Four days of celebrations in the UK to mark the queen’s 60 years on the throne have drawn to a close.
Elizabeth II appeared on TV to thank all those who took part. It was a rare royal address. She normally only appears at Christmas.
“The events that I have attended to mark my Diamond Jubilee have been a humbling experience,” she said. “It has touched me deeply to see so many thousands of families, neighbours and friends celebrating together in such a happy atmosphere. Prince Philip and I want to take this opportunity to offer our special thanks and appreciation to all those who have had a hand in organising these Jubilee celebrations.”
The day had begun with a thanksgiving service at St Paul’s Cathedral. The absence of her 91-year-old husband Prince Philip, in hospital with a bladder infection, cast a cloud over the celebrations.
Hundreds of thousands had gathered in central London to see the queen draw the long weekend to a close.
As she stood on the balcony of Buckingham Palace surrounded by her close family, they were treated to a fly-past by a succession of aircraft including World War Two planes of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight and the RAF’s aerobatic team, The Red Arrows.
The Diamond Jubilee long weekend appears to have been a roaring success for the royals. Polls suggest the monarchy and the queen herself are at their most popular for decades.
But she is 86-years old, and there was a feeling among the revellers that they were witnessing something, the like of which will not be seen again for a generation.