The Queen celebrates 70 years of reign with her beloved British people
It is a platinum jubilee displayed through tributes, commemorative magazines, exhibitions, retrospectives, specials, concerts and contests of all kinds.
It’s an exceptional four-day weekend, the streets are decorated with large portraits of the Queen, the facades are decorated, even in the English countryside, and the markets sell tricolored souvenirs and crockery with her effigy.
The festivities will begin tomorrow, Thursday, June 2, with the traditional annual military parade of the Salute to the Colors, which the 96-year-old Queen once inspected on horseback, followed by an aerial flyover.
The royal family, limited to only those members who have official functions and their children, will then appear on the balcony of Buckingham Palace around the sovereign, a moment that is highly anticipated.
It is clear that Elizabeth II’s health is a cause for concern: since a night in the hospital in October, she has cancelled almost all her official appearances, replaced by Charles, including for the solemn speech of the throne in Parliament on May 10.
She has difficulty walking and relies on a cane.
But the Queen has made several surprise appearances recently, smiling and relaxed, at a horse show – she is a horse lover -, at the inauguration of a new subway line bearing her name, and at the famous Chelsea Flower Show in London, in an electric cart.
“We were extremely worried about her health recently, but thank goodness she took care of herself,” says Phyllis Losh, 79.
This British woman from the village of Bidford-on-Avon (central England) remembers with emotion her coronation in 1953 when her father had specially bought a small black and white television. “She does everything with so much dignity.”
The queen returned to Windsor on Tuesday, May 31, after a few days of rest in her Scottish castle of Balmoral, aboard a flight disrupted by a storm and a first attempt to land aborted, according to the tabloid The Sun. Buckingham Palace assured that there had been “no security concerns”.
Prince Andrew, deprived of any official role, “wishes to make amends”, said the Archbishop of Canterbury and spiritual leader of the Anglican Church, Justin Welby, on ITV.
A large concert will follow at Buckingham Palace in the evening, with some 22,000 people, and among the headliners Alicia Keys, Queen + Adam Lambert, and Diana Ross. Charles and William will pay tribute to their mother and grandmother, who is expected to watch the concert on television.
On Sunday, June 5, millions of Britons will take part in thousands of neighbourhood lunches and street parties, a joyful interlude to briefly forget the galloping inflation and the repeated political scandals.
Pubs were allowed to close later. Sales of sparkling wine, Dubonnet (the Queen’s favourite aperitif) and Victoria Sponge Cake have already exploded.
For Robert Lacey, author of numerous books on the monarchy, “the local parties are as important as the televised ceremonies on the Mall,” the main thoroughfare leading to Buckingham Palace.
“They are an example of how Britain sees itself through the monarchy, as a vehicle for our history, traditions and values,” he said.
The celebrations will end with a huge parade in London. The 10,000 participants will pay tribute to a sovereign who has lived through times and crises unperturbed, a symbol of unity and the last global monarch, whose sense of duty and sometimes humour the British appreciate.
A poll for The Sun this week gave her 91.7% of favourable opinions, against 67.5% for Prince Charles, with whom the succession is being prepared.