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maandag, juni 04, 2012

Pop royalty marks Queen's Jubilee

Sir Elton John, Dame Shirley Bassey and Sir Paul McCartneyMonday's A-list BBC concert starts at 19:30 BST

The Queen's Diamond Jubilee will be marked with a star-studded BBC concert in front of Buckingham Palace later.

Sir Paul McCartney, Stevie Wonder and Sir Elton John are among the artists, and Madness will perform on the roof.

The audience will comprise of people who got tickets in a public ballot and those from charities with royal links.

At the end of the show, the Queen will light one of the last of around 4,500 beacons across the globe - in celebration of her 60-year reign.

On Monday afternoon, prior to the Jubilee concert, 10,000 ballot winners and VIPs will have a picnic in the gardens of Buckingham Palace.

The concert follows Sunday's spectacular River Thames pageant which attracted more tens of thousands of rain-soaked people to watch the flotilla of 1,000 boats.

After a pageant on the Thames - where the elements weren't kind but the enthusiasm of the spectators was undimmed - a change of scene and tempo.

At the end of the Golden Jubilee concert, Sir Paul McCartney asked the Queen, "Are we doing this next year?" "Not in my garden" came the regal reply.

Ten years on, she's had her way. The BBC concert will be staged outside the palace gates. The official guests will reflect the changes in a decade. Camilla Parker Bowles is now the Duchess of Cornwall and a future queen. Rupert Murdoch was invited last time. Will any newspaper proprietors be invited this time?

At the end of the concert, the Queen - who at 86, probably won't sit through all of the performances and who may well come armed with ear plugs as she did in 2002 - will light one of the last of more than 4,000 beacons around the world.

The Queen travelled in a barge alongside senior members of the Royal Family as street parties were held around the country.

Monday's A-list concert, which starts at 19:30 BST (18:30 GMT), will also star Robbie Williams, Ed Sheeran, JLS, Kylie Minogue, Sir Tom Jones, Jessie J, Dame Shirley Bassey and Annie Lennox.

And it will feature a special song - sung by 200 people from around the Commonwealth - co-written for the occasion by Gary Barlow and Andrew Lloyd Webber.

Motown legend Wonder has said: "It's an honour to celebrate The Queen. It's an honour to celebrate Great Britain. The time is overdue that I meet Her Majesty."

The Duke of Edinburgh, Prince of Wales, Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry will join the Queen at the concert.

An artist's impression of the stageAn artist's impression of the stage, designed by architect Mark Fisher

Pop veterans Madness will play their hit Our House on the roof of Buckingham Palace - echoing Queen guitarist Brian May's performance of the National Anthem in 2002 for the Golden Jubilee.

After the musical tribute, the Queen will greet the crowds and set the national beacon ablaze.

At 22:30 BST (21:00 GMT), she is scheduled to place a crystal glass diamond into a special pod, triggering the lighting of the last beacon in The Mall.

Beacons will be lit throughout the evening in the UK, Channel Islands, Isle of Man, the Commonwealth and other overseas territories.

Bruno Peek, pageantmaster of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee beacons, said: "We set out to have 2,012 beacons, which would have been the most ever for this type of occasion.

"To have reached double that figure reflects the national and worldwide respect and affection for the Queen and the desire to celebrate her 60-year reign."

The network of beacons across the UK will be placed on historic landmarks, hill-top vantage points and famous mountains.

Diamond Jubilee beacons

  • About 4,500 beacons will be lit in the UK, Commonwealth and overseas territories
  • Beacons in the UK and British dependencies will be lit in stages between 22:00 and 22:30
  • The Queen will light the National Beacon near Buckingham Palace at 22:30
  • Overseas beacons will be lit at 22:00 local time in countries including Canada, Australia and Kenya
  • Two types of Beacons are used: Bonfires and the church tower beacon fuelled by bottled gas
  • Beacons were lit on Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee in and for 1977's Silver Jubilee

Beacons will also be placed on the battlements of the Tower of London, and at St James's Palace, Lambeth Palace, Windsor Castle, Sandringham, Balmoral and Holyroodhouse.

Sixty will be lit in sequence on Hadrian's Wall - one for each year of the Monarch's reign.

And the highest peaks of the UK's four nations will be lit up by teams from four charities.

Help for Heroes will conquer Ben Nevis in Scotland, Walking With The Wounded will climb Snowdon in Wales, Cancer Research UK will scale England's Scafell Pike and in Northern Ireland, Field of Life will go up Slieve Donard in County Down.

The hotel in Kenya where the Queen was told in 1952 of her father George VI's death - which meant she would become the monarch - will also light a beacon.

Much like the conclusion of the Thames pageant, the evening will end with a firework display.

See all the latest Diamond Jubilee news and features at

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