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Jubilee crowds turn London red, white and blue

/ 07:19 PM June 02, 2022
Jubilee crowds turn London red, white and blue

Britain’s Prince Charles, Prince of Wales (L), Britain’s Prince William, Duke of Cambridge (C), and Britain’s Princess Anne, Princess Royal (2nd R) leave Buckingham Palace, on their way to the Queen’s Birthday Parade, the Trooping the Color, as part of Queen Elizabeth II’s platinum jubilee celebrations, on June 2, 2022, in London. – Huge crowds converged on central London in bright sunshine on Thursday for the start of four days of public events to mark Queen Elizabeth II’s historic Platinum Jubilee, in what could be the last major public event of her long reign. (Photo by Jonathan Brady / POOL / AFP)

LONDON — Carrying union flags and picnic bags, huge crowds massed Thursday near Buckingham Palace on a sunny morning, hoping to glimpse Queen Elizabeth II at the start of her Platinum Jubilee celebrations.

Some spent the night in tents just to secure a spot outside Buckingham Palace to watch the Trooping the Colour military parade and see the queen and other royals on the palace balcony.

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“It’s probably going to be the only time — or one of the only times – that the queen is going to be able to do this,” said Paul Fletcher, 55, who works for the National Health Service and had come with his family.

“It’s been 70 years on the throne for the queen. It’s never been known before and I don’t think it would ever happen again.”

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Kimber Beasley from the United States called the queen “a great example” for America and the whole world.

“It’s a part of history. How many times you get to see this?” she said.

Jubilee crowds turn London red, white and blue

Britain’s Princess Charlotte of Cambridge (R), Britain’s Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall (L) and Britain’s Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge (C) leave Buckingham Palace, on their way to the Queen’s Birthday Parade, the Trooping the Color, as part of Queen Elizabeth II’s platinum jubilee celebrations, on June 2, 2022, in London. – Huge crowds converged on central London in bright sunshine on Thursday for the start of four days of public events to mark Queen Elizabeth II’s historic Platinum Jubilee, in what could be the last major public event of her long reign. (Photo by Aaron Chown / POOL / AFP)

Union flags hung over the crowd barriers or stuck jauntily from headbands, while some fans wrapped themselves in the flag and painted it on their cheeks with face paint.

Some wore T-shirts in the red, white and blue national colors or sequined tops. Several men opted for a total look with union flag suits and hats.

Others added royal accessories such as coronets and mock-ermine cloaks.

READ: Queen Elizabeth offers thanks as Platinum Jubilee celebrations begin

‘Historic event’

One of the most enthusiastic royal fans was nine-year-old Lily from London, who came with her mother and sang the national anthem “God Save the Queen” and waved a flag while still on a London Underground train.

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“I hope I will be able to see the queen,” she said, starry-eyed, describing the monarch as “the most important person in the country.”

“She’s been talking about this jubilee non-stop for a couple of weeks now,” said her mother Jo, 38.

“We had to come to the parade today.”

Jubilee crowds turn London red, white and blue

Britain’s Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex (R), Britain’s Sophie, Countess of Wessex (2nd R), Viscount Severn (L) and Britain’s Lady Louise Windsor (2nd L) leave Buckingham Palace, on their way to the Queen’s Birthday Parade, the Trooping the Color, as part of Queen Elizabeth II’s platinum jubilee celebrations, on June 2, 2022, in London. – Huge crowds converged on central London in bright sunshine on Thursday for the start of four days of public events to mark Queen Elizabeth II’s historic Platinum Jubilee, in what could be the last major public event of her long reign. (Photo by Jonathan Brady / POOL / AFP)

For 61-year-old tree surgeon David Hare, the event was a moment of joy after grim world events. He said he has come out for all the royal weddings, too, sometimes sleeping outside the night before.

“I think it’s just great to have a celebration out there for the next four days… to forget about all those things for the day,” he said, citing “Covid and this sad, sad war in Ukraine.”

There was a long line for those able to obtain tickets for the seated stands – allocated by a ballot.

Among these were 65-year-old Gilbert Falconer, who had come with his wife from Scotland after striking lucky in the national ballot.

Jubilee crowds turn London red, white and blue

Royal enthusiasts gather on The Mall, leading to Buckingham Palace, in London on June 1, 2022 ahead of the Platinum Jubilee celebrations for Britain’s Queen. – Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II has been on the throne since she was 25, an ever-present figure for the lives of most people in Britain, as well as one of the most recognizable people around the world. She will celebrate her Platinum Jubilee over four days from Thursday June 2nd, for her 70 years of reign. (Photo by Daniel LEAL / AFP)

“It’s like winning the lottery for me,” said the ambulance service worker.

“We just want to show our appreciation for what she has done for this country,” Falconer said of the queen.

“She’s done such an amazing job through her reign.”

Daniel Marmah, standing in line with his wife and two children, called the day a “historic event.”

He said he admired the queen because she did “a really great job for all of the world.”

Jubilee crowds turn London red, white and blue

Britain’s Prince Charles, Prince of Wales and Britain’s Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall are driven along the Mall towards Buckingham Palace ahead of the Platinum Jubilee celebrations for Queen Elizabeth II, in London on June 2, 2022. – Huge crowds converged on central London in bright sunshine on Thursday for the start of four days of public events to mark Queen Elizabeth II’s historic Platinum Jubilee, in what could be the last major public event of her long reign. (Photo by Paul ELLIS / POOL / AFP)

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TAGS: Celebration, London, Platinum Jubilee, Queen Elizabeth
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