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Diamond Jubilee: The Final Day

5 June 2012: A fitting culmination of four days of celebration.  Alas, the Diamond Jubilee ended in a grand yet utterly moving display of pomp and pageantry.

The royals, minus Prince Philip who is still in hospital for a bladder infection, gathered at St Paul’s Cathedral for a Thanksgiving Service in the morning. The Queen then attended a reception at Mansion House while other senior royals including Charles and Camilla were at a similar event at the Guildhall, with members of the thanksgiving congregation present at both.  William, Kate & Harry hosted separate tables during lunch.

Then came the anticipated carriage procession across London with an approximated one million spectators lining the street.  Due to Philip’s absence, the Queen rode the 1902 state landau with Prince Charles & The Duchess of Cornwall.  William, Kate and Harry took the other carriage.  The six of them  then appeared on the balcony of Buckingham Palace to see the crowds, enjoy a spectacular flypast and salute to the Queen.  I admit it was strange for the balcony looking quite bare — due to the absence of the Duke of Edinburgh and the rest of the extended family.  But it is a symbol of a slimmed-down monarchy; a sign of things to come.  As usual, the crowds were massive!  I have never seen such affection for the Queen or her family for a long time.  Unforgettable.

Later that afternoon, Her Majesty released a pre-recorded message of thanks to her subjects.  She called the Jubilee celebrations “humbling.”  What a great lady!  Long may she reign…

The Queen waves from the iconic balcony of Buckingham Palace.
A flypast culminated the celebrations.
Pictures: Getty Images (left), Reuters

The future of the Monarchy: William, Catherine & Harry
Picture: Getty Images


The Queen’s Jubilee message of thanks:




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Previous Days: Diamond Jubilee 2012:
>> Thames River Pageant
>> Buckingham Palace Concert

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Diamond Jubilee: Concert at Buckingham Palace

Another unforgettable day as we continue to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

The day started off with concerning news that the Duke of Edinburgh, 91 this week, has been taken to hospital because of a bladder infection.  Though precautionary, he’s expected to stay there for a few days and will therefore miss the rest of the Jubilee celebrations.  We can remember that the Duke also missed Christmas at Sandringham last year for a heart stenting procedure.  But, as the saying goes, the show must go on…


And what a show it was!  Robbie Williams, Kylie Minogue, Tom Jones, Elton John, Cheryl Cole, Grace Jones, Annie Lenox, Sir Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder were among the artists performing in honour of the Queen.

The highlight?  A moving speech by Prince Charles who, in behalf of “Mummy,” thanked the participants and organisers, and said his only regret is that his father couldn’t be there tonight.  “If we shout loud enough he might just be able to hear us in hospital,” he said, prompting a loud roar from the crowd and chants of “Philip, Philip.”  It was a visibly very emotional moment for the Queen as she tried to contain herself.

The concert ended with Her Majesty lighting the diamond beacon, joining 4,000 others across the UK to mark her jubilee.  Then, fireworks.  The most amazing display of fireworks over central London you’ll ever see.

Fireworks over Buckingham Palace mark the end of the concert

Prince Charles gave a moving speech as the Queen tried to contain her emotions

William, Kate & Harry enjoying the Jubilee concert. Picture: PA







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Diamond Jubilee: Thames River Pageant

Back to blogging, as promised, in time for Her Majesty’s Diamond Jubilee…

Sixty years on the throne. Sixty glorious years worthy of utmost admiration and reverence. June 3, 2012 marked the highlight of Queen Elizabeth II’s 4-day Diamond Jubilee celebration with a flotilla of 1,000 ships parading in the iconic River Thames. Sure, it bloody rained! Hard. But that didn’t deter the approximated 1.2 million people who lined river, threw street parties and celebrated with the Queen.


Her Majesty was on board the Spirit of Chartwell with the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Charles & Camilla, William & Kate, and Prince Harry.  The less senior royals were on other vessels.  The Duchess of Cambridge’s family was there too.  The Queen, despite the rain, stood for two hours, resplendent in her silver-white dress.  Happy faces all around.  Truly a day to remember.

God Save Her Majesty!

The Gloriana led a 1,0oo-strong fleet of boats through the Thames
The Flotilla has broken the Guinness World Record for the longest parade of boats.
Picture: Getty Images

A glorious 60-year reign for a most beloved Queen.  The Queen & Duke of Edinburgh were all smiles in the rain.
Picture: Getty Images

The Prince of Wales & Duchess of Cornwall popped up at a street party in Picadilly
The Duke & Duchess of Cambridge, aboard the Spirit of Chartwell, wave to crowds
Pictures: Reuters (left) & Getty Images
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The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebration continues…




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William & Kate Attend War Horse Premiere on the Eve of her 30th Birthday

William & Kate at the War Horse premiere. Photo by Reuters

It is the first official engagement for the Cambridges for 2012.  And it was the Kate’s last night in her 20s, too.  So what did she do?  She joined her husband to their first film premiere as a married couple — War Horse by director Steven Spielberg.

Royal-watchers might recall the couple watching the award-winning play on a date night back in December 2009.  Now turned into a film, the star-studded premiere was a fundraiser for The Foundation of Prince William & Prince Harry.  Hundreds of military personnel were also invited to the event. Ironically, it started pouring moments before William & Kate walked the red carpet, prompting them to share single transparent umbrella under the rain.  The Duchess once again wowed in black lace by Alice Temperley.

After the movie, there was a private reception at Buckingham Palace with William, Kate, cast members and other notables.  The price for mingling with royalty? £10,000 — for charity and the princes’ foundation, of course.

The next day, director Steven Spielberg said in an interview with BBC that Kate teared up during the movie (his wife had to pass her some Kleenex).  It tells a story of a boy and his deep love for his horse Joey (who by the way, also walked the red carpet during the premiere) set against the backdrop of World War I.  No word on William’s reaction on the heart-tugging film.

The Duchess of Cambridge celebrated her milestone 30th birthday privately.  It was reportedly a low-key dinner with William, family and close friends in the grounds of Kensington Palace near their London cottage.  None of those Pippa-and-Harry planned karaoke party stories turned out to be true.

From CBS about Kate’s year + interview with Victoria Aribiter:


The Duchess of Cambridge turns 30. Photo: Getty Images

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