Queen Elizabeth's Jubilee celebrations come to an end: When my son Charles becomes king, I know you will give him your support
Steph Deschamps / June 5, 2022
With a huge parade in the streets of London, the curtain falls Sunday on the celebrations of the 70th anniversary of the historic reign of Queen Elizabeth II, who has remained in the background due to her declining health.
Buckingham Palace did not say whether the 96-year-old monarch, who has difficulty walking, would appear again at the end of the parade, which will end in front of the palace with the national anthem God Save the Queen.
Some 10,000 military personnel, dancers, puppeteers and artists are expected to attend. The 260-year-old state golden carriage, traditionally used for weddings and coronations, will open the parade. The Queen will not be there, but digital images will recreate the magic of her coronation in June 1953, Buckingham Palace said.
Ed Sheeran is also expected to close the parade, for a tribute to the ever-popular Queen Elizabeth and her husband Prince Philip, who died last year.
Hoping that rain will not spoil the party, more than 10 million people are also expected to attend jubilee lunches with their neighbors on Sunday, joyfully celebrating the historic reign of a queen who is both close and mysterious, a reassuring symbol of stability in a century of great upheaval.
Many of those attending the four-day celebrations, which took place over a long bank holiday weekend, were aware of the historic dimension of the platinum jubilee. No British monarch has ever reigned for so long, and it is unlikely that this record will be broken in the future: Crown Prince Charles is 73 years old, his son William, second in the order of succession, will soon be 40.
Radiant but frail
Elizabeth II appeared on Thursday radiant but frail, leaning on a cane on the balcony of Buckingham Palace with 17 members of the royal family, to greet the tens of thousands of people massed near the palace.
But due to a certain discomfort, she was absent Friday at a religious service in her honor at St. Paul's Cathedral, with 2,000 guests including 50 members of the royal family.
On Saturday, this horse racing enthusiast did not attend the famous Epsom Derby, where jockeys had organized a guard of honor that went to Princess Anne who represented her. The Queen, who had hardly ever missed this event in her 70 years of reign, watched it on television.
Prince Charles, heir to the throne, is representing her more and more often.
The transition is underway, and although the Queen has no intention of abdicating, true to her 1947 promise to serve her subjects for life, she is preparing them for what comes next.
We look to the future with confidence and enthusiasm, she wrote to them at the beginning of the Jubilee celebrations. Already in February, when she had officially reached 70 years of reign, she had written to them: When in the fullness of time my son Charles becomes king, I know that you will give him and his wife Camilla the same support that you have given me. Elizabeth II had at that time decided a sensitive issue in the United Kingdom, the future title of Camilla, who will become queen consort.
However, the succession may not be easy, as Charles is much less popular than his mother, with 50% of favorable opinions against 75%. Only 32% of Britons think he will make a good king (YouGov, April 2022). And the monarchy has been questioned during recent trips by members of the royal family about the British Empire's slave-owning past.