The Platinum Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II: Day One

London (AFP) – Four days of festivities The homage to Queen Elizabeth II on the throne for 70 years began Thursday with a display of Britain’s military traditions that stretch from the days of the horse and cannons to the age of jet aircraft.

The official celebrations of the Platinum Jubilee began with Trooping the Color, an annual military review that has celebrated the king’s official birthday since 1760. The Queen saluted on the balcony of Buckingham Palace and joined her working family members on a military flight.

Thousands of people, some of whom camped overnight, lined the parade route – many wearing Union Jack flags, party hats or plastic crowns. Carly Martin, who took a late-night bus from south London with her daughter, said she came to “make memories”.

“You’ll never see this again in your life,” she said. “At least I don’t, maybe not in my daughter. … 70 years – that’s all I’ve ever known.”

The 96-year-old Queen is Britain’s longest-reigning monarch and the first to accede to the throne, which is seven decades old. Elizabeth smiled widely on Thursday as she spoke to her grandchildren and looked up as the British military aircraft hovered over the palace. The six-minute show featured Typhoon planes flying in formation showing the number “70.”

The jubilee is celebrated with a four-day weekend. Celebration of Elizabeth’s reign includes Thanksgiving Friday at St Paul’s Cathedral in London, a concert at Buckingham Palace on Saturday and a pageant organized by thousands of performers. They were drawn from schools and community groups across the country on Sunday. Thousands of street parties are planned across the country, repeating a tradition that began with the coronation of the Queen in 1953.

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Several protesters were arrested Thursday after passing the previous barriers and on the way to the parade. Animal Rebellion claimed responsibility, saying the protesters were “demanding the restoration of royal lands”.

The jubilee gives many people – even those often indifferent to the monarchy – an opportunity to reflect on the state of the nation and the tremendous changes that occurred during its reign. Former Prime Minister John Major – one of the 14 prime ministers under the Queen – said the monarch’s strict presence has helped steer the country for decades,

“The Queen has represented ourselves for more than 70 years,” he told the BBC.

In a letter written to mark the jubilee, the Queen thanked the people in Britain and the Commonwealth of Nations involved in organizing the festivities. For many, the occasion is the first opportunity for a big bouquet since the start of the coronavirus pandemic more than two years ago.

“I know that many happy memories will be created on these festive occasions,” Elizabeth said. “I am still inspired by the goodwill shown to me, and I hope that the coming days will provide an opportunity to reflect on all that has been achieved over the past seventy years, and we look to the future with confidence and enthusiasm,”

Congratulations have arrived from world leaders. French President Emmanuel Macron has described Elizabeth as the “golden thread that connects our two countries” and one of the “very few constants” on the international scene.

Former US President Barack Obama referred to the Queen’s “blessing and generosity” during his first visit to the palace. He said he “learned a lot from seeing the example you set for all of us who had the honor to serve.”

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“Your life has been a gift, not only to the United Kingdom but to the world,” Obama said in a video message, adding, “I hope the light of your crown continues to dominate.”

The first event of the weekend, Trooping the Color, refers to the flag of the cohort, or “color,” that is mobilized through the ranks. Britain’s annual tradition of the Queen’s Birthday is a ceremonial reenactment of the way soldiers were once displayed battle flags to ensure they would recognize a crucial rally point if they became disoriented in combat.

Each year, a different unit in the Army’s home division has the honor to enlist their color. The spotlight will be on the 1st Battalion of the Irish Guards during the Platinum Jubilee.

Cheers and hooves rang out on Thursday as horse-drawn carriages ferried members of the royal family, including Prince William’s wife Kate, and their children Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis, from Buckingham Palace to Horseguards Parade, a celebration. The procession is about one kilometer (0.6 miles) away.

The Queen is expected to appear twice on the balcony of Buckingham Palace Thursday, but Prince Charles She played a major role during the event. He climbed on horseback and saluted on behalf of his mother of the ranks of the guards clad in scarlet, along with his sister Princess Anne and son Prince William.

Elizabeth has had trouble moving around lately, and her entourage has been keen to make things as simple for her as possible.

Senior royals, including Prince Charles’ wife, Camilla, traveled in carriages to watch the ceremony from a building overlooking the parade grounds.

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The Duke and Duchess of Sussex joined other members of the royal family to watch the show. Harry and Meghan traveled to London from their home in California with their two young children to take part in the festivities.

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Follow the Associated Press’ coverage of Queen Elizabeth II at https://apnews.com/hub/queen-elizabeth-ii

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