Gary Barlow and Cheryl Cole on stage outside Buckingham Palace
12:00am UK, Tuesday June 05, 2012
A host of stars have performed at the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Concert in front of members of the royal family and thousands of fans.
Opening performer Robbie Williams dropped to his knees on the stage built around the Queen Victoria Memorial, outside Buckingham Palace, and declared: “Let me entertain you.”
Although Prince Philip missed the festivities after being taken to hospital due to a bladder infection, other members of the royal family applauded the singer from a VIP stand adjacent to Green Park.
:: Read the Sky News live blog from the concert at Buckingham Palace
Thousands of people waved Union flags as comedy actor Rob Brydon officially welcomed all those watching it near the palace or at home on television.
Brydon garnered chuckles from the royal enclosure after asking how they got such good seats.
“I hope you didn’t pay the touts for those seats,” he said.
Grace Jones multi-tasked – singing while keeping a hula hoop up
So many people descended on St James’s Park, next to Buckingham Palace, to watch the concert on a big screen, police officers declared the park full.
Those trying to make their way to the park from Victoria were being sent instead to Hyde Park.
Singers Jessie J and Will.i.am performed a duet, before concert organiser Gary Barlow and Cheryl Cole took to the stage for another song.
Veteran singer Cliff Richard then performed a medley of his hits over the decades, as a large screen backdrop showed scenes of the Queen as a young girl.
Other famous faces included singer Annie Lennox – wearing feathered angel wings – and Australia’s veteran performer Rolf Harris.
Performer included: Paul McCartney, Stevie Wonder, Elton John, Ed Sheeran, Jessie J, JLS, Kylie Minogue, Gary Barlow, Robbie Williams, Tom Jones, Shirley Bassey, Annie Lennox, Cliff Richard, Cheryl Cole, Alfie Boe and Madness.
Hosts included: Rob Brydon, Miranda Hart, Lenny Henry, Rolf Harris, Lee Mack and Peter Kay.
“I have met Her Majesty on several occasions and painted her portrait, which was the highlight of my career,” Harris said.
One of the most bizarre performances of the night came as Jamaican style queen Grace Jones performed her entire hit Slave To the Rhythm with a hula hoop, without it slipping.
The veteran singing star – wearing a black and red headdress throughout – kept going for four minutes, before letting it fall to the floor at the end of the song and bellowing: “We love you – happy birthday, our Queen.”
“It is a fantastic feeling being up here tonight for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee,” Welsh performer Sir Tom Jones said.
As he performed Delilah, Prince Harry and the Countess of Wessex were spotted singing along with the performer while waving Union flags.
The Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William during the concert
The Queen, wearing a beige jacket beneath a black coat, arrived at the VIP enclosure at 9pm to rousing applause.
She waved to the cheering crowd as she was accompanied to her seat by her elder son, the Prince of Wales.
Prince Charles then sat to the Queen’s left and Vice Admiral Timothy Laurence, the husband of Princess Anne, sat to her right.
Sir Elton John, performing in pink jacket and glasses, thanked Her Majesty before getting the audience to their feet.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, along with Prince Harry, sat behind the Queen and sang along to a high energy rendition of Crocodile Rock.
At one point a Mexican wave, started near Victory Arch, made its way down The Mall towards the palace.
As darkness fully descended, a video montage of footage from throughout the Queen’s reign were projected onto Buckingham Palace.
Legendary US performer Stevie Wonder dedicated his song Isn’t She Lovely to the Queen, before bringing Will.i.am back on stage to sing Happy Birthday.
During his performance of Superstition, he changed the lyrics to: “Celebrate, the Diamond Jubilee.”
The band Madness performed from the top of Buckingham Palace’s roof, singing their songs Our House and It Must Be Love, before comedian Peter Kay appeared on stage dressed as a beefeater.
After a performance by Sir Paul McCartney, the Queen was escorted to the stage by Prince Charles to light the last of more than 4,200 beacons – located across Britain and the Commonwealth – to mark her 60-year reign.
Before the lighting, Prince Charles made an emotional speech to “Mummy”, and remarked about how well the evening’s weather had improved.
The Queen smiled and made a remark to the Duchess of Cornwall about Sunday’s cold and wet weather.
He said: “The only sad thing about this evening was my father could not be here, because he has taken unwell.”
The prince joked with the crowd and said: “If you shout loud enough he might just hear us in hospital”.
Charles then led the audience in three cheers for the monarch. After the national anthem was sung by performers and audience, Prince Charles kissed his mother’s hand.
A final fireworks display, set to a diamond theme, was unleashed before the final beacon was lit.