It is 7 a.m. this Thursday, June 2. The Mall, the alley leading to Buckingham Palace, the center of British monarchy celebrations, is already well filled. Hundreds of Crown fans rolled out the Union Jacks, unfolded the camping seats and took out the crisps, to get a front row seat to the Trooping the Colour, the traditional military parade marking the Queen’s official birthday, which this year inaugurates the Platinum Jubilee, the celebrations of the seventieth anniversary of the reign of Queen Elizabeth II, scheduled until June 5. It is the first time that a British monarch has achieved such longevity on the throne.
Louise, Wendy and John arrived the day before from the Midlands and settled as close as possible to Buckingham Palace. By leaning a lot, we can see the famous balcony, where the queen, 96, is supposed to make an appearance at the end of the ceremony. “We are from all Trooping the Colour, but this one is very special, it’s the opportunity of a lifetime”, explains Wendy, wearing a Union Jack top hat. His friend, John, is also a Windsor fan: “I even attended the wedding of Diana and Charles, in 1981, at Saint Paul’s Cathedral. I saw everything, I had an impregnable place. »
At 96, the queen has “mobility problems” says Buckingham. She no longer moves without her cane and her public appearances are increasingly rare since the death of her husband, Prince Philip, in April 2021. She had to delegate to Prince Charles, her eldest son and future king, the care to pronounce the Queen Speech, on May 10, a speech launching the parliamentary session at Westminster, considered one of his main constitutional prerogatives. And, Friday, June 3, she should not attend the special jubilee service celebrated in Saint Paul’s Cathedral. Crowned on February 6, 1952, the day of the death of her father, King George VI, the Queen continues, however, to ensure weekly audiences with the Prime Minister (often by telephone) and to read “state papers”. , official documents sent daily by the Prime Minister’s Office and the Foreign Office.
See the Queen “one last time”
But on the Mall, the feeling that the second Elizabethan era is coming to an end (the first lasted from 1558 to 1603) is noticeable. Just like the marks of respect to the sovereign, almost general. “There have been many scandals in the Royal Family, but the Queen has never made a single misstep. She is a figure who embodies the continuity and unity of our country. We won’t see her for very long.” already regret Sarah James, a young woman who also came from the Midlands with her husband and their two little girls, dressed in dresses in the colors of the national flag. Many families are present, many children wait in the sun, hoping to see the royal family pass.
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