London: The four-day celebrations to mark Queen Elizabeth II’s 70 years on the throne commenced on Thursday with thousands of people turned out in central London to witness the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee – an unprecedented event in British history.
The crowd cheered the Queen as she watched the Trooping the Colour parade – the military parade which marks the monarch’s official birthday — from Buckingham Palace.
In a Jubilee message, the Queen said she was “inspired” by the goodwill of the nation, the BBC reported.
Riding on horseback and wearing the Platinum Jubilee medal with his uniform, the Prince of Wales took the birthday salute from the troops on behalf of the Queen. However as the soldiers marched towards the Buckingham Palace at the end of the parade, the 96-year-old appeared on the balcony with senior members of the royal family.
In a statement ahead of the four-day Bank Holiday weekend, the Queen thanked the public for organising celebratory events and said “many happy memories” would be made.
“I continue to be inspired by the goodwill shown to me, and hope that the coming days will provide an opportunity to reflect on all that has been achieved during the last 70 years, as we look to the future with confidence and enthusiasm,” she said.
After the parade, more than 70 aircraft – including Spitfires from World War Two, Apache helicopters, Typhoons and the Red Arrows – took part in the flypast over Buckingham Palace. Several jets flew in formation to form the number 70 in honour of the Queen’s long reign.