Queen’s Platinum Jubilee: Royals gather for Queen’s huge party
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Queen’s Platinum Jubilee: Royals gather for Queen’s huge party

The Queen has appeared on the balcony of Buckingham Palace as the streets of London packed to celebrate her platinum anniversary.

Elizabeth, 96, marked seven decades on the throne in February, and two holidays were set aside to create a four-day weekend for nationwide events commemorating her reign on June 2-5.

Previously, the Duchess of Cambridge and her children – Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis – accompanied Camilla Parker-Bowles in a horse-drawn carriage, waving to the crowd as they were led through sunny streets.

Camera icon Prince George, left, Prince Louis and Princess Charlotte ride in a carriage as they make their way to the Trooping the Colour. Credit: Ian Vogler/AP

In a funny moment, young Prince Louis – who was sitting among his older siblings – waved to the crowd when his sister, Princess Charlotte, shoved his hand down.

But the young prince was not deterred and promptly began to wave again.

Camera icon Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Kent watch from the balcony during the Trooping the Color ceremony at Horse Guards Parade in London. Credit: Jonathan Brady/AP

The procession was not without difficulties, with a stubborn horse refusing to move away from the royal carriage, which had to swerve to avoid it.

The group was on their way to watch the historic Trooping the Color parade, which has marked the official birthday of the British sovereign for more than 260 years.

The parade consists of 1,400 parading soldiers, 200 horses and 400 musicians who come together in a grand display of military precision, horsemanship and fanfare to celebrate the Queen’s official birthday.

Camera icon Prince William salutes during the Trooping the Colour. Credit: Chris Jackson/AP

The 96-year-old queen is Britain’s longest-reigning monarch and the first to reach the seven-decade milestone on the throne.

Prince Harry and Meghan watched the parade, although they did not appear on the balcony.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, now living in the US, had a wonderful view from the former office of the Duke of Wellington, overlooking the Horse Guards Parade, where they watched Prince Charles inspect the guards and officers and salute them brought in his mother’s place.

They traveled with their children Archie, 3, and Lilibet, who turns one Saturday, where she will be introduced to her royal relatives for the first time at a public family reunion.

The carriage with the Cambridges was followed by the Earl and Countess of Wessex, their son James and Viscount Severn with the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester and Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence in the third carriage.

Prince Charles, Prince William and Princess Anne rode horses in the traditional procession that left Buckingham Palace for the parade at the start of the festivities.

The Queen’s son, Prince Andrew, whose royal titles were removed after a US lawsuit, was not present.

Camera icon Prince William and Princess Anne. Credit: Chris Jackson/AP

During early celebrations on Thursday morning, the Queen appeared on the palace balcony in a muted lilac outfit next to cousin Duke of Kent to inspect parading troops.

Each year, a different unit has the honor of clouding its color. The 1st Battalion of the Irish Guards will be in the spotlight during the Platinum Jubilee.

The anniversary gives many people a chance to reflect on the state of the nation and the tremendous changes that have taken place during its reign.

Thousands of people, some of whom even camped on Wednesday evening, lined the parade route decorated in the colors of the Union Jack flag.

Former British Prime Minister John Major, one of the 14 prime ministers of the Queen’s reign, said the monarch’s stoic presence has helped steer the country in recent decades.

“The Queen has been representing our better selves for over 70 years,” he told the BBC.

Congratulations came from world leaders. French President Emmanuel Macron called Elizabeth “the golden thread that binds our two countries” and one of the “very few constants” on the international stage.

“You are our friend, such a close ally, our example of service to others,” Macron told the queen in an English-language video message.