The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee central weekend of events culminated on Tuesday 5 June 2012 at approximately 3.30pm with an appearance on the balcony of Buckingham Palace by The Queen, the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry.
A huge crowd gathered outside of the Palace and all the way down The Mall to cheer The Queen and her family, and to watch the impressive flypast by the Royal Air Force Red Arrows.
Later on in the day, at 6.00pm, a message of thanks from The Queen was broadcast on the BBC. In her speech The Queen expressed her gratitude to all the organisers and for the many acts of kindness shown to her:
“It has touched me deeply to see so many thousands of families, neighbours and friends celebrating together in such a happy atmosphere.
“But Prince Philip and I want to take this opportunity to offer our special thanks and appreciation to all those who have had a hand in organising these Jubilee celebrations.
“It has been a massive challenge, and I am sure that everyone who has enjoyed these festive occasions realises how much work has been involved.
“I hope that memories of all this year’s happy events will brighten our lives for many years to come. I will continue to treasure and draw inspiration from the countless kindnesses shown to me in this country and throughout the Commonwealth.
“Thank you all.”
Over the central weekend of Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations The Queen, who celebrated her 86th birthday in April this year, attended a full programme of events.
On Saturday The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh attended The Investec Derby at Epsom Downs Racecourse, where she presented jockey Joseph O’Brien with the trophy after he won The Diamond Jubilee Coronation Cup with St Nicholas Abbey.
On Sunday The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, along with other members of the Royal Family, travelled on board the Spirit of Chartwell, as part of the Diamond Jubilee Pageant on the River Thames, in a flotilla of 1,000 boats. It was the biggest gathering on the river for 350 years, and despite the cold, drizzly weather, hundreds of thousands of people lined the riverbanks to watch.
On Monday The Queen attended a spectacular Diamond Jubilee concert in front of Buckingham Palace, which was watched by more than 17 million viewers around the world, and featured a whole host of stars including Dame Shirley Bassey, Sir Cliff Richard, Sir Elton John and Sir Paul McCartney. At the end of the concert The Queen lit a national beacon – one of 2,012 beacons lit around the world to mark The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.
On Tuesday The Queen began her day by attending a National Service of Thanksgiving at St Paul’s Cathedral. The poignant service gave thanks to God for The Queen’s 60-year reign and recognised The Queen’s dedication to her country and to the Commonwealth. Prince Philip, who is 90-years old, was unable to attend due to ill-health. Following the service The Queen went on to attend a reception at The Mansion House, followed by lunch at Westminster Hall given for Her Majesty by the Livery.
The Queen returned to Buckingham Palace in the 1902 State Landau carriage. Personnel from all three military services along with military bands lined the processional route, and the King’s Troop fired a 60-gun salute.
Thousands of members of the public filled the streets of London to catch a glimpse of The Queen throughout the course of the day, and as she made her balcony appearance, The Mall was a blaze of red, white and blue.
To remember this momentous occasion there are lots of commemorative gifts available to purchase through the 2012 Queen’s Diamond Jubilee online store – from a great selection of books and DVDs about Queen Elizabeth II to the very special The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee UK £5 Coin.
Image: (From left to right) the Duchess of Cornwall, the Prince of Wales, Queen Elizabeth II, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry appear on the balcony of Buckingham Palace as the Queen waves to the public as the Diamond Jubilee celebrations culminate on Tuesday 5 June 2012. Photo credit: David Jones/PA Wire