The Queen’s 70th Jubilee is the biggest event in Britain. It starts on Thursday. All important events to read in the FOCUS Online ticker.
4.45 p.m .: Because of a corona infection, the second eldest son of Queen Prince Andrew is canceled for the further celebrations of his mother’s 70th throne anniversary. The Duke of York was expected to attend a thanksgiving service at London’s St. Paul’s Cathedral this Friday. “In a routine test, the Duke tested positive for Covid and will regretfully not attend tomorrow’s service,” a palace spokesman said on Thursday. Reportedly, Andrew has met his mother in the past few days. He is regularly tested and has not seen the Queen since the positive test, it said.
Andrew is arguably the most controversial member of the royal family right now. An American had sued the 62-year-old for allegedly sexually abusing her when she was a minor around 20 years ago. Andrew always rejected the allegations, he allegedly averted a civil lawsuit in the USA against payment of a sum of millions at the last moment. Since the allegations, Andrew has largely withdrawn from the public eye.
However, he is still considered the Queen’s favorite son, who at the end of March at the memorial service for her husband Prince Philip, who died in 2021, demonstratively let him lead her to her place. The gesture sparked criticism.
Because Andrew is no longer a “working royal” since his retirement, he was not seen with the Queen and his siblings on the balcony of Buckingham Palace on Thursday to kick off the anniversary celebrations.
4:27 p.m .: French President Emmanuel Macron congratulated the British Queen Elizabeth II on her 70th anniversary and emphasized her importance for France. In a video message on Thursday, he praised the monarch as a source of wisdom for French decision-makers. The French shared the love and respect the British had for the Queen. “You are the golden bond that binds our two countries together, proof of the unwavering friendship of our nations.” Politically, the relationship between France and Great Britain is rather tense.
In the speech, which was mostly in English, Macron said that France was grateful to the Queen for her courage. “You are our friend, our close ally, our example of service to others.” The Élysée Palace had previously announced that Macron was giving the horse lover Elizabeth II a stallion from the Republican Guard for the anniversary. With his elegance, his harmonious shape and his good mentality, the seven-year-old Fabuleu de Maucour is representative of French breeding. In addition, there is a saddle, bridle and a sabre.
3:35 p.m .: Queen Elizabeth II is actually the focus of the celebrations for her 70th jubilee. But in bright sunshine, her great-grandchildren almost stole the show from the queen. At first, tens of thousands along London’s boulevard The Mall followed with excitement, such as Prince George (8), Princess Charlotte (7) and Prince Louis (4) – the children of Queen’s grandson Prince William and Duchess Kate – in an open carriage from the palace to the parade ground Horse Guards Parade. Heads bowed in humility, the children took a salute on the way back.
Finally, Prince Louis in his sailor suit on the balcony of Buckingham Palace was the center of attention: standing diagonally in front of his famous great-grandmother, the boy grimaced. When dozens of fighter jets and helicopters of the Royal Air Force paid tribute to their commander-in-chief in noisy formation flight over Buckingham Palace, the fifth heir to the throne covered his ears and opened his mouth wide. The Queen took it with humor: smiling, she leaned down to Louis and chatted with him briefly.
2:53 p.m .: With a formation flight over Buckingham Palace, dozens of British Air Force machines honored the Queen on her 70th birthday. The Queen watched the “flypast” from Buckingham Palace with close family members including her sons Prince Charles and Prince Edward and grandson Prince William and their families by her side.
More than 70 Royal Air Force helicopters and aircraft, including Apache helicopters and Typhoon fighter jets, flew in the skies over London for a total of six minutes on Thursday afternoon. Machines that were involved in operations abroad were also used, as the Ministry of Defense announced. A good three times more planes and helicopters were involved in the formation flight than in the “flypast” at the last Queen’s birthday parade in 2019.
The major airport Heathrow in the west of the British capital was temporarily closed in order not to overload the airspace and to ensure safety.
2:06 p.m .: Duchess Meghan and Prince Harry are not allowed to appear on the balcony as members of the Royal Family who are no longer “working”. But they watched the spectacle from an office in Buckingham Palace. A photographer has captured a first glimpse of Meghan.
Read here: Personal SUV and security: Queen sends signs of reconciliation to Harry and Meghan
12.04 p.m .: The official celebrations for Queen Elizabeth II’s 70th throne jubilee began in London with the traditional “Trooping the Color” parade. Heir to the throne Prince Charles inspected the military show at Horse Guards Parade on Thursday on behalf of his mother. At his side were his son Prince William and his sister Princess Anne.
In bright sunshine, more than 1,200 officers and soldiers marched in red dress uniforms and the famous bearskin hats, while hundreds of military musicians played in honor of the monarch. The 96-year-old, who was recently ill, followed the spectacle at nearby Buckingham Palace.
Other royals made the short journey from City Palace in carriages, including Charles and William’s wives, Duchess Camilla and Duchess Kate. Surprisingly, William’s younger brother Prince Harry and his wife Duchess Meghan were also invited. Because the couple is no longer officially performing for the palace, it was not expected that they would be seen together with other royals on Thursday.
“Trooping the Color” has been held since 1748 as a birthday parade for the head of state. The so-called Household Division, the royal bodyguard, marches in honor of the monarch. Every year the colors – the “Colours” – of one of the regiments are paraded, hence the name. This year the focus is on the Irish Guards 1st Battalion. Prince William, as royal patron (Colonel of the Regiment), recently presented the unit with a new flag. The mascot of the Irish Guards, founded in 1900, is an Irish wolfhound, which also took part in the parade.
The Queen’s birthday is actually on April 21st. However, due to the generally better weather, she is sticking to the tradition established by her great-grandfather, King Edward VII, of holding the parade in a warmer month.
12.05 p.m .: Shortly before the start of the military parade in honor of Queen Elizabeth II’s 70th jubilee, at least four people disrupted the soldiers’ march. The animal welfare organization Animal Rebellion claimed the action on Twitter.
Three men ran onto The Mall boulevard and threw themselves on the ground in front of a military band on Thursday, TV broadcaster Sky News showed. Another man walked a few yards in front of the soldiers, holding up a sign that read, “Reclaim Royal Land.” Animal Rebellion advocates a nonviolent transition to plant-based foods and opposes the dairy industry.
Police ran over and dragged away the troublemakers, one of whom wore a mock crown. The men were arrested. The Queen enjoys broad approval in Great Britain.