Queen Elizabeth unexpectedly appears on balcony to end anniversary celebration

British Queen Elizabeth II made a surprise appearance on the balcony of Buckingham Palace on Sunday to close her off Platinum Anniversary Celebration

She appeared on the balcony with the two future kings: Prince Charles and Prince William and their wives, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge. William and Catherine’s three children, Princes George and Louis and Princess Charlotte, also appeared on the balcony.

The queen appeared only for a few minutes. She waved to the thousands of people in the National Mall singing “God Save the Queen,” according to BBC News.

Elizabeth, 96, has been forced to cut some appearances during the Platinum Jubilee, which marked her 70 years on the throne. Due to mobility issues, she was unable to attend thanksgiving services on Friday and a concert on Saturday.

As the celebrations drew to a close, Elizabeth released a message thanking the British people.

“When it comes to how to celebrate 70 years as your queen, there is no guidebook to follow,” the post read. “It is truly a first. But I am humbled and deeply moved that so many people took to the streets to celebrate my platinum anniversary. While I may not have attended every event in person, my heart was with all of you; and I remain me committed to serving you in the best possible way, supported by my family.”

Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee 2022 - Platinum Pageant
From left to right, Prince Charles, Queen Elizabeth II, Prince George, Prince William, Princess Charlotte, Prince Louis and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, stand on the balcony during the Platinum Pageant on June 5, 2022 in London.

Chris Jackson / Getty Images

She said she was “inspired by the kindness, joy and kinship” she saw this weekend, adding that she hoped “this renewed sense of togetherness will be felt for many years to come”.

Earlier Sunday, a hologram of the Queen appeared in a 260-year-old carriage, the same one she rode during her coronation, flanked by 200 horses marching through London to Buckingham Palace. The finale of the parade was closed by singer Ed Sheeran, who sang “Perfect” and dedicated it to Elizabeth and her late husband, Prince Philip.

At a concert Saturday night, Charles honored her as ‘Your Majesty, Mama’, then paid tribute to her ‘life of selfless service’. The Queen appeared in a pre-recorded video with Paddington Bear.

“You met us and talked to us. You laugh and cry with us and, most importantly, you have been there for us for 70 years,” Charles said as scenes from the Queen’s life were projected onto the palace walls. “You’ve promised to serve all your life – you keep delivering. That’s why we’re here. That’s what we’re celebrating tonight.”

William prefaced his father with comments that underlined the Queen’s longstanding commitment to the environment as he stressed the need to fight climate change.

Elizabeth’s 70 years on a throne makes her the longest-serving monarch in British history, followed by Queen Victoria, who reigned for over 63 years. The longest-serving monarch in history is the French King Louis, who reigned for 72 years, and the Thai Bhumibol Adulyadej sat on the throne for more than 70 years (and more days than the Queen).

The family drama has so far failed to overshadow the Queen’s celebrations. Her estranged grandson, Prince Harry and his wife Meghan attended the thanksgiving service on Friday, while the rest of the family wished their daughter, Lilibet, a happy first birthday on social media.

The only one who seemed to steal the show from Elizabeth so far was her four-year-old great-grandson, Louiswhose response to loud planes flying overhead has been observed around the world.

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