After the pomp and meditation, the party: Duran Duran, Queen + Adam Lambert and Diana Ross will ignite the crowds on Saturday evening in London, during a giant concert celebrating Queen Elizabeth II with a rain of stars, on the third day of the historic festivities of his 70 years of reign.
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Prince Charles, 73, heir to the crown and his son William, 39, second in the order of succession, will come to pay homage, in front of 22,000 spectators, to the 96-year-old monarch in declining health, who should watch the concert on television.
However passionate about racing, the queen, who has difficulty walking, gave up going to the famous Epsom Derby horse races on Saturday, 30 km from London, which she very rarely missed.
She was represented there by her daughter Princess Anne, welcomed, in the absence of her mother, by a guard of honor of around forty jockeys. The Queen had planned to watch on TV.
She was already absent from the church service at St Paul’s Cathedral in her honor on Friday, having suffered “discomfort” on the first day of celebrations on Thursday, when she appeared on the balcony of Buckingham Palace, beaming but frail, leaning on a cane, with 17 members of the Royal Family for the military parade and flyover.
In the evening, she had made a brief appearance at Windsor Castle for the Jubilee illuminations.
The televised concert on Saturday evening, held on three stages in front of Buckingham Palace, will be opened by the group Queen + Adam Lambert.
American diva Diana Ross, 78, ‘absolutely delighted to have been asked to perform on such an important occasion’, 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, Rod Stewart, 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, broadcast live by the BBC, celebrating the contribution of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth countries to music, the environment, sport and musical comedy, during the 70 years of reign of an immensely popular, but increasingly absent, queen.
On Saturday, the Queen, Prince Charles and his wife Camilla, William and his wife Kate, took to Twitter to wish a happy first birthday to Lilibet, Harry and Meghan’s daughter whom the Queen first met.
A happy interlude of patriotic unity in a sea of gloom, the Jubilee celebrations last until Sunday, thanks to a long four-day holiday weekend.
The weather has so far cooperated. But rain is expected on Sunday, when tens of thousands of outdoor lunches between neighbors are planned.
A large televised parade is due to close the celebrations at the end of the afternoon in London with some 10,000 participants – soldiers, musicians, dancers, puppeteers and other artists.
It will end in front of Buckingham Palace, where Ed Sheeran should 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 for which the British are grateful to her. She never expressed an opinion.
Many of the participants in the jubilee celebrations were aware that this might be the last time they would see their sovereign, whose succession is preparing quietly, her son Charles representing her more and more often.
“It’s wonderful, these celebrations for her across the country. It’s a unique opportunity, we’ll never see him again, “said AFP Janet Turner, 65, who came from the north of England to walk in Windsor.
Despite her declining health, Elizabeth II has no intention of abdicating, bound by the promise she made princess at 21 to serve her subjects all her life.
In this period of transition, however, she wanted to reassure them: “we look to the future with confidence and enthusiasm”, she wrote to them at the start of the Jubilee celebrations.