Day 3 of the UK celebration marking Queen Elizabeth’s 60-year reign began with a picnic of smoked salmon in the palace gardens for 10,000 UK citizens chosen in a public lottery, some traveling from Ireland and Wales to attend the all-day event.
Guests collected hampers of food prepared by palace chefs, including desserts made with strawberries grown on the Queen’s estate.
Spread upon blankets on the lawn, the lucky invitees didn’t need the ponchos tucked into their baskets, as the weather threatened no rain for the afternoon. Yesterday, more than a million people gathered in London under a steady rain along the River Themes, to witness a spectacular parade of 1,000 boats led by the Queen’s barge. Such a regatta has not been seen in London for 300 years.
After the picnic, the guests will join 2,000 invited guests and the Royal Family for an evening concert by Sir Paul McCartney, Sir Elton John and others, specially staged in the surroundings of the Queen Victoria Memorial in front of Buckingham Palace.
The Diamond Jubilee concert, to be broadcast by the BBC will also be projected onto 200 large screens around the country.
The BBC concert hosted Gary Barlow will included classic hits and one-off collaborations from artists including Shirley Bassey, Alfie Boe, Jools Holland, Jessie J, JLS,Tom Jones, Lang Lang, Annie Lennox, Cliff Richard and Ed Sheeran. In an effort to top the spectacle of “Queen” guitarist Brian May playing the national anthem from the Palace rooftop in 2002 for the 50-year jubilee, the 1980’s pop group Madness with ascend to the roof doing their hit, “Our House”.
The 86-year-old queen remained standing for much of the 4-day celebration, keeping up with the rigorous pace of parades, picnics, partying.
For the young and old, the concert last night with spectacular light show projected along the entire face of Buckingham Palace provided an artistic exclamation point to end the historic festivities.
(WATCH two videos — The first is a creative look at the highlights of the weekend; the second is a video by the Palace picnic producers — READ the stories from the BBC chosen from the first 3-days of celebrations)