Queen Elizabeth lights beacon for Platinum Jubilee celebrations
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Queen Elizabeth II appeared on the Buckingham Palace balcony alongside other members of the Royal Family as the Trooping of the Colour kickstarted Platinum Jubilee celebrations. The 96-year-old monarch, who was wearing a powder blue Angela Kelly coat dress with a pearl and diamante trim and a matching hat, made the public appearance to mark her 70th year on the throne just weeks after “episodic mobility issues” ruled her out of attending the State Opening of Parliament.
Eagle-eyed fans of the Firm would have spotted the Queen stepping out onto the balcony while clinging onto a walking stick.
The walking stick, which was personally delivered to the Queen’s equerry at Windsor Castle, was an “inexpensive but special gift” from the British Army.
The stick was handmade in mottled hazel and surmounted by a traditional heardwick ram’s horn, it has been reported.
The Queen was later seen holding onto another walking stick as she lit the first of 3,500 Jubilee beacons.
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Walking out from the Sovereign’s Entrance at Windsor Castle in a jade green Stuart Pravin crepe coat with a printed silk dress in shades of jade and taupe, Her Majesty triggered the lighting of the principal beacon.
Her grandson, the Duke of Cambridge, was stood some 25miles away at Buckingham Palace as the 69feet tall living Tree of Trees sculpture beamed in the capital.
Writing about the moment on Twitter, Prince William said: “The Principal Beacon of the Platinum Jubilee connects friends and family across the UK and the Commonwealth, lighting up communities around the world.”
The Queen used a walking stick for the first time in nearly 20 years last October as she marked the Royal British Legion’s centenary at Westminster Abbey.
She would use a walking stick yet again just two days later as she attended the sixth ceremonial opening of the Senedd at the Welsh Parliament building in Cardiff.
Despite lighting the principal beacon from her Berkshire address, the Queen will not attend tomorrow’s thanksgiving service at St Paul’s Cathedral.
In a statement issued on Thursday evening, a Buckingham Palace spokesperson said: “The Queen greatly enjoyed today’s Birthday Parade and flypast but did experience some discomfort.
“Taking into account the journey and activity required to participate in tomorrow’s national service of thanksgiving at St Paul’s Cathedral, Her Majesty with great reluctance has concluded that she will not attend.
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“The Queen is looking forward to participating in tonight’s beacon lighting event at Windsor Castle and would like to thank all those who made today such a memorable occasion.”
It is understood the decision was considered regrettable but sensible due to the demands tomorrow’s service would require.
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