News / Europe

Britons Celebrate Finale of Queen's Jubilee

Britain's Queen Elizabeth waves from the balcony at Buckingham Palace during the Diamond Jubilee celebrations in central London Tuesday June 5, 2012.
Britain's Queen Elizabeth waves from the balcony at Buckingham Palace during the Diamond Jubilee celebrations in central London Tuesday June 5, 2012.
Selah Hennessy
LONDON - Queen Elizabeth led a carriage procession through the streets of London Tuesday, the last day of celebrations to mark her 60-year reign, and the public poured out to view the spectacle.

The day began with a thanksgiving service at St. Paul’s Cathedral. The spiritual leader of the Anglican Church, the Archbishop of Canterbury, delivered the sermon.

"Our queen has shown a quality of joy in the happiness of others. She has responded with just the generosity St. Paul speaks of in showing honor to countless local communities and individuals of every background and class and race. She has made her public happy," he said.

Later in the day, the queen rode in an open carriage through the streets of central London, where tens of thousands of people were waiting to catch sight of her. Many were dressed in the national colors red, white and blue, and waving British flags.

  • Britain's Prince Charles, Britain's Queen Elizabeth II and Prince William stand on the balcony at Buckingham Palace during the Diamond Jubilee celebrations in London, June 5, 2012.
  • Revelers on the Mall in London watch Queen Elizabeth II appear on the Buckingham Palace balcony.
  • The British Royal Air Force Red Arrows fly in formation over Buckingham Palace.
  • Britain's Prince Willam, his wife Kate, and Prince Harry stand on the balcony at Buckingham Palace during the Diamond Jubilee celebrations.
  • Guardsmen march onto the Mall in London to take up their positions ahead of the formal carriage procession.
  • The Queen departs St Paul's Cathedral with the Dean of St Paul's David Ison, left, following a service of thanksgiving on the last day of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee celebrations.
  • A boy blows a horn as crowds gathered along The Mall in St James Park, London June 5, 2012.
  • The Queen departs St Paul's Cathedral with the Dean of St Paul's David Ison, left, following a service of thanksgiving on the last day of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee celebrations.
  • The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge with Prince Harry, right, attend the Diamond Jubilee concert, June 4, 2012.
  • Britain's Queen Elizabeth II, center, and Prince Philip, right, arrive at Chelsea Pier in London, before boarding the royal barge to participate in the Diamond Jubilee River Pageant, June 3, 2012.
  • Britain's Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip leave from Chelsea Harbour in London on a launch on the first part of their journey in the Diamond Jubilee River Pageant, June 3, 2012.
  • Britain's Royal Family from left, Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, Prince Philip Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, Prince Charles, Queen Elizabeth, Prince William and Prince Harry on the royal barge.
  • Britain's Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, right, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, center, and Queen Elizabeth, look at the proceedings on the royal barge, the principal boat of a flotilla of 1,000 vessels.
  • The Gloriana is seen leading the flotilla during the Thames Diamond Jubilee River Pageant in London, June 3, 2012.
  • Children of British expatriates enjoy an elephant ride as others arrive for an event to commemorate the Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee celebration at the British High Commission, in New Delhi, India, June 3, 2012.


The queen then made her way to the balcony of Buckingham Palace, where she waved to her supporters below. She was joined by members of her family, including her son and heir-to-the-throne, Prince Charles, and her grandsons, William and Harry.

Prince Philip, the queen's husband of 64 years, was absent from the celebrations. He was hospitalized on Monday with a bladder infection.

Tuesday was the last of four days of celebrations, which included a 1,000-boat pageant down the River Thames on Sunday and a concert on Monday.

The occasion marks 60 years since the 86-year-old monarch came to the throne. In London, those who support her told VOA they were happy with how her so-called Diamond Jubilee has been marked.  

"It’s been excellent. I’m very proud, very proud - especially the concert last night. It looked excellent," said one Londoner.

Some anti-monarchist demonstrators were also on London’s streets Tuesday.

One campaigner said he wanted to shed light on the power wielded by the British establishment.

"I’m parodying it because I think it is on some level very amusing and can be distressing at times to watch how much people seem to have been manipulated, myself included," he said.

Queen Elizabeth came to the throne when she was 25 years old, succeeding her father, King George, after his death in 1952.  She was coronated the following year.

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