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LONDON – It would have been very hard to top the mega explosion of love that followed Her Majesty when she appeared in the spoof a “James Bond” skit with Daniel Craig for the 2012 games, but she did it again — a brilliant opener with the Paddington Bear — a huge favorite with the Queen and Princess Charlotte, which really got the whole party at the palace to a cackling start. Then bang, the brilliant Brian May, Roger Taylor and Adam Lambert shook the ground with an explosive performance.
The royal family were 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 were missing.
This concert is the highlight of the third day of public events to mark the 96-year-old monarch’s record-breaking Platinum Jubilee with a record 22,000 people attending in person outside Buckingham Palace.
Motown legend Diana Ross performed for the first time in Britain in 15 years. She was the star attraction at the event, which was held on a purpose-built 360-degree stage outside the queen’s central London residence.
Among the royal attendees at Saturday’s star-studded live Jubilee concert, staged in front of Buckingham Palace were the Prince of Wales, the Duchess of Cornwall and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. Plus, the very first time Princess Charlotte.
Prince George looking all grown up and dapper, plus of course, with the cheeky air of being slightly awkward with his mom and dad in tow which was fun to watch.
Prince Charles and Prince William took to the stage in front of a crowd of 22,000 to pay tribute to the queen during the star-studded Jubilee concert — proving that whatever the media says the royals are more popular than ever — and this event truly showed the mega success of the Jubilee so far.
Other royals included 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.
The show was a fabulous array of stars and wonderful messages but one of the biggest cheers of the night came for the former First Lady of the United States Michelle Obama who spoke so kindly about the monarch.
Prince George and Princess Charlotte, along with Kate and William, really did enjoy the singing element of the show and looked so happy and really enjoying such a wonderful prestige event. What was interesting is that after a while Charlotte was beginning to get a tad tired and looked across at mom who smiled and whispered something in her ear which pleased the child who perked up no end.
What about the stars’ huge cheer for Rod Stewart? He is a mega royal favorite for William who dedicated Rod’s hit “You’re in my Heart” at his wedding to Kate.
Ross shone like a true star giving the crowd what they wanted which was her mega string of hits and how they lapped it up.
British stars like Craig David told me, “I have not been this nervous. I don’t think ever to be honest, but you want to do your best don’t you and yes, I hope they sing along.” Rest-assured, Craig, they did.
Chic star Nile Rogers told me backstage that “in terms of career honestly Neil this is the ultimate really there is nothing bigger than I am doing right now.” Turns out that Chic is a favorite of the royals as Catherine was chair dancing to the whole section of Nile’s hits.
Duran Duran, a favorite of the late Princess Diana, struck a chord with William without a doubt as the band told me backstage that her ringing endorsement of the band at the start of their career really gave the huge success thanks to her star power in the U.S. and “we were always so grateful to that, but we know she loved our music which was just a thrill.”
“Harry Potter” actor Stephen Fry bombed with his joke aimed against the government and this proved very embarrassing when looking towards the Royal Box who were in chat mode with the Prime Minister Boris Johnson so not really the time to attack him on stage to a worldwide audience. As one guest told me, “He bangs on about mental health and depression and then bullies the PM on the stage.”
The big hit of the concert was without a doubt U.S. singing legend Diana Ross.
Diana, who took to the stage in an incredible black and white tulle gown at Buckingham Palace to mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee for her first U.K. performance in 15 years, created a huge storm and the crowd went wild I mean really wild including Catherine who clearly is a fan after all we spotted her singing along to all the hits including the number one smash “Chain Reaction.”
Another legend on camera was Sound of Music star Dame Julie Andrews who famously got her royal break way back in 1948 at the Royal Command show singing for the Queen’s father George, the national anthem, and one that we know Her Majesty really enjoyed after all she was there too sat in the box. Dolly Parton got a huge welcome and the country diva particularly moved Prince Charles who is a huge Dolly fan.
Who was the real star of the show? It has to be the Queen – plain and simple nothing could top the opening sketch and at 96 she never fails to surprise. To see the delight on Princess Charlotte’s face when she saw the Queen with Paddington on the big screen was magical and how this will make a lasting memory for both her and Prince George.
It was royal history in the making right there at Buckingham Palace and I am thrilled to be able to share my memories with you about this once-in-a life-time event.
Finally, this was a testing event for Prince William, addressing the crowd and a huge worldwide audience must have been terrifying. On previous occasions, he would have turned to his younger brother Harry for support but while Prince William spoke with grace and candour, I am told the person who most wanted to impress was his father Prince Charles who wiped away a tear as his son spoke.
Catherine beaming along with George looking on in awe at his father. I wonder what Prince George really makes of all of this at such a very young age, Prince William though one day will be our king and he made us and the world proud.