AFP, published on Saturday, June 04, 2022 at 04:01
After the pomp and meditation, the party: some 22,000 people are expected Saturday evening in London for a giant concert celebrating Queen Elizabeth II, on the third day of the historic festivities of her 70 years of reign.
It’s time for music, party and celebration of talents, after the solemnity of the religious service which paid tribute to him on Friday at Saint Paul’s Cathedral, around the royal family but without the 96-year-old monarch, tired, after the first day’s military parade and her appearance on the balcony of Buckingham Palace.
The group Queen + Adam Lambert will open the concert held on three stages in front of Buckingham palace, creating a 360-degree experience, and the American diva Diana Ross, 78, will end it two and a half hours later, her first live performance in the UK for 15 years.
Among the artists and celebrities announced, Alicia Keys, Duran Duran, Andrea Bocelli, the composer Hans Zimmer (who notably composed the soundtrack of the 25th James Bond), the British singers Ella Eyre, Mabel and Mimi Webb, the naturalist David Attenborough, tennis champion Emma Raducanu, ex-footballer David Beckham, actress Julie Andrews…
Elton John also recorded a special tribute for this evening celebrating the contribution of the United Kingdom and the countries of the Commonwealth to music, the environment, sport and musical comedy, during the 70 years of reign of an immensely popular, but increasingly absent due to her declining health.
Prince Charles, 73, heir to the crown, and his son William, 39, second in line of succession, are expected to pay tribute there to their mother and grandmother, who plans to watch the concert on television.
Passionate about racing, Elizabeth II was initially expected on Saturday at the famous Epsom Derby, one of the most prestigious horse races in the world, 30 km south of London. But Buckingham Palace said on Friday without further details that she would not be going there. The queen, who has difficulty walking, could be represented there by members of the royal family.
A joyful parenthesis of patriotic unity in a sea of gloom, the Jubilee celebrations last until Sunday, thanks to a long four-day holiday weekend.
– Rain announced –
The weather has so far cooperated, with temperatures soaring to 22 degrees in London on Friday. But rain is expected in southern England on Sunday, as the final day of festivities sees tens of thousands of alfresco lunches with neighbors across the country.
On Sunday, a large televised parade will follow in the late afternoon in central London with some 10,000 participants – soldiers, musicians, dancers, puppeteers and other artists. It will end outside Buckingham Palace, where singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran, 31, is expected to sing in honor of the Queen and Prince Philip, her husband who died last year, his famous ballad “Perfect”.
A symbol of stability in a century of great upheaval, Elizabeth II ascended the throne at the age of 25, on February 6, 1952. She has gone through history with a constancy and dedication that the British, who have always known her, are grateful. She never expressed an opinion.
Many of the participants in the jubilee celebrations were aware that this was perhaps one of the last times they would see their sovereign, whose succession is slowly preparing, her son Charles representing her more and more often.
Despite her declining health, Elizabeth II has no intention of abdicating, bound by the promise she made at the age of 21, then still a princess, to serve her subjects all her life, a commitment that she called again this year.
But in this period of transition, she also wanted to reassure her subjects.
“I hope the next few days will reflect on all that has been achieved over the past 70 years, as we look to the future with confidence and enthusiasm,” she wrote in a short message at the start. jubilee celebrations. A trust that will extend, she hopes, to her heirs.