The Queen tonight walked to her seat at the first of her Platinum Jubilee celebrations where an all-star lineup including Dame Helen Mirren, Tom Cruise and Katherine Jenkins performed alongside equestrian, military and musical talent from all over the world.
Her Majesty, 96, was greeted with a standing ovation at Windsor Castle and was all smiles in the stands after taking her seat with the help of a walking stick – allaying health fears over her mobility.
There was continued applause as the Queen made her way to her seat in the royal box, flanked by Simon Brooks-Ward, 45 – a Territorial Army officer and friend of the royals.
The monarch wore a grey cardigan and embellished blue dress, accessorised with pearl earrings and a matching necklace, black loafers and a handbag.
She was joined by the Earl and Countess of Wessex for the show that reflected her life-long passion for horses. A tri-service guard of honour featuring the Coldstream Guards, RAF Regiment and Royal Navy was also in place for the Queen’s arrival which was signalled by the National Anthem being played by military musicians.
Phillip Schofield and Julie Etchingham hosted the much-anticipated open-air show staged close to Windsor Castle – the same location as Her Majesty’s Golden Jubilee, Diamond Jubilee and 90th birthday.
During the televised event, Prince Charles said about his mother, The Queen: ‘[She has always] Coped with so many different challenges and always being there in a remarkable way.’
The ceremony was staged by the Royal Windsor Horse Show which has been welcoming spectators for the past three days including the monarch who spent part of her Friday touring the show grounds after earlier missing the State Opening of Parliament.
Dame Helen Mirren, 76, and Tom Cruise, 59, led the theatrical production, which was broadcast outside of Windsor Castle despite the rainy weather.
Hollywood A-lister Cruise, who appeared to be mobbed by fans as he arrived for the production, said it is ‘a real honour and privilege’ to be a part of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations in Windsor.
He said: ‘What she has accomplished is historic. She has met presidents, world leaders, people from all walks of life. Not just Americans, but the world knows the dignity, devotion and kindness, that is what I have always felt about her. Someone that understands her position and has held it through a history that’s just been extraordinary the past 70 years.’
Queen Elizabeth II arrives for the A Gallop Through History Platinum Jubilee celebration at the Royal Windsor Horse Show this evening
The Queen, 96, walked to her seat at Platinum Jubilee celebration and smiled through the much-anticipated production
The nation saluted and cheered the 96-year-old monarch exited her Range Rover wearing a glitzy grey cardigan and embellished blue dress, accessorised with black loafers and a handbag.
The Queen has been invited to attend her Platinum Jubilee Celebration this evening where an all-star lineup of talent including Dame Helen Mirren, Tom Cruise and Katherine Jenkins will perform alongside equestrian, military and musical talent from all over the world
There was continued applause as the Queen made her way to her seat in the royal box, whilst holding her walking stick – despite ongoing mobility problems
Queen Elizabeth II was in fits of giggles after comedian Omid Djalil made a Guy Fawkes joke during the production
The 96-year-old monarch was pictured through the window of her Range Rover arriving for the A Gallop Through History Platinum Jubilee celebration
The Queen attended the event alongside her son Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, this evening
Queen Elizabeth and Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, arrive to watch the Royal Windsor Horse Show Platinum Jubilee Celebration in their Range Rover
Queen Elizabeth II laughed as she watched during the ‘A Gallop Through History’ performance as part of the official celebrations for Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee
Her Majesty appeared in good spirits as she watched the production that paid tribute to Her Majesty this evening
Phillip Schofield and Julie Etchingham are hosting the much-anticipated open-air show staged close to Windsor Castle – the same location as Her Majesty’s Golden Jubilee, Diamond Jubilee and 90th birthday. Pictured: The Queen appears highly amused at the theatre production this evening
The Queen was pictured taking a quick break to apply fuchsia pink lipstick halfway through the performance
The Queen sat next to Simon Brooks-Ward (right), 45, a Territorial Army officer and friend of the royals
Holding a blue handkerchief, the Queen pointed and smiled as the performance went on in her honour
Hollywood A-lister Tom Cruise said it is ‘a real honour and privilege’ to be a part of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations in Windsor
The Top Gun star was mobbed by fans as he arrived for the ‘A Gallop Through History’ performance as part of the official celebrations for Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee at Home Park on May 15
Tom Cruise greets an excited fan at the Royal Windsor Horse Show near Windsor Castle earlier today
Speaking about the monarch, Cruise said: ‘What she has accomplished is historic. She has met presidents, world leaders, people from all walks of life. Not just Americans, but the world knows the dignity, devotion and kindness, that is what I have always felt about her’
Tom Cruise is mobbed by fans as he attends Day Four of The Royal Windsor Horse Show this evening
Top Gun actor Tom Cruise (centre) at the Royal Windsor Horse Show in Windsor this evening
Speaking about the late Duke of Edinburgh, he added: ‘I was at a charity event that I was asked to speak at, and I was talking about pilots – he was telling me a wonderful story about how he landed a helicopter in Buckingham Palace. He’s amazing.’
Dame Helen, who won an Oscar for her portrayal of the Queen in the film of the same name, played Queen Elizabeth I as the show began by chronicling the events of the first Elizabethan age from the attempted invasion of the Spanish Armada to leading figures of the day like William Shakespeare.
The Herald, played by Omid Djalili, will narrate the performance and take viewers through time with each act reflecting on key moments in history, including Elizabeth I’s Tilbury Speech and James I and the Gunpowder Plot.
The Commonwealth and the four nations of the United Kingdom will be celebrated, while there will be military and equestrian displays from around the world including Azerbaijan, India, Oman, France, Norway, Switzerland, and Trinidad and Tobago.
Music will be provided by a 75-piece orchestra, with special performances from Keala Settle, Gregory Porter and Katherine Jenkins.
Other guests will include Andrew Lloyd Webber, Ant and Dec, Dame Joan Collins and Sir David Jason who will also pay tribute to the Queen’s 70 years of service.
Meanwhile, The Queen appeared to enjoy Trinidad and Tobago Defence Force’s steel drum display of Abba classic Dancing Queen during her Platinum Jubilee celebrations.
The troupe, dressed in white suits with green helmets, played a rhythmic version of the classic disco anthem which appeared to amuse the Queen, who was wrapped in a blue shawl with a blanket laid across her.
The monarch, who is celebrating 70 years on the throne, later clapped wildly after a drum-off between the Top Secret Drum Corps, who played at her 90th birthday celebrations, and the Royal Marines.
The display included juggling and twirling of drum sticks which later were set alight.
Cruise introduced what he said was ‘one of the most enthralling, thrilling, heart-in-mouth displays’ as he announced a performance by The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery.
Queen Elizabeth and Sophie, Countess of Wessex, watched members of The King’s Troop Royal Artillery perform during the Royal Windsor Horse Show
The Queen clapped and smiled as she watched each performance throughout the night on Sunday
Performers from Azerbaijan perform during the A Gallop Through History Platinum Jubilee celebration at the Royal Windsor Horse Show
The daring performance had the crowd on tenterhooks as trained professionals held fire whilst on horses
Top Secret Drum Corps perform during the A Gallop Through History Platinum Jubilee celebration at the Royal Windsor Horse Show
Tom Cruise introduced what he said was ‘one of the most enthralling, thrilling, heart-in-mouth displays’ as he announced a performance by The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery
Katherine Jenkins performed at the event on Sunday night wearing a stunning floor-length blue gown
The Queen looked on as Katherine Jenkins sang for the monarch’s ongoing Jubilee celebrations
Artists in different coloured tartan skirts performed during the Royal Windsor Horse Show in celebration of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth Platinum Jubilee
Later on the evening, the ceremony paid tribute to the late Duke of Edinburgh and his ‘love of carriage driving’ as his grand-daughter Lady Louise Windsor drove his exercise carriage around the arena – and the monarch appeared to look emotional
Keala Settle received cheers and applauses from the crowd as she was joined by a children’s choir to perform the track Shine
The Greatest Showman’s Keala Settle performs the song ‘Shine’ to open the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Celebration this evening
Celebrations: Dame Helen Mirren lead the star-studded cast for a theatrical television broadcast marking the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee
Dame Helen Mirren dressed as Queen Elizabeth I performs during the A Gallop Through History Platinum Jubilee celebration
The Commonwealth and the four nations of the United Kingdom will be celebrated, while there will be military and equestrian displays from around the world including Azerbaijan, India, Oman, France, Norway, Switzerland, and Trinidad and Tobago. Pictured: Dame Helen Mirren playing Queen Elizabeth I
Star: Dame Helen, who previously played the monarch in The Queen, will take on the role of Queen Elizabeth I
The Herald, played by Omid Djalili, will narrate the performance and take viewers through time with each act reflecting on key moments in history, including Elizabeth I’s Tilbury Speech and James I and the Gunpowder Plot
Omid Djalili performs in ITV’s ‘The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Celebration’ TV show this evening
He said: ‘It takes huge courage and discipline to do what they do, galloping with guns that were fired in the battles of the First World War, weighing one-and-a-half tonnes, with no brakes. The drive demonstrates absolute trust between horse and rider.’
The crowd clapped in time to the music as an orchestra played and the horses galloped around the arena.
The Queen appeared enthralled, showing gleeful smiles as her own horses were led around the open-air arena in Windsor to celebrate her Platinum Jubilee.
TV presenter Alan Titchmarsh said: ‘For 70 years there has been one constant heartbeat of this nation, and that heart belongs to Her Majesty The Queen.
‘As commander and chief of the Armed Forces, head of the Commonwealth, leader of the nation we are proud to live in. We sometimes forget that our head of state is actually a person, feels as we do, enjoys the things we do, and is very much a mother, grandmother and great-grandmother as well as being our monarch.’
Later on the evening, the ceremony paid tribute to the late Duke of Edinburgh and his ‘love of carriage driving’ as his grand-daughter Lady Louise Windsor drove his exercise carriage around the arena – and the monarch appeared to look emotional.
Titchmarsh added: ‘One of Her Majesty’s personal pleasures is horses and ponies in all their guises.
‘One thing the Queen takes great happiness from is her family’s involvement in her love, whether it be racing, eventing, showing rare breeds or just riding out in Windsor great park.’
Tom Cruise previously said he is looking forward to appearing in an equestrian extravaganza alongside a star-studded cast to honour the Queen’s 70-year reign. He was also positive about the weather, saying it ‘will be dry’ for the Queen.
Singer Katherine Jenkins described being part of the Platinum Jubilee celebration called A Gallop Through History as a ‘massive honour’ and said it would be an opportunity to ‘show our deep gratitude’ to the monarch for her decades of service
Looking tanned and relaxed, Cruise strode past spectators at the Royal Windsor Horse Show, which is hosting the performance, but when spotted happily posed for selfies.
Asked if he was looking forward to the show, where he is expected to announce an element of the performance, Cruise replied ‘absolutely’.
Jazz singer Gregory Porter was also spotted making his way backstage and joked he had not met the Queen and had only ‘waved’ at her.
Jenkins, who will sing at the end of the show, said: ‘It’s so amazing to be part of today, the kick-off to the Platinum Jubilee celebrations.
Pictured: Dame Joan Collins paid tribute to the Queen and her 70 years of service during the special televised event
Comedy duo Ant and Dec spoke about their admiration for the monarch during a short televised interview
Many A-listers including Sir David Jason and Andrew Lloyd Webber paid tribute to the monarch
Damian Lewis (left), Adjoa Andoh (centre) and Tom Cruise (right) stood as the Queen departed at the end of the ceremony
Actor Martin Clunes was also in attendance at the Queen’s Jubilee celebrations this evening
Queen Elizabeth II departs following the A Gallop Through History Platinum Jubilee celebration at the Royal Windsor Horse Show
‘It’s a massive honour, of course, to be invited to sing for Her Majesty at any time, but I think especially for the show this evening.
‘I’m a massive fan of hers. I think she’s, you know, so incredible, such a great role model and it’s nice to have the opportunity to all come together and show our deep gratitude for all that she’s done for the country and the Commonwealth.’
Comedian Omid Djalili, who will play a character called The Herald, as part of Sunday evening’s performance, said it is a ‘real honour’ to perform.
He said he believed the event was likely to spark pride in everyone from royalists to republicans, due to the level of admiration people have for the Queen.
He said: ‘I think anyone watching this show, even if they’re a staunch republican or if they’re a royalist, they will feel pride in being British.
‘And I think there’s no denying, you know, especially having seen The Crown, you can’t not feel affection for a woman who came on the throne and then said, ‘I promise however long I live, be it long or short, that I will serve my people and serve my country’ and the fact that she’s done that, even when people have behaved badly all around her, she has been very steadfast and very true to her word.
‘So from a human point of view, you have to respect that – that she’s done everything that she said in the last 70 years.’
It comes after the Queen was pictured at her first public appearance since missing the State Opening of Parliament on Friday.
The 96-year-old monarch (pictured Friday) has been beset with mobility problems but was walking around with a stick, and her son Edward, as her jubilee approaches
The Queen made a secret trip to see her own horses as she missed the first day of the Royal Windsor Horse Show (pictured at the event in 2011)
It comes after the Queen made her first public appearance since missing the State Opening of Parliament on Friday. Pictured: The Queen celebrates her 96th birthday on April 21
Her Majesty was back on her feet and brimming with excitement as she visited the Royal Windsor Horse Show – one of her favourite events of the year – despite ongoing mobility problems.
The monarch, wearing sunglasses, pink lipstick and dressed casually in a white blouse and dark cardigan, looked in good health and spirits as she watched her horse Balmoral Leia compete at the show that marks the beginning of her official Platinum Jubilee celebrations.
Her Majesty was clapped and cheered as she arrived in her Range Rover and wound down her window to chat animatedly to fellow festival-goers having never missed the event in the past 79 years.
The Royal Windsor Horse Show crowds looked equally thrilled to see her at the event also beloved by her husband of 73 years, Prince Philip, who died last April at the age of 99.
After missing the Queen’s Speech on Tuesday on doctor’s orders as she struggles to walk or stand for long periods, Her Majesty initially chose to stay in the passenger seat of her Range Rover, where she spoke to passers-by and watched horses in the parade ring.
And after an hour or so, with the aid of a stick, she walked slowly around 30ft to her seat in the grandstand between her son Prince Edward and Penny Knatchbull, Countess Mountbatten of Burma. And the Queen looked pleased as punch to be there.
Edward’s wife Sophie, Countess of Wessex, was also there to support the monarch, whose highland pony won first place, securing her a trophy. Her Majesty also watched with pride as her granddaughter Lady Louise Windsor, driving the Duke of Edinburgh’s carriage, led the Fell Pony Society centenary parade.
Shortly afterwards the Queen walked unaided to her Range Rover, waving to cheering crowds as she headed back to Windsor Castle.
Celebrations for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee will include the Red Arrows performing overhead at RAF Cosford, jousting at Hampton Court Palace and Sir Elton John performing at a special concert at Buckingham Palace. Pictured: The Queen cuts a cake to celebrate the start of the Platinum Jubilee on February 5 2022
Huge events are taking place across the country to celebrate the Queen ‘s 70-year reign. Pictured. standing on the balcony, members of the Royal Family, left to right: Vice Admiral Timothy Laurence; Princess Anne; Prince Andrew; Camilla Duchess of Cornwall; Queen Elizabeth II; Prince Charles; Prince Harry; Meghan, Duchess of Sussex; Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge (with Princess Charlotte and Prince George) and Prince William
The monarch was last seen in public when she attended a service commemorating the life of her late husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, in March with senior royals and a congregation of hundreds.
She reached her Platinum Jubilee in February, overcame a bout of Covid after testing positive that month, and celebrated her 96th birthday on April 21 privately at her Sandringham estate.
Last October, she spent a night in hospital and over the following three months was under doctors’ orders to only conduct light duties so missed a number of prominent events.
The Queen has been using a walking stick in public since she attended a service marking the centenary of the Royal British Legion last October.
It came as this week the Queen dramatically pulled out of the State Opening of Parliament for the first time in 59 years because of her increasing mobility issues. Prince Charles read her speech for the first time, accompanied by Prince William, who had never attended before.
And it has been revealed that Beatrice and Edo, as well as Princess Eugenie, 32, and her husband Jack Brooskbank, along with several other royals, won’t make an appearance on the balcony of Buckingham Palace during the Queen’s Jubilee celebrations.
The balcony appearance, which is often seen as the centrepiece of major royal occasions, including Trooping the Colour and weddings, usually sees the Queen’s extended family gather to watch a flypast and is a rare chance for fans to see the entire extended family together.
Following his ejection from public life, after settling a civil court case in America over allegations of sexual abuse against Virginia Giuffre (which he vehemently denies), it was inconceivable that Beatrice and Eugenie’s father Prince Andrew would be given a spot.
The monarch was last seen in public when she attended a service commemorating the life of her late husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, in March with senior royals and a congregation of hundreds
Queen Elizabeth is photographed at Sandringham House to mark the start of her Platinum Jubilee Year in Sandringham, Norfolk in February
Despite earlier claims that the Queen offered Prince Harry and Meghan Markle a space on the platform, they too have been left off the list, although they quickly announced today that they will be in London for the celebrations with their two children.
However, in paring the list down to just 16 people to avoid potential diplomatic pitfalls, the Queen has been forced to omit a number of well-liked family members including her much-loved grandchildren and their families.
Her cousins, including Prince Michael of Kent, and their families, with whom the Queen enjoys a warm relationship are also out in the cold, with a total of at least 34 royals absent from the balcony.
The final balcony lineup will boast the Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall; the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their children; the Earl and Countess of Wessex and their children; the Princess Royal and Admiral Sir Timothy Laurence; the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester; the Duke of Kent, and Princess Alexandra.
The Queen’s other adult grandchildren, Peter Philips and Zara Tindall have been excluded with their families, even though their mother Princess Anne and stepfather Sir Timothy Laurence will join the Queen.
In a formal statement about the decision, Buckingham Palace said: ‘After careful consideration, The Queen has decided this year’s traditional Trooping the Colour balcony appearance on Thursday 2nd June will be limited to Her Majesty and those Members of the Royal Family who are currently undertaking official public duties on behalf of The Queen.’
There are exceptions, however. Prince Anne’s husband Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence, who is not a working royal, and the Queen’s granchildren Lady Louise and James, Viscount Severn, and her great-grandchildren George, Charlotte and Louis are included.
The Palace spokesman added: ‘The Cambridge and Wessex children are also expected to appear as is Sir Tim Laurence, who the Queen is happy to attend as a frequent attendee and support for the Princess Royal on official engagements.’
The announcement follows reports that her Majesty herself may not appear on the balcony, due to the 96-year-old’s limited mobility.
It is believed that aides are working on a ‘plan B’, with an insider saying: ‘It could still happen but it is by no means guaranteed that we will see the Queen on the balcony during the Jubilee.’
While recent balcony appearances have been more focused on senior members of the Firm, normally, there are no restrictions on which family members are present for Trooping of the Colour, the Queen’s official birthday.