Diamond Jubilee: Flypast brings celebrations to an end


World War II aircraft and the Red Arrows conducted a flypast over Buckingham Palace

Four days of Diamond Jubilee events have culminated in an appearance by the Queen on the Buckingham Palace balcony in front of huge crowds.

There was also a flypast by World War II aircraft and the Red Arrows.

The Queen had earlier attended a service at St Paul's Cathedral where the Archbishop of Canterbury praised her "lifelong dedication".

But her consort, Prince Philip, has been absent from her side as he remains in hospital with a bladder infection.

The Earl and Countess of Wessex visited the Duke of Edinburgh on Tuesday afternoon.

Afterwards, Prince Edward said: "He's feeling better." The countess added: "He's in good spirits; he's on good form."

The Queen has recorded a two-minute message of thanks to the nation which will be broadcast at 1800 BST on radio and television in the UK and across the Commonwealth.

'God save the Queen'

Crowds built up from early morning outside St Paul's and Buckingham Palace.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge arriving at St Paul's Cathedral The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge joined the Queen on the palace balcony

There was a fanfare as Her Majesty, wearing a mint green outfit of fine silk tulle, embroidered with tiny star-shaped flowers, arrived at St Paul's for the service at 10:30 BST and the crowds chanted "God save the Queen".

Prime Minister David Cameron, who gave a reading, led the large representation from the government, military personnel and members of the royal household, at St Paul's alongside diplomats and foreign leaders.

Following the service at St Paul's, the Queen attended a reception at nearby Mansion House - the official residence of the Lord Mayor of London.

The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry were at a similar event at the Guildhall.

All of the senior royals then moved on through crowd-lined streets to a lunch at Westminster Hall where they dined on salmon, followed by Welsh lamb, grilled Isle of Wight asparagus, Jersey Royal potatoes and chocolate delice, bread and butter pudding and berry compote with apple sauce.

60-gun salute

The Queen travelled in an open-topped coach with the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall back to Buckingham Palace.

Princes William and Harry and the Duchess of Cambridge followed in a second coach.

Queen's procession in open-top carriage procession

They were led along The Mall by soldiers from the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment, and the King's Troop, Royal Horse Artillery, then fired a 60-gun salute.

The day culminated with an appearance by the Queen and other senior royals on the balcony for the flypast, which had been in doubt due to the threat of bad weather.

The BBC's Gerry Holt, on The Mall, said the deafening sound of the flypast drowned out the crowd's cheers. She said that after the Red Arrows had passed overhead there were cries from youngsters of "The sky's turned red, white and blue!"

BBC royal correspondent Peter Hunt said the choice to have only six members of the Royal Family - the Queen, Prince Charles, the Duchess of Cornwall, Princes William and Harry and the Duchess of Cambridge - sent a message demonstrating both continuity and restraint at a time of austerity.

Among other Jubilee news:

  • The Archbishop of Canterbury praised the Queen for dedicating herself to the service of her nation and the Commonwealth. He said the Queen had put aside "selfish goals" and dedicated herself to public service, honouring countless communities and individuals and referred to Prince Philip, saying "our prayers and thoughts are very much with him"
  • US President Barack Obama also paid tribute to the Queen, calling her "a steadfast ally, loyal friend and tireless leader". He said that throughout her "60 extraordinary years" she had been "a loyal witness" to the unique alliance between his country and the UK "and the chief source of its resilience"
  • Ministers are being urged to look into reports that unemployed people hired as unpaid stewards for the Diamond Jubilee pageant ended up having to sleep outside and change in the rain
  • Southampton is hosting a Diamond Jubilee celebration involving Cunard cruise ships the Queen Mary 2, Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria but a display from the Red Arrows has been cancelled as a result of poor weather

Other highlights of the Jubilee weekend included a star-studded concert outside Buckingham Palace on Monday night.

At the show, Prince Charles paid tribute to his mother, describing her as "mummy" and a "very special person" but said there was disappointing edge to the night because his father could not be there.

Afterwards the Queen came on to the stage to press a diamond-shaped crystal into a pod, igniting a beacon in The Mall to mark her 60 years on the throne. It was one of more than 4,000 lit across the UK and the Commonwealth.

See all the latest Diamond Jubilee news and features at bbc.co.uk/diamondjubilee


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  • Comment number 1076.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1075.

    1069 Tio
    If I really must.... although I don't see the need for a president or monarch.
    Out of the politicians in recent history, I would have Shirley Williams or Menzies Campbell. People with respect and gravitas, but that all depends on who was standing against them. That would be my democratic choice. A bit older; Bevan maybe. Churchill, good leader but coal miners & other questionable actions.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1074.

    Not one single change to this countrys laws can be implemented without the Queens signature.

    If Will were to decide to stand down then Harry is next in line. Following that there's Anne then her children. There's a long line if people start to abdicate.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1073.

    @1072.bangers64 - No you wouldn't get myself as king, you'd have to go even lower as I wouldn't take the role.

    But you've jumped in without really understanding the context - when I said stand down I meant the entire monarchy as that is Some Lingering Fogs wish.

    But he/she believes it will never happen in his/her lifetime - a rather negative and defeatist view.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1072.


    Irrelevant, as the next in line will simply take the place of them. If they all refuse we may even get as far as King ravenmorpheus2k :-)

  • rate this

    Comment number 1071.

    1063.Tio Terry did I say that I wanted to live in France but for your benefit I shall repeat what I said I'm half British half French and I shall elaborate that for you British father French mother.Didn't Napoleon once say that England is a nation of shopkeepers well in the broad sense of the word that's what I am I run my own business in the UK,pay taxes and also a British passport holder.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1070.

    On the point that most of our politicians are not suitable to be leaders and our parliament is broken. I agree but this is no reason to support a hereditary monarchy. The whole system desperately needs modernising so that people feel properly represented.
    You are deluded if you think the queen has no real power. She is head of the church and the armed forces. She has other influences too.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1069.

    I challenge you to name one person who would stand a chance of being elected. By failing to do so you simply reinforce my view that there is noboby remotely electable. There's nothing insipid in my argument but your failure to come up with the goods just shows how insipid yours is. I'll stick with the professionals rather than some amateur for a few years then change again.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1068.

    1042.Some Lingering Fog

    OK as unlikely as it may sound how about this hypothetical situation -

    The Queen and Charles die in 5 yrs time aged 91 and 68, and the next in line (I forget if that's Will, Harry or someone else) decides it is time to stand down.

    You'd have to eat your words if you are still alive in 5yrs time.

    But of course that's so unlikely it would never happen, right...

  • rate this

    Comment number 1067.

    How can something take so many years to plan and organise and yet still look so rubbish? The pageant looked like a load of rubbish floating randmoly around on the thames. The commentary on the BBC was awful and depressing. And the poor RPO were trying to sing the national anthem while being soaked in the rain.... umbrellas anyone?

  • rate this

    Comment number 1066.


    I agree. My preferred choice is no 'figure head'.

    Can anyone name Switzerlands ?

  • rate this

    Comment number 1065.

    To those that say we are not democratic because we have a monarchy - this is a constitutional monarchy, she has no real power.

    Give one law she has implemented or act she has repealed.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1064.

    I find blind the comments of some. What do politicians today represent? The vast majority at the time of the expenses scandal had their hands in the till, and when came the news they were found out, it was acceptable to just give it back. Months later they decide to make examples of those on the street doing much the same. Politicians of today engage with no one, except their own selfs interest.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1063.

    From what you are saying you would be happy to live in France, good luck to you, go and stop trying to change this country to an inferior system. We have a monarchy, France murdered theirs. We don't need amateur prisedents like Sarkozy et. al., we are proud of our monarchy as demonstrated over this weekend. I'll stick with the professionals.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1062.

    1056 TIo
    I could name several potential presidents but I won't 'cos it's an insipid argument. Why does there need to be a president? have some imagination... I refer you to Andrew 1051.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1061.

    Ex Tory Voter@1022

    "That'll be because I'm a 'mild' Royalist, and QEII is very good at PR."

    I was alluding to the England football team that "consistently fails to impress on the world stage".
    I (mistakenly?) took your omission as to be agreeing with that one point.
    No conclusions drawn... it's only a 'knockabout' debate.
    As you say: it depends on one's point of view.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1060.

    1041.TioTerry I'm very proud of my British and French roots and history but obviously in regards to your comment ie France a republic I suggest my friend you go and visit France and see how France has developed into a modern European country.The French revolution was in 1789 not 1989 and the simple reason why the monarchy was overthrown is because King Louis XV1 had absolute power

  • rate this

    Comment number 1059.

    1053 That's the whole point - if you want better democracy, then contribute. Presidents can be voted out, royalty can't. The royal family could get a different job if they want, but it's a choice not afforded to their subjects.

    Don't just fling up your hands in despair and cling to monarchy like some ratty old comfort blanket. A broken system needs reform, not inertia and nostalgia.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1058.

    I thought the BBC coverage of the pageant was truly amateur and purely served to self promote their usual benign bunch of presenters.
    (They seemed to do a "Planet Earth Live" with the pageant, and concentrate on the wrong things and have the wrong people talking, too much. We wanted to see the pageant, not people who had babies)

    The BBC needs to rise to the occasion more, and set the standard?

  • rate this

    Comment number 1057.

    I would like to congratulate the BBC on the coverage of all the Jubilee events, greatr coverage, One gripe tho, Apart from the Service at St Pauls it was a continual irritation to have to listen to Hew Edwards as he never stopped yapping the whole way thru. If one of the Bands appeared,you could'nt hear it, and even in the procession he wascontinualy yapping away Please curb him,


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