Queen Elizabeth will miss a star-studded concert in her honour but she brought the house down when she appeared in a surprise video recorded with another British national treasure: Paddington Bear.
The 96-year-old monarch said she shared Paddington’s love of marmalade sandwiches in a surprise video, delighting thousands who gathered outside Buckingham Palace for the third day of a Platinum Jubilee extravaganza marking her 70 years on the throne.
Rock band Queen and Adam Lambert kicked off the open-air show outside the palace, and Alicia Keys, Duran Duran, Rod Stewart and opera singer Andrea Bocelli will follow. Diana Ross will close the show with her first UK live performance in 15 years.
Prince Charles and Prince William, the Queen’s son and grandson, will address a live audience of 22,000 and millions more watching on television.
The Queen has had problems moving around lately, limiting her public appearances in recent months. But her absence at the concert didn’t dampen the party atmosphere among the crowds.
The sovereign also opted not to attend the Epsom Derby on Saturday. Instead, she was represented at the prestigious annual horse race by her daughter, Princess Anne, who appeared in the royal box with her family as crowds cheered.
The Queen is widely known as an avid horse lover, and she has only missed the Epsom Derby a handful of times. On Saturday, five of her former racehorses were paraded, and 40 jockeys who have ridden for the Queen formed a guard of honour before the national anthem was played.
“She’s been breeding horses for over 60 years. She knows all the blood lines and she’s won lots of races and she’s very knowledgeable,” Frankie Dettori, who lined part of the course with fellow jockeys, told the BBC.
“I’m sure today she’ll find a TV and she’s going to watch it live, because she loves the Derby so much,” he added.
It was the second time in as many days that the Queen’s mobility issues have robbed crowds of a chance to see her.
On Friday, the Queen skipped a special service of Thanksgiving in her honour at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London. Palace officials said she had experienced “some discomfort” at events the day before, which included waving to huge crowds from Buckingham Palace.
Meanwhile, other members of the royal family travelled to Wales and Northern Ireland as part of celebrations across the UK
William and his wife Kate brought two of their three children, 8-year-old Prince George and 7-year-old Princess Charlotte, to Cardiff Castle in Wales before a separate concert in the castle grounds in honour of the Queen.
The Queen’s youngest son, Prince Edward, and his wife Sophie, Countess of Wessex, visited a 1950s-themed seaside funfair in Belfast. Edward tried his hand at pulling a pint of Guinness at a diner, while Sophie took in a ’50s and ’60s dance demonstration.