Queen Elizabeth made a surprise appearance alongside her heirs as the much-anticipated Platinum Jubilee celebrations came to an end on Sunday.
After the Royal Standard was raised at Buckingham Palace, signaling the Queen had arrived, the monarch, 96, stepped out onto the balcony and took in the celebratory atmosphere.
She was joined by Prince Charles, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, Prince William, Kate Middleton and their children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis in a special moment that represented the future of the monarchy.
The national anthem, “God Save the Queen,” played as the family sang along. Red, white and blue fireworks went off as George looked up at his great-granny and she looked back at him fondly.
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The Queen wore a vibrant green double crepe wool dress and coat (her go-to move so well-wishers can spot her bright ensemble from far away) by her dressmaker Stewart Parvin. She topped it off with a matching hat by Rachel Trevor-Morgan and her bow brooch.
The extravaganza event on the streets of London on Sunday afternoon saw the story of the Queen’s 70-year reign depicted through each of the seven decades, combining street theater, dance, circus and music and a 21-foot puppet dragon! Leading the musical tribute, Sheeran sang in honor of the Queen. Members of the royal family also took in the spectacle — including Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis from the front row, sitting between their parents Prince William and Kate Middleton.
Alberto Pezzali/AP/Shutterstock Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, Prince Charles, Queen Elizabeth, Prince William, Kate Middleton, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis
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While the Queen joined her family members on the balcony of Buckingham Palace on Thursday to celebrate Trooping the Color, she has been unable to participate in all the events to mark her 70 years on the throne due to mobility issues.
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During a reception held at Guildhall by the former Lord Mayor on Friday, the Duchess of Cambridge told an attendee that the Queen was “fine” after a long day of Trooping the Color.
“Yes, she [the Queen] was fine, it was just very tiring yesterday,” Kate said, according to PAadding that the monarch “had had a lovely, lovely time.”
Although Queen Elizabeth did not attend the Epsom Derby on Saturday, she watched the horse race on TV. And on Saturday night, the Queen did not appear in person at the Platinum Party at the Palace, but she did kick off the event with a pre-recorded skit featuring none other than Paddington Bear!
Frank Augstein/AP/Shutterstock Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, Prince Charles, Queen Elizabeth, Prince William, Kate Middleton, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis
Sunday’s military parade featured 2,750 soldiers from the UK Armed Forces alongside military personnel from across the Commonwealth was also a highlight of the event, as was the “River of Hope” procession, which saw students from across the UK unite to carry 200 silk flags featuring artwork that depicts children’s hopes for the planet over the next 70 years.
The royal pageant is estimated to have cost up to $18 million to organize and is the Queen’s fourth since she became monarch in February 1952 after the death of her father King George VI. The first royal pageant ever held was in honor of George III in 1809 to celebrate 50 years of his reign and included a grand fete and a firework display at Frogmore Cottage.
HANNAH MCKAY/POOL/AFP via Getty Prince Charles and Queen Elizabeth
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This unprecedented anniversary (Queen Elizabeth is the first monarch to celebrate a Platinum Jubilee!) included four days of celebrations in the UK In addition to Trooping the Color, the royals also attended a service of thanksgiving at St. Paul’s Cathedral on Friday, the Derby horse race and a pop concert on Saturday.