As we pay tribute to the remarkable life and reign of HM Queen Elizabeth II, we look back at some of the most memorable moments of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Weekend, from military parades and musical performances to tea with Paddington Bear
With 12 million viewers across the world, 10,000 pageant performers, innumerable coronation chicken sandwiches, and 70 glorious years, Her Majesty The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee was a truly wonderful weekend.
From 2-5 June 2022, the nation marked Her Majesty The Queen’s momentous 70 years on the throne in true royal style, with hundreds of street parties up and down the country, Jubilee beacons, a pop concert, a spectacular Jubilee Pageant, and a surprise (even for her own family) Jubilee tea between the Queen and Paddington Bear. The now viral sketch, which rivalled that of Her Majesty and James Bond at London’s 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony, kicked off Saturday’s Platinum Party at the Palace.
In a delightfully playful interaction between the two, which displayed some impressive acting skills from Her Majesty, and demonstrated her brilliant sense of humour, Paddington sweetly thanked the Queen “for everything.” The heart-warming scene was met with enormous cheers from crowds lining the Mall, and a few people may even have been spotted dabbing their eyes.
Our favourite moment of the sketch? When we finally discovered what Her Majesty really keeps in her handbag…a marmalade sandwich, of course.
But there were plenty of memorable moments before this one. Kicking off the weekend on Thursday 2 June, the Queen delighted crowds at her official birthday celebration, the Trooping of the Colour, with a Buckingham Palace balcony appearance alongside her close family.
The traditional parade saw 1,400 soldiers, 200 horses and 400 musicians come together to mark the Queen’s official 96th birthday (her birthday was actually in April), and ended with an RAF flypast, including a spectacular ‘70’ formation by 15 Lincolnshire Typhoons, which was met with beams from the Queen and her family
Four-year-old Prince Louis, youngest son of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, stole the show with his adorable interactions with his great-grandmother the Queen, as he seemingly asked her what was coming next before putting his hands over his ears during the flypast– it certainly was loud!
That evening, the Queen took part in the lighting of the Jubilee beacons ceremony at Windsor Castle. This was a very special moment, which saw over 3,000 beacons simultaneously lit across the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth to mark Her Majesty’s 70 years of service. Following the ceremony, Windsor Castle put on a phenomenal fireworks display. Friday then saw a special service of Thanksgiving at St Paul’s Cathedral attended by members of the Royal Family.
Regrettably, the Queen herself was unable to join due to health reasons but was represented beautifully by her family. In a statement following the weekend’s events, she said, “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.”
Her Majesty’s presence was felt throughout the remaining events, particularly during Saturday night’s Platinum Party at the Palace which, as well as the sweet Paddington moment, also featured voice recordings and images of Her Majesty throughout her reign.
One moment especially stands out, in which the Queen paid tribute to her “dear late husband” and spoke of the “leading role” he had taken on environmental issues. She went on to comment how, continuing his legacy, Prince Charles and William have continued to fight to “protect our fragile planet” and that she “couldn’t be prouder of them.” Another tearjerker moment.
The rest of the concert went down well and included touching tributes to the Queen, a special light display that lit up the sky with the message ‘Thank you Ma’am’, and performances from pop and rock royalty, including Queen and Adam Lambert, Diana Ross, and composer Andrew Lloyd Webber, of whom the Queen is reportedly a fan. It was the perfect way to celebrate the Queen’s remarkable reign.
This is an extract, read the full version in the August/September issue of Discover Britain, out on 8 July.
Although the official Platinum Jubilee weekend is over, there are still plenty of ways to celebrate this summer! From afternoon teas to special exhibitions, read more below: