Stars shine on The Queen at Jubilee concert

Jubilee Concert The Queen joined all of the night's performers on stage for the National Anthem

"I don't think she's a big pop music fan," said Sir Elton John, backstage at the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Concert.

"I think she'll really like the opera singer, Alfie Boe. I think she'll like the pianist, Lang Lang. I don't know that she'll like us very much."

We may never know whether Her Majesty enjoyed the pop music played on the steps of Buckingham Palace on Monday. After all, she has had six decades to practice looking inscrutable.

But the monarch was visibly moved by the crowd's enthusiastic support for the Jubilee - and appeared close to tears when they broke into an impromptu chant of "Philip, Philip" for the Duke of Edinburgh, who had been taken to hospital earlier in the day.

The other members of the Royal Party were easier to read.

Princesses Eugenie and Beatrice danced in their seats to Jessie J; Prince Harry was rapt by Kylie Minogue's routine (and, perhaps, her outfit); and Prince William was spotted rocking out to Live And Let Die.

Jessie J and Jessie J and helped to kickstart the party atmosphere

The three-hour Jubilee Concert, organised by Take That's Gary Barlow, was a proper Royal knees-up.

It certainly put paid to memories of the terrifyingly awkward "Party At The Palace", held for the Golden Jubilee in 2002.

That show was marred by moments of cheese (Brian May on the roof) and inexplicable collaborations (Brian Wilson performing Good Vibrations with Atomic Kitten, anyone?)

Barlow's show was worlds apart. Slick, pacy and as well-drilled as the changing of the guard.

Robbie Williams got things off to a rousing start, embellishing Let Me Entertain You with military pomp, courtesy of the Guards Drummers and Trumpeters.

"Ain't nobody here going to do it like me," he chanted - a bold claim when he was being followed by the crown jewels of British rock and pop.

Sir Cliff Richard Sir Cliff Richard performed a medley of hits from across the six decades of the Queen's reign

The first half of the concert, held before the Queen took her seat, rattled through the noisier spectrum of chart pop, with Jessie J, and JLS whipping the crowd into a frenzy.

But Sir Cliff Richard was the first act to unite the audience in a singalong, with thousands of Union Jacks being swung in time to Congratulations - from the Royal Box down to the front row.

"Red, white and blue - it was stunningly fantastic," he said afterwards,

"And when I looked down The Mall, the crowd seemed to go all the way up to the Admiralty Arch.

"I don't know how many people that represents but it's got to be hundreds of thousands. It's very humbling."

Sir Cliff was first of a quartet of knights to play the concert and, by and large, they received the best reaction.

Sir Tom Jones prompted what the first ever mass flamenco dance on the steps of the Queen Victoria Memorial as he launched into Delilah.

Sir Elton John, still recovering from a respiratory infection, was nonetheless in fine voice as he gave a delicately soulful reading of Your Song.

And Sir Paul McCartney wrapped up proceedings with a jaunty crowd participation version of Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da.

Other memorable moments included Annie Lennox's There Must Be An Angel, for which she sported a set of wings, and Grace Jones' hula-hooping her way through Slave To The Rhythm.

Kylie Minogue at the Jubilee Concert Kylie Minogue played a medley of her greatest hits

Alfie Boe and Renee Fleming also turned heads, performing West Side Story's Somewhere from the balcony of Buckingham Palace - a neat reference to Romeo and Juliet.

It wasn't just the music that impressed: A series of light projections beamed onto the walls of Buckingham Palace were spectacularly realised.

During Madness' Our House, the Palace was transformed into a row of terraced houses, with the windows and doors flipping open to reveal families dancing inside.

The concert's only awkward moment came when Stevie Wonder dedicated his song Happy Birthday to the Queen. Had he got mixed up between the Jubilee and a birthday party? Or was he getting his greetings in a little early for the Queen's official birthday in 12 days time?

Buckingham Palace The windows of Buckingham Palace went multi-coloured during Sir Elton's set

Or perhaps he was giving a nod to the Commonwealth - fans watching the show on TV in New Zealand had of course just celebrated their own public holiday, marking the Queen's official birthday there.

Backstage was like a Commonwealth of Pop, as the stars happily mingled with one another, swapping stories and posing for photographs.

Their conviviality spilled over to the audience, where no-one was jostling for position or pushing their way to the front.

"It's a really nice atmosphere," said Cheryl Cole. "It just feels really English and pleasant."

"It feels really friendly," agreed Kylie Minogue. "People seem really happy. Even though it's been raining on and off, it's not seemed to dampen anyone's spirits."

Cheryl Cole and Gary Barlow Gary Barlow and Cheryl Cole duetted on a cover of Lady Antebellum's Need You Now

On stage, the jokes were similarly good-natured - the Royal Box particularly enjoyed Lenny Henry's impression of Prince Charles.

And there was a wry smile when Jimmy Carr quipped that the Queen's 60-year-reign should serve as a warning that "you've got to plan for your future and you've got to get a pension.

"She's 86 and she's had to rent out her driveway to Gary Barlow!"

The highlight of the musical performances was undoubtedly the Jubilee Song, written by Sir Andrew-Lloyd Webber and Gary Barlow.

Opened by a 14-year-old soloist called Lydia, the simple, but emotive song packed a huge punch - particularly as the orchestra swelled for the finale.

The song saw musicians from across the Commonwealth take to the stage, including Kenya's Slum Drummers and the African Children's Choir.

"I can't believe myself. It's like I'm in heaven," said Joel, a percussionist with the band.

Asked who he would be watching on stage during the concert, Joel's answer was simple: "The Queen".

Sir Paul McCartney Sir Paul McCartney didn't play The Beatles' Her Majesty, as he had done for the Golden Jubilee in 2002

It was a sentiment shared by all of the night's performers, from the youngest wannabes to the most seasoned performers.

"What a fantastic job she's done," said Sir Paul McCartney. "She's a great example for Britain and she's a great family woman."

"She's stoic, she's brilliant, she's wise, she's funny. We're all very glad to be here," said Sir Elton John.

Rolf Harris was one of the few artists to speak directly to the Queen from the stage, calling her "a living testimony to the power of dedication, kindness, tolerance and loyalty."

"I hoped that I conveyed to the Queen everybody's intense love of her," he told the BBC afterwards.

"You could feel it welling up all around you."


Robbie Williams - Let Me Entertain You and Jessie J - I Gotta Feelin'

Jessie J - Domino

JLS - Everybody In Love / She Makes Me Wanna

Gary Barlow and Cheryl Cole - Need You Now

Cliff Richard - Medley, including Dynamite, The Young Ones, Devil Woman, We Don't Talk, Wired For Sound, The Millennium Prayer, Congratulations

Lang Lang - Hungarian Rhapsody #6, Rhapsody In Blue

Alfie Boe - O Sole Mio / It's Now Or Never

Jools Holland and Ruby Turner - You Are So Beautiful

Grace Jones - Slave To The Rhythm

Ed Sheeran - The A Team

Annie Lennox - The Must Be An Angel

Renee Fleming - Un Bel Di Vedremo

Tom Jones - Mama Told Me Not To Come / Delilah

Robbie Williams - Mack the Knife

Gary Barlow et al - Sing

Shirley Bassey - Diamonds Are Forever

Kylie Minogue - Medley, including Spinning Around, Can't Get You Out Of My Head, Step Back In Time, All The Lovers

Renee Fleming and Alfie Boe - Somewhere

Elton John - I'm Still Standing, Your Song, Crocodile Rock

Orchestra - Beautiful Day (instrumental)

Stevie Wonder - Sir Duke, Isn't She Lovely, Happy Birthday, Superstition

Madness - Our House / It Must Be Love

Paul McCartney - Magical Mystery Tour, All My Loving, Let It Be, Live And Let Die, Ob-La-Di Ob-La-Da

All performers - National Anthem


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  • rate this

    Comment number 69.

    Poor in comparison to the Golden Jubilee Party at the Palace.
    We had many of the same performers - Macca, Cliff, Tom, Lennox - all of whom performed their best songs at the last concert.
    Robbie - Fat and struggling
    Kylie, Stevie Wonder and Madness were great, although I don't know where Mr Savage's head is calling Brian May cheesy. GSTQ was iconic and the Queen set was the highlight. Bad review.

  • rate this

    Comment number 68.

    Watched the concert on tv, loved it. But, the sound quality of broadcast was dire, like bbc chose a speaker at random and dangled a mike in front of it. Just watched the concert highlights today, and sound was great, what it should have been last night.

  • rate this

    Comment number 67.

    Those who were there must have had a great time - watching it on the beeb was an incredible disappointment largely due to very bad selection of camera coverage. To crown it all the credits rolled over the fireworks finale - typical. Commentators, presenters and producers are FAR more important than events themselves. Sir Elton, Sir Paul and Sir Cliff - retire! Sir Tom has still got it!

  • rate this

    Comment number 66.

    I'm glad the show ended with Paul McCartney
    who is simply the most legendary
    of all who performed

    Beatles have done more to bring popularity
    to Britain than anyone else the last 60 yrs

    Beatles have made Britain an Icon

    Too bad Ringo wasn't there tho
    Maybe he will play w/ Paul for Olympics?
    We can only hope ;)

  • rate this

    Comment number 65.

    BBC coverage of Thames Pageant extremely poor. Not befitting of a once great broadcasting institution. What is this obsession with so called brainless celebrities. Bring back broadcasters who do their homework and work for their otherwise overpaid salaries and fees. The Monday evening show was nearly there Well done singers Robbie Williams, Tom Jones, Gary Barlow, Paul McCartney, Shirley Bassey

  • rate this

    Comment number 64.

    How sad that a concert being shown worldwide had around 90% poor singers and 'comedians'. It was a poor representation of what the UK has to offer. Never mind I hope the Queen is enjoying her birthday (what was that all about?)

  • rate this

    Comment number 63.

    I am just watching the concert again. I enjoyed it so much last night. This was worth the licence fee alone. Thankyou BBC

  • rate this

    Comment number 62.

    hi get tom back he the best he to good the rest were ok. but lost the way and a bite out off tunes and ciffe well needs some things what i don't no

  • rate this

    Comment number 61.

    This concert would only have been representative of all the British people if they'd also had The Sex Pistols on stage (to sing the alternative national anthem).......

  • rate this

    Comment number 60.

    The BBC should be ashamed of what was terrible coverage. The camera work was like someone from the front row was doing it on their iphone with all upwards shots, they cut away from the acts at the end of their song so missed their reactions and even put up the credits before the finale of the fireworks!

  • rate this

    Comment number 59.

    World's apart... really? Some reporter's need some grammar lesson's [intentional mistakes, everyone]

  • rate this

    Comment number 58.

    56.frm - "...GREAT Britain !!"

    Do me a favour - what could possibly described as great about a country, in the 21stC, that contains so many millions of sychophantic fawning members of the public who think that someone else is better than they are simply because of an accident of birth...???

    Surely to be great a nation first has to stand on some moral principles, not this monarchic sham...???

  • rate this

    Comment number 57.

    Tom Jones was excellent, but Sir Paul is an embarrassment. Cheryl might have a range of 5 notes, but at least she managed to hit them and stay on the beat, which is more than he'd done. Surely it's time to retire when you are worse than Cheryl?

  • rate this

    Comment number 56.

    The Greatest Show ever, Britain's creativity shown to be unequallable anywhere. The British acts need no comments, fantastic, sensational at times, but to have Will i am and the utterly amazing Stevie Wonder, what greater tribute could there have been, not to mention the 'Sing' choir, so happy and thrilled. There could never be anything more entertaining, rewarding, uplifting , GREAT Britain !!

  • rate this

    Comment number 55.

    Decent performances all round and a good bash but a couple of glaring question marks apart from the choice of musicians...
    Firstly, really poor production by the BBC to cut credits over the end of the display, went straight to the news after which only showed us what we had seen already.
    Secondly, displaying the tricolour on buck palace rather than the Union Flag???? Hello people???

  • rate this

    Comment number 54.

    Show had its moments: Elton John’s poignant rendition of “Your Song;” Commonwealth Children’s Choir performing song written by Barlow & Lloyd Webber as images of the Queen’s journey flickered in background; enchanting “Somewhere” by opera singers Renee Fleming & Alfie Boe; Steve Wonder’s jubilee-version of “Isn’t She Lovely...Anthem rousingly sung by all.

  • rate this

    Comment number 53.

    Paul McCartney ,please dont do anymore gigs like this you are past it and sadly it showed your age and like Cliff it was painful to watch .The comedians ? what lame gags .
    Well done Gary Barlow first class work but if you get another book bands which are not past thier sell by date

  • rate this

    Comment number 52.

    The Queen, who famously wore ear plugs for her cameo appearance at the Golden Jubilee pop concert 10 years earlier, was present on this evening, too — arriving late, resplendent in a gold-buttoned cape as she took her front-row seat in the royal box for a tribute rockapalooza concert, cheered gustily, but clearly missing her husband.

  • rate this

    Comment number 51.

    Concert was great - only spoiled by the BBC cutting it off at the end whilst the fireworks were still on - bad planning Beeb, who cares if the news had been 5 mins late!!!

  • rate this

    Comment number 50.

    Is Paul McCartney melting?


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