Prince William tonight quoted Louis Armstrong’s song ‘What a Wonderful World’ as he paid tribute to the Queen’s efforts to help the planet during an environment-themed speech in front of Buckingham Palace for the Jubilee concert.
The Duke of Cambridge praised his grandmother for her ‘hope’ in the future of the planet during a segment of the Platinum Party dedicated to the environment and featuring Sir David Attenborough.
Prince William, who was greeted to the stage by people screaming ‘we love you’, also said he ‘feels so proud’ of his father Prince Charles and his grandfather Prince Phillip for their work in championing the natural world.
He echoed the Queen’s words from her speech to the Cop26 UN Climate Change summit, when she said working together in a ‘common cause’ always gave rise to hope.
Prince Charles later took to the stage where he paid a moving, personal tribute to the Queen, calling her ‘Mummy’ and thanking her for being there for the nation in good times and bad for 70 years.
In Prince William’s speech, he highlighted the efforts of ‘visionary environmentalists’ and went on to name broadcaster and naturalist Sir David.
Speaking on stage to thousands gathered in The Mall, Prince William said: ‘It’s my firm hope that my grandmother’s words are as true in 70 years’ time as they are tonight that as nations we come together in common cause, because then there is always room for hope.
‘Tonight has been full of such optimism and joy – and there is hope. Together, if we harness the very best of humankind, and restore our planet, we will protect it for our children, for our grandchildren and for future generations to come.’
Before the duke spoke, a pre-recorded message from Sir David was played featuring spectacular imagery of the planet with the Hans Zimmer orchestra playing a version of the Planet Earth II Suite as dancers from the Royal Ballet performed.
During the speech, Buckingham Palace was illuminated with images of nature and endangered animals, whilst the crowds held green-coloured lights.
Prince William tonight said the need to ‘protect and restore’ our planet has never been ‘more urgent’ as he paid tribute to the Queen during an environment-themed speech in front of Buckingham Palace for the Jubilee concert
Images of flowers and greenery were projected onto Buckingham Palace during the Prince William and Sir David Attenborough’s segment on the environment
The crowds heard archive recordings of the Queen speaking about the future of the planet in 1989 during her Christmas Message: ‘The future of all life on earth depends on how we behave towards one another and how we treat the plants and animals that share our world with us’
Mike Tindall, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Zara Tindall, Princess Charlotte of Cambridge and Prince George of Cambridge wave their Union Jack flags during the Platinum Party on Saturday night
Duran Duran performs during the Platinum Party at the Palace in front of Buckingham Palace, London, on day three of the Platinum Jubilee celebrations for Queen Elizabeth II
The crowds heard archive recordings of the Queen speaking about the future of the planet in 1989 during her Christmas Message: ‘The future of all life on earth depends on how we behave towards one another and how we treat the plants and animals that share our world with us.’
And an extract from the monarch’s Cop26 video message speech: ‘None of us underestimates the challenge ahead but history has shown that when nations come together in common cause there is always room for hope.’
Prince William said it was ‘great to see Buckingham Palace turned into a giant Imax screen’ after video and audio from the Cop26 message was projected on to the London landmark alongside images of Philip and Charles.
He went on to say: ‘While no-one’s grandmother thanks them for talking about their age, my own grandmother has been alive for nearly a century. In that time, mankind has benefited from unimaginable technological developments and scientific breakthroughs.
‘And although those breakthroughs have increased our awareness of the impact humans have on our world, our planet has become more fragile.’
He added the need to protect the planet had ‘never been more urgent’, but like the Queen ‘I am an optimist’.
His father, Prince Wales, took to the stage afterwards and told how the Queen had laughed and cried along with the country through the decades, as he hailed her ‘lifetime of selfless service’.
The future king, who was joined by his wife the Duchess of Cornwall, said, addressing the absent monarch, who remains head of state at the age of 96 despite her mobility problems: ‘You pledged to serve your whole life – you continue to deliver.’
In a touching moment, Charles spoke of his ‘much missed’ late father the Duke of Edinburgh, calling him ‘My Papa’ and saying the Queen’s late husband Philip was there ‘in spirit’.
The prince, who began his heartfelt speech with ‘Your Majesty, Mummy’ just as he did at the Diamond and Golden Jubilee pop concerts, told the Queen: ‘You have been with us in our difficult times.
‘And you bring us together to celebrate moments of pride, joy and happiness.’
He added: ‘You have met us and talked with us. You laugh and cry with us and, most importantly, you have been there for us, for these 70 years.
‘You pledged to serve your whole life – you continue to deliver. That is why we are here. That is what we celebrate tonight.’
He reflected on the Queen’s every-growing family, which now stretches to 12 great-grandchildren, and on her dual role as sovereign and royal matriarch.
‘Your family now spans four generations. You are our Head of State. And you are also our mother,’ he said.
Of Philip, who died in April 2021 and had been married to the monarch for 73 years, Charles said: ‘Your ‘strength and stay’ is much missed this evening but I am sure he is here in spirit…
‘My Papa would have enjoyed the show and joined us wholeheartedly in celebrating all you continue to do for your country and your people.’
As the prince delivered his Jubilee thank you toast, photographs of the Queen, personally selected by Charles, were projected onto the famous facade of Buckingham Palace.
Among them were ones he chose in honour of his late father showing Philip and the Queen as a young couple.
His images were also inspired by his own personal memories including when as a four-year-old, the same age his grandson Prince Louis is now, he watched his mother crowned at her Coronation.
Other historic moments included the Queen’s carriage ride down The Mall with Nelson Mandela in 1996 and the historic handshake between the Queen and the then-deputy first minister of Northern Ireland and former IRA commander Martin McGuinness 10 years ago.
Difficult times were referenced with a picture of the Queen’s ‘We will meet again’ speech to the nation during the coronavirus pandemic, and celebratory occasions with the Queen presenting England captain Bobby Moore with the World Cup trophy in 1966.
The prince’s biggest tribute was paid to the Queen’s pledge to serve her whole life, with photos and video of the monarch over the years meeting people around the UK and around the world.
‘These pictures on your house are the story of your life – and ours. So, Your Majesty, that is why we all say ‘thank you’,’ he said.
It was the public, Charles said, who inspired the Queen to keep going.
‘I know what really gets my mother up in the morning is all of you – watching at home,’ he said.
The prince declared: ‘The outpouring of warmth and affection over this whole Jubilee weekend – is our way of saying thank you – from your family, the country, the Commonwealth, in fact the whole world.
‘On behalf of us all, I wanted to pay my own tribute to your lifetime of selfless service.’
Their speeches came after the Queen delighted millions of viewers by appearing in a surprise comic sketch with Paddington Bear to kick-start the Jubilee concert.
The monarch and the famous bear – both much loved British institutions – tapped out the beat of the We Will Rock You anthem together on china teacups using silver spoons as a unique way of getting the celebrations under way.
The concert is the highlight of the third day of public events to mark the 96-year-old monarch’s record-breaking Platinum Jubilee with 22,000 people in attendance outside Buckingham Palace.
The Queen has delighted millions of viewers by appearing in a surprise comic sketch with Paddington Bear to kick-start the Jubilee concert. Pictured: Queen Elizabeth II and Paddington Bear having cream tea and a marmalade at Buckingham Palace
Motown legend Diana Ross, performing for the first time in Britain in 15 years, is a star attraction at the event, which is being held on a purpose-built 360-degree stage outside the queen’s central London residence.
With the special, secretly-pre-recorded humorous two-and-a-half-minute sequence played at the start of the televised BBC’s Platinum Party at the Palace, the unlikely duo set the rhythm for opening act Queen + Adam Lambert – who joined in on the main stage.
Elizabeth II and the digitally animated character met for a chaotic cream tea at ‘Buckingham Palace’ in the footage, with the Queen revealing she shares Paddington’s love of marmalade sandwiches and keeps an emergency stash in her trademark handbag.
The duffle-coat wearing bear showed the Queen how he ensured he always had his favourite treat on him just in case, lifting up his red hat to reveal his snack.
The Queen responded by revealing ‘So do I’ before opening her bag and declaring ‘I keep mine in here’ to show her very own ready-made supply of the bread and orange preserve staple.
Accident-prone Paddington was shown causing mayhem by accidentally depriving the understanding sovereign of another cup of tea and spraying cream from a chocolate eclair over a Palace Footman.
Party of two: The Queen performed a skit for the BBC’s Platinum Party at the Palace, where she and Paddington Bear chatted before she tapped along to ‘We Will Rock You’ by Queen to kick start the party and star-studded concert this evening
The bear congratulated the Queen on her reign of 70 years, saying: ‘Happy Jubilee Ma’am. And thank you. For everything.’
Incredible start: People gather along The Mall for the Platinum Party At The Palace concert outside Buckingham Palace
The bear from deepest darkest Peru congratulated the Queen on her reign of 70 years, saying: ‘Happy Jubilee Ma’am. And thank you. For everything.’
The modest Queen replied: ‘That’s very kind.’
It brought back memories of the Queen’s James Bond skit for the London 2012 Olympic opening ceremony, when the monarch met 007, played by Daniel Craig, and then appeared to parachute into the stadium, with the help of a body double.
Paddington and the Queen were pictured sat opposite each other in ornate chair at a table, laid for afternoon tea, covered with a white linen cloth in an opulent room.
Buckingham Palace said the Queen felt the opportunity to invite Paddington to tea was ‘too fun to miss’.
The Palace said: ‘Her Majesty is well known for her sense of humour, so it should be no surprise that she decided to take part in tonight’s sketch.
‘There was an interest in the filming and animation process and the opportunity to invite a famous bear to tea was just too much fun to miss.
‘While The Queen may not be attending the concert in person, she was very keen that people understood how much it meant to her and that all those watching had a great time.’
The Queen surprised millions of viewers by sharing a marmalade sandwich with everyone’s favourite animated bear
In a pre-recorded segment, Padding and Her Majesty were pictured sharing a marmalade sandwich at Buckingham Palace
Adam Lambert, center, from the band Queen performs with the Royal Marine drummers at the Platinum Jubilee concert
Adam Lambert, center, from the band Queen performs with the Royal Marine drummers at the Platinum Jubilee concert
Adam Lambert performing during the Platinum Party at the Palace staged in front of Buckingham Palace, London on day three
The BBC ‘s Party In The Palace kicked off with a spectacular appearance from Adam Lambert and Queen on Saturday night
Legends: During their opening number, Brian May incredibly appeared up from behind a golden stage on a huge platform as he rocked the guitar solo while Roger Taylor put on an incredible show behind the drums
Rock and Roll Legend: Queen’s guitarist Brian May performs at the Platinum Party at Buckingham Palace on Saturday night
Job done: Brian May leaves the stage at the Platinum Jubilee concert taking place in front of Buckingham Palace, London
What an atmosphere: The crowd in The Mall during the Platinum Party at the Palace in the front of Buckingham Palace
The film was kept under wraps for several months by Buckingham Palace, BBC Studios and Heyday Films/StudioCanal.
Actor Ben Whishaw voice Paddington, just as he did in the hit movies of the children’s story.
Those involved in the film, which was actually shot at Windsor Castle, praised the Queen’s wit and warmth during the process, saying she shone and put them all at ease.
Although the Queen is absent, the Royal Family are out in force this evening along with tens of thousands of fans at the star-studded Party at the Palace event – but the Duke and Duchess of Sussex will be missing.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their children Prince George and Princess Charlotte led the royal arrivals.
Prince William, 39, and Kate Middleton, 40, brought along their two eldest children as the Royal Family turned out in force for the historic concert in London.
Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall, Zara and Mike Tindall and Princess Eugenie and Princess Beatrice and their husbands are also in attendance.
Prince Charles and Prince William are set to take centre stage in front of a crowd of 22,000 to pay tribute to the Queen during the star-studded Jubilee concert.
The Duchess of Cambridge, Princess Charlotte, Prince George, the Duke of Cambridge, the Duchess of Cornwall and the Prince of Wales at the Platinum Party at the Palace as the show kicked off with a performance from Queen and Adam Lambert
The Duchess of Cambridge sits with daughter Princess Charlotte in the front row of the royal box for the Platinum Party at the Palace for the Queen’s 70th anniversary celebrations
Prince George of Cambridge and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge share a giggle during the Platinum Party at the Palace
Prince George and the Duke of Cambridge attend the Platinum Party at the Palace staged in front of Buckingham Palace
Princess Beatrice, Princess Eugenie and their husbands joined members of the Royal Family at the star-studded concert
The Royal Box: The Duchess of Cornwall, the Prince of Wales and the Princess Royal attend the Platinum Party at the Palace
The father and son – both future kings – will speak separately in honour of the monarch towards the end of the BBC’s open-air Party at the Palace show, staged in the front of Buckingham Palace.
Clarence House and Kensington Palace announced both Charles and William would address the crowds at the high profile event, which falls on the third evening of the four-day Jubilee festivities.
But Harry and Meghan, whose daughter Lilibet is celebrating her first birthday, will not be among those in the royal box.
A spokesperson for the couple, who stepped down as senior royals in 2020, said they were spending the day privately.
Others in attendance include Diana Ross and Alicia Keys are the Earl and Countess of Wessex and their children Lady Louise Windsor and Viscount Severn, the Princess Royal and Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence, Princess Beatrice and her husband Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi, and Princess Eugenie and her husband Jack Brooksbank.
Anne’s son Peter Phillips is joined by his children Savannah and Isla, while Zara and Mike Tindall, who spent the day at the Epsom Derby with Anne and Sir Tim, will also be there.
The Queen’s cousins – the Duke of Gloucester, the Duke of Kent and Prince Michael of Kent – with the Duchess of Gloucester and Princess Michael of Kent – and Princess Margaret’s daughter Lady Sarah Chatto and her family are also in attendance, along with a number of other extended family members.
Political leaders who have been pictured arriving so far this evening include Prime Minister Boris Johnson with wife Carrie, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer and Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his wife Carrie Johnson are pictured arriving at the BBC’s Platinum Party for the Palace as part of the Queen’s celebrations for 70 years on the throne
Wales’s First Minister Mark Drakeford and wife Clare, are pictured in front of Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer and his wife Victoria as they wait for the Platinum Party at the Palace staged in front of Buckingham Palace
Would I Lie to You regular, comedian Lee Mack, taking to the stage during a scene change, mercilessly poked fun at those seated in the Royal Box, particularly PM Boris Johnson and his wife Carrie.
‘Welcome to the party of a lifetime at the gates of Buckingham Palace,’ he began.
‘And I’ll tell you what…. Finally we can say the words party and gate and it’s a positive,’ to gales of laughter and applause from the crowd estimated at 50,000, stretching right down the Mall to Admiralty Arch.
The line-up: Who is performing at the star-studded Platinum Party at the Palace?
The star-studded line-up for this evening’s Party at the Palace is as follows:
Queen + Adam Lambert
Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber
Sir Elton John
Sir Rod Stewart
Sigala & Ella Eyre
But Mack hadn’t finished with the VIPS. He then initiated a call and response ‘ayo’ chant with different sections of the audience, but when it came to the Royal Box, he made the sound they were supposed to repeat impossibly complicated, reducing them all to fits of laughter.
Queen + Adam Lambert have delivered an electric opening to the BBC’s Platinum Party at the Palace concert with a selection of classic hit songs.
The act was introduced in a novel way as the Queen and Paddington bear initiated the beat of Queen’s We Will Rock You by tapping on China teacups during a special opening film.
American singer Lambert, 40, took to the stage dressed in a black and gold embellished coat to continue the beat alongside the Royal military band.
The rock band’s guitarist Brian May made another memorable entrance on stage by being raised from beneath the stage while shredding on his guitar.
May created a classic moment 20 years ago, during the 2002 Golden Jubilee celebrations, when he performed God Save The Queen on Buckingham Palace’s roof.
The rock group also performed Don’t Stop Me Now to a crowd of cheering fans as multi-coloured lights flashed across the stage.
Princess Charlotte and Prince George were also seen waving their Union Jack flags along to the song We Are The Champions as they sat in the Royal Box at the front in between their parents.
They were followed by Jax Jones who opened his set with his song You Don’t Know Me while sitting in a bed, which he previously said was in tribute to people making music from their bedrooms.
Behind him was a mock-up English Heritage blue plaque on a screen which read: ‘Jax Jones Bedroom Producer SE23 lives here.’
He then introduced rapper Stefflon Don, singer Mabel and musician John Newman – who joined him for different songs
Elbow followed up with a performance of One Day Like This alongside the Citizens of the World Choir, before Ashley Banjo and his dance troupe Diversity took to the stage.
They delivered an energetic routine to a number of British songs popular throughout the Queen’s reign.
Moving from the sixties to the songs of today, the group danced to The Beatles’ She Loves You, the Bee Gees’ Night Fever and David Bowie’s Let’s Dance.
They then danced to the Spice Girls’ Spice Up Your Life, One Direction’s What Makes You Beautiful and Stormzy’s Big For Your Boots.
Rapper and singer Craig David also performed his songs Ain’t Giving Up, Re-Rewind and Fill Me In – while rising star Mimi Webb sang her single House On Fire.
Earlier this evening, Eurovision star Sam Ryder and Diversity’s Ashley Banjo were among the stars who praised the Queen’s service ahead of their performances this evening.
Ryder, who was runner-up in the recent Eurovision song contest while representing the UK, is among the star-studded line-up who will entertain a live crowd of 22,000 people and a television audience of millions.
Speaking backstage about the monarch’s 70 years on the throne, Ryder, 32, said he feels it is ‘so selfless to give your entire life to that service’.
He added: ‘How many of us could say that we could do that? It’s breathtaking. The way that she carries herself, it reminds us that strength can be gentle.
‘I think that’s so important, to me all the time. To carry yourself in a way where you’re bringing so many people together in unity and solidarity but doing it with such a subtle kindness.’
The singer revealed that he got the call to do the Jubilee concert while on the bus home from Eurovision last month, which left him feeling like he was ‘overflowing with joy’.
Banjo, 33, performed with his dance troupe Diversity during the concert, in a sequence that celebrated Britain’s role in shaping music during Her Majesty’s reign.
Speaking before their performance, Banjo said that to describe the Queen as an ‘icon’ is an understatement, adding: ‘She’s just an extremely special person, such a unique human for the country and the world.’
Introducing a musical theatre segment of the concert, Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber kick-started five musical performances with a short duet American composer Lin Manuel Miranda.
Lord Webber said: ‘Your Majesty, your reign has outrun any theatre in history, an extraordinary achievement.’
Performances featured songs from musicals including Hamilton and The Lion King.
Fireworks: Jax Jones performs at the Platinum Jubilee concert taking place in front of Buckingham Palace
Mabel, center, performs at the Platinum Jubilee concert taking place in front of Buckingham Palace, London
Soaking up the atmosphere: Guy Garvey of the band Elbow performs at the Platinum Party at Buckingham Palace on June 4
Through the ages: Diversity performing during the Platinum Party at the Palace staged in front of Buckingham Palace
In synch: Diversity performing in front of Buckingham Palace, London on day three of the Platinum Jubilee celebrations
Stefflon Don performs during the Platinum Party at the Palace staged in front of Buckingham Palace, London
Pictured: Andrew Lloyd Webber (left) and Lin-Manuel Miranda performing during the Platinum Party at the Palace
Queen guitarist Brian May and drummer Roger Taylor paid tribute to the monarch, who did not attend the party, before they took to the stage, describing her as an ‘incredible woman’ and hinting at the Paddington moment said she was a ‘very good sport’.
Singer Sam Ryder, who came second in the Eurovision contest, wore a Union Jack jumpsuit as he sang ‘Space Man’ to cheers from the crowd.
The crowd became animated and waved their hands in the air as flames and smoke were let off from the stage, whilst Prince Charles was seen clapping after the set.
Ryder was closely followed by George Ezra who performed his songs Green Green Grass and Shotgun. However, he appeared to drop the lyrics ‘on the day that I die’ during the first performance.
The Duke of Cambridge was seen turning around and laughing in the royal box. Ezra told the crowd it was ‘an honour’ to play for them.
Sir Rod Stewart, wearing a yellow suit, sang ‘Sweet Caroline’ as the joyous crowd waved their flags and cheered. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their children could be seen singing along to the song.
William and his son George sang the song from the royal box, as did Kate. Welcomed to the stage as a ‘rock legend’, Sir Rod urged the crowd to join in as he performed. He also sang Baby Jane.
Sir Rod Stewart, wearing a yellow suit, sang ‘Sweet Caroline’ as the joyous crowd waved their flags and cheered
Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Princess Charlotte of Cambridge, Prince George of Cambridge, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall during the Platinum Party at the Palace in front of Buckingham Palace on Saturday
Singer Sam Ryder, who came second in the Eurovision contest, wore a Union Jack jumpsuit as he sang ‘Spaceman’ to cheers from the crowd.
Sam Ryder performing during the Platinum Party at the Palace staged in front of Buckingham Palace, London, on Friday
Duran Duran and Nile Rodgers perform during the Platinum Party at the Palace staged in front of Buckingham Palace
Alicia Keys performs at the Platinum Jubilee concert taking place in front of Buckingham Palace on Saturday night
Prince William cheers and waves his flag during the Platinum Jubilee concert in front of Buckingham Palace on Saturday night
Meanwhile, athletes Tom Daley and Jessica Ennis-Hill took to the stage and told of their pride at representing the UK at the Olympics.
Diver Daley said: ‘When we see that flag going up the flagpole, we know that the whole country helped send us victorious.’
Ennis-Hill said it was a ‘priceless’ feeling to have made the Queen feel proud.
It came after rapper and actor Doc Brown told of the country’s sporting achievements.
Duran Duran have given a colourful performance on stage as they paid homage to British fashion. As the new wave band performed their hit song Girls On Film, a catwalk of models paraded down a walkway in extravagant outfits.
The segment opened with a projection onto Buckingham Palace of the Queen, showcasing her style over her 70-year reign.
The Duchess of Cambridge meanwhile swayed side-to-side as Duran Duran performed their hit Notorious. The band was accompanied by performers Nile Rodgers and Ms Banks as they then played their single Girls On Film.
Inspiration from traditional monarch style could be seen in the outfits, including crowns and trains galore.
The outfits also included a nod towards the corseted structured dresses of days gone by, revamped with loud colours and floral prints.
Regal-style dresses with volume in vibrant colours of hot pink and electric yellow also featured.
Singer Alicia Keys performed her song Superwoman, which the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall were seen applauding to. Keys then sang her song Girl On Fire.
Speaking to the crowd, she said: ‘You know when I’m in London, I feel like I’m home. It reminds me so much of New York. I love you London.’
She then played a transition of the City Of Gods before Empire State Of Mind.
Keys told the crowd: ‘If you believe in hope, this song is for you. We’re never going to let go of you.’
Throughout the Platinum Party, celebrities – including Daniel Craig, Sir Paul McCartney and Dame Julie Andrews – have appeared in pre-recorded video clips to express their appreciation of the Queen’s service over her 70-year reign.
As part of the special Jubilee event, film footage of the Queen at her coronation was played with a voiceover of the monarch saying: ‘When I was 21 I pledged my life to the service of our people and I asked for God’s help to make good that vow. I do not regret nor retract one word of it.’.
It was followed by pre-recorded video messages from famous faces who spoke of their love for the monarch.
James Bond star Craig said: ‘Your Majesty, thank you for your continued presence in our lives, for your leadership, and for your unwavering grace and poise.
The actor, 54, also referenced the memorable sketch from the London 2012 Olympic Games opening ceremony where it looked like Craig had jumped out of a helicopter with the Queen.
Recalling the moment, he added: ‘I will follow you anywhere Mam, out of any helicopter door.’
Beatles star Sir Paul, 79, paid his respects to the monarch by saying: ‘I love you like many other people, so congratulations and thank you for 70 beautiful years.’
While former US First Lady Michelle Obama praised the Queen for the kindness she had shown her and her family.
She said: ‘I want to thank you for your genuine warmth to our entire family.
‘Whether you were welcoming a nervous First Lady to Buckingham Palace for the first time, or your extraordinary kindness toward our children.
‘I feel deeply honoured to have spent time with you over the years. Thank you Ma’am, for your remarkable example.’
Broadcasters Roman Kemp and Kirsty Young will lead the BBC’s live coverage of the event, which is being broadcast on BBC One, BBC iPlayer and BBC Radio 2.
Reflecting on the Queen’s reign, Kemp, 29, said: ‘People don’t understand the actual service that gets put in sometimes, I think.
‘Over that amount of time, the things that she’s done for the country, in terms of bringing awareness to certain causes, bringing awareness to things that need to be shouted about and being able to back it up, whether it be finances or press or whatever, it’s been amazing.’
He also noted the tourism that the monarch brings to the UK, adding: ‘She basically travels to countries all around the world showing who we are as Brits and that’s something that should never be snubbed and it should be celebrated.’
The Royal Ballet will also feature during the special concert, with ballet dancer Lauren Cuthbertson saying it is ‘the most incredible feeling’ to have been selected to perform in honour of the Queen.
Other famous faces from the worlds of sport, stage and screen who are part of the event include Sir David Attenborough, tennis star Emma Raducanu, David Beckham, Stephen Fry and Dame Julie Andrews, with the evening also featuring a specially recorded performance from Sir Elton John.
George Ezra hailed the Queen’s 70-year reign as sovereign as ‘admirable’ and ‘mindblowing’ ahead of performing at the BBC’s Platinum Party at the Palace concert.
The singer, 28, said he feels ‘very flattered’ to be among the line-up, noting that this event will rank in his career highlights alongside playing the main stage at Glastonbury.
Ashley Banjo, Perri Kiely and Jordan Banjo of Diversity attend the BBC Platinum Party at Palace backstage press room, London, on day three of the Platinum Jubilee celebrations for Queen Elizabeth II
A look at what’s coming: Nile Rodgers took fans behind-the-scenes of the the Queen ‘s Platinum Jubilee Party on Saturday
Reflecting on the Queen’s reign backstage at the event, Ezra said: ‘I was watching the other day a clip that kind of showed every prime minister that she has worked with, and this is my ignorance, but I just hadn’t realised how far back it was.
‘And then when we think about the fact that this is the 70th Jubilee, that’s unbelievable because of course in my life, she will have always been the monarch.
‘I think it’s admirable, I think it’s mind-blowing actually.’
Andrea Bocelli has said that when he previously met the Queen, he thought she was ‘very smart’ and ‘kind’.
Speaking backstage at the BBC’s Platinum Party at the Palace concert, the Italian operatic tenor, 63, said that he also really liked the monarch’s accent.
Composer Hans Zimmer has recalled accidentally insulting the Queen when he was a child, and joked that if she remembers this he might be cut from the Platinum Party at the Palace programme.
Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries and Home Secretary Priti Patel smile and take photos as they take their seats outside Buckingham Palace for a star-studded concert tonight
Speaking backstage at the event, he said: ‘I’ve met her a couple of times. I remember when I was tiny, when I was three or four years old, and I sort of insulted her.
‘Because I was introduced to her and I looked at her and I stared at her and I said: ‘You’re not the Queen,’ and she goes: ‘Why not?’ And I say: ‘You’re not wearing a crown,’ which to a three-year-old makes perfect sense.
‘So maybe she remembers – maybe I’m going to get cut out of the programme tonight.’
The Oscar-winning composer also revealed that he knows the Queen is a pianist and hopes that she and the whole country enjoys the special Jubilee concert.
Excited ticket holders queue for up to 12 hours ahead of star-studded Party at the Palace TONIGHT
Excited ticket-holders have queued for up to 12 hours before tonight’s star-studded Platinum Party at the Palace, enjoying a festive atmosphere despite the long wait.
Many in the long line of people couldn’t wait for the party to start as they wore Union Jack hats, waistcoats and dresses in the Green Park sunshine near Buckingham Palace.
The front-runners in the buzzing crowd of fans were Gerry and Mandy Haines from Hornchurch, Essex, who raced to the front of the 15,000-strong queue at 7.30am.
‘We want to see Queen and Adam Lambert, the opening act,’ said Gerry, 65. ‘We’d also like to see the other Queen of course, but I don’t think she’ll be there tonight.’
Added Mandy, 48, wearing a ‘Bri-Army’ T-shirt: ‘I love Queen and Brian May, but I also love the real Queen, she’s done a great job all these years and we’re overjoyed to be here to celebrate.’
As she spoke, Queen could be heard rehearsing in the background, with the strains of We Will Rock You clearly discernible more than 100 yards away.
Samantha Gee, 16, from Folkestone, Kent arrived about 10am – six hours before the crowd were allowed through to their seats at the open-air event.
‘I’m a massive fan of Queen and Adam Lambert but I just wanted to be here really,’ she told MailOnline.
The free tickets for the event were given to 22,000 lucky ballot winners, including 5,000 key workers.
One couple there several hours ahead of the event was David Hitchins and his wife, from Guildford in Surrey.
Mr Hitchins, a contractor, said: ‘I was gifted two tickets after I raised over £25,000 for the NHS. We’re so excited to be here and I’m very proud of what I’ve achieved.’
Teenager Samantha Gee arrived six hours before the gates are due to open, having travelled all the way from Folkestone
Pictured: Paul and Sam Hacquoil of Newquay, Cornwall, arrived at 10am and described it as ‘a once in a lifetime’ experience
Keen: Gerry and Mandy Haines (pictured) from Hornchurch, Essex, raced to the front of the 15,000-strong queue at 7.30am
Pictured: Members of the public in Green Park before the Platinum Party at the Palace in the front of Buckingham Palace
Excited crowds: Members of the public gather on The Mall ahead of the Platinum Party at the Palace on Saturday evening
Also waiting was Shane, 32, originally from Austin, Texas, who has been living in London for nearly four-and-a-half years.
He said being here and living in London over the Queen’s Jubilee is a ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ experience.
He said: ‘Being from America this is something totally different – we would never get this. It feels like a country-wide holiday and to have such a sense of community in such a big place, it’s just incredible to embrace this moment.’
Jubilee partygoers Mandy and Malcolm Tipple said they travelled from their home in Lincolnshire for Party at the Palace because they wanted to celebrate being British.
The couple wore Union Jack flags and matching face paint for the Buckingham Palace concert.
Mr Tipple, 65, said: ‘It’s fantastic. I’m ex-military and I’ve followed the Queen all my life.’
Mrs Tipple, 59, added: ‘I’m just proud to be British, so to be here for this is a dream come true.’
Lucy Morris, 39, and her son Lucas Wainwright, 14, travelled from Durham in north-east England for Party at the Palace – which the teenager described as ‘the best thing of my life’.
British Eurovision star Sam Ryder rehearsing outside Buckingham Palace ahead of the BBC’s Party at the Palace concert
Lucas, who had swapped his prosthetic leg to a ‘Jubilee-style leg’ patterned with Union Jacks for the occasion, said: ‘It’s an honour to be here.
‘I’m looking forward to seeing the royals come out.
‘They’re connected to God, they’re here to lead us as a country, as a nation. I think that’s very important.’
Paying homage to the rock band Queen, who will be performing at the concert, Ms Morris said: ‘He’s hoping to see the Queen, whereas I’m hoping to see the other Queen.’
Future kings the Prince of Wales and the Duke of Cambridge were planning to take to the stage to pay public tributes to the Queen during the three-hour concert.
Diana Ross, Queen + Adam Lambert, Alicia Keys, Hans Zimmer, George Ezra, and Eurovision 2022 runner-up Sam Ryder were among the celebrity acts preparing to entertain the live crowd and a television audience of millions.
Denise Holdsworth, 57, from Bradford, W. Yorks said George Ezra was the big attraction for her, but added: ‘It will be lovely to see Prince William as well.’
George Ezra has tweeted ahead of his performance this evening, writing: ‘Here’s something I never imagined myself saying… I’m playing at Buckingham Palace tonight for the Queen’s Jubilee!!
Excited ticket-holders queued for up to 12 hours before tonight’s star-studded Platinum Party at the Palace and enjoyed a festive atmosphere despite the huge snaking queues full of expectant fans hoping for a once-in-a-lifetime show this evening
Revellers arrive at The Mall to attend the jubilee concerts which will be held outside Buckingham Palace as part of the four day platinum jubilee celebrations
‘[T]une in to Platinum Party at the Palace from 7.30pm on BBC One for a huge evening of music and celebrations’.
Samantha Short, 43 from Gloucester said: ‘It’s just amazing to be here on such a special occasion. Even the queueing has been enjoyable, with everybody laughing a joking – the party’s already started!’
Both women were wearing Union Jack dresses and met in the queue for the event, which snaked throughout the park as far as Green Park Tube station.
Paul and Sam Hacquoil from Newquay, Cornwall, were also among the early birds, arriving at 10am.
Hospitality executive Paul, 50, said: ‘We wouldn’t have missed this event for the world – it’s once in a lifetime.’
Sam, 54, a property services manager, added: ‘The atmosphere is amazing and I’m really looking forward to seeing William and Kate.’
Fabricator John Jackson, 61 from Sheffield, said he’d been on ‘Cloud Nine’ since hearing that he and his wife Nerys had won tickets.
‘I was so made up when we got the email,’ he said. ‘It’s like a fairytale.’