Some 6000 performers paraded along a three-kilometre route lined with a sea of Union Jack flags, telling the story of the queen’s life with dance, vintage cars, vibrant costumes, carnival music and giant puppets.

Some of Britain’s best-loved cultural exports were there, from the Daleks in Doctor Who to James Bond’s sleek Aston Martins. Celebrities including singer Cliff Richard danced and sang from open-top double decker buses designed to represent the sights and sounds of each decade, beginning with the 1950s.

Organisers expected the pageant was watched by one billion people around the world.

Harry and Meghan held hands during one brief public appearance. Photo: Getty

The keenest royal fans braved the wet, chilly weather and camped out on the Mall overnight to secure the best view of the pageant. Some came to see the celebrities who performed – like Ed Sheeran, who sang his song Perfect while a huge video screen showed pictures of the Queen and her family.

The Queen did not join her family in the royal box watching the pageant, where four-year-old Prince Louis again stole the show with cheeky antics including poking his tongue out – making the crowd, and mum Kate Middleton, burst into laughter.

Fans hoping to catch a glimpse of Harry and Meghan during their brief London visit were disappointed while the couple again kept a low profile.

The pair travelled to Britain for the big holiday weekend, but largely stayed out of the limelight.

-with AAP