A waxwork of Britain's Queen Elizabeth is displayed in Blackpool Tower Ballroom during the Queen's Platinum Jubilee celebrations in Blackpool, Britain, June 5, 2022.
A waxwork of Britain's Queen Elizabeth is displayed in Blackpool Tower Ballroom during the Queen's Platinum Jubilee celebrations in Blackpool, Britain, June 5, 2022. Reuters / MOLLY DARLINGTON

Queen Elizabeth, flanked by son and heir Prince Charles and two other future kings, waved to cheering crowds massed outside Buckingham Palace on Sunday as nationwide celebrations to mark her 70 years on the British throne came to an end.

The 96-year-old monarch had withdrawn from several events during the Platinum Jubilee due to "episodic mobility issues". On Sunday afternoon she was greeted by huge cheers, trumpets and a rendition of the national anthem before retreating inside.

The cast of "Mamma Mia" then delighted the thrilled crowd with a performance of "Dancing Queen" on a stage outside the palace.

Wearing bright green, the queen smiled and waved as she appeared alongside Charles, grandson William and his eldest child, George. Charles' wife Camilla, William's wife Kate and their two younger children made up the unusually small family group on the balcony.

The appearance capped the final day of a four-day celebration which was marked on Sunday by a colourful and eccentric London pageant where military bands, vintage cars, dancers and celebrities paraded through the streets.

At the end of the parade - where performers dressed as animals, nuns, cake stands and people from every decade of the queen's reign - crowds surged up the Mall grand boulevard to stand before Buckingham Palace and wave Union flags.

Singer Ed Sheeran also performed.

The Platinum Jubilee events have also seen a military parade, a Royal Air Force flypast, a service of thanksgiving and a glittering concert.

The Gold State Coach that carried the queen to Westminster Abbey to be crowned in 1953 was part of Sunday's pageant, seen in public again for the first time in 20 years, after it was last used at the Golden Jubilee.

The queen was forced to miss a number of the events because of discomfort while travelling, the palace has said, issues that have recently caused her to cancel engagements.

She has reigned longer than any of her predecessors. Elizabeth ascended the throne aged 25 on the death of her father, George VI, in 1952, inheriting dominion over a Britain still emerging from the ravages of World War Two and with Winston Churchill as prime minister.

In total, there have been 14 UK prime ministers and 14 U.S. presidents during her reign; the Berlin Wall rose and fell; Britain joined and left the European Union; and its once-mighty empire disintegrated, replaced by a Commonwealth of 54 nations.

Opinion polls suggest a majority of Britons believe the monarchy should remain and a recent Ipsos survey found nine out of 10 respondents supported the queen.


Hundreds of thousands of royal supporters have appeared to watch the festivities and enjoy picnics in what is for many the first major national public event since the COVID-19 pandemic.

The pageant included more than 100 "national treasures" ranging from former soccer player Gary Lineker to model Kate Moss, runner Mo Farah and children's TV puppet Basil Brush.

A series of "Big Jubilee Lunches" were being held across Britain, as part of an estimated 16,000 street parties. Another 600 such gatherings took place across the globe, including in Canada, Brazil, New Zealand, Japan and South Africa.

Reflecting the country's quirky sense of humour, races were being held between Corgis, the dog breed beloved by the queen.

On Saturday the monarch appeared in a pre-recorded comic sketch with Paddington Bear before she tapped in time with the Queen anthem "We Will Rock You".

(The story corrects Ed Sheeran's name in paragraph 7)