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Tuesday, 4 June, 2002, 14:59 GMT 15:59 UK
Jubilee pop with the family
Louise Loveder at Buckingham Palace
Louise takes the best seat in the house
The Party at the Palace produced contrasting experiences for the lucky 12,000 who got into Buckingham Palace's grounds - and the million or so who were outside. Shelagh Loveder and her daughter Louise, 11, were inside - husband Chris was left outside.

Here is their view of the occasion from both sides of the palace gates.

Inside, it was a stroll though the palace, a champagne picnic on the lawns, free drinks and taking your seats for the pre-party entertainment.

Outside the palace it was shoulder to shoulder with a million other Jubilee revellers - every man for himself trying to get a good view of the big screens erected above the palace railings and along The Mall.

It had taken eight weeks to put together what amounted to a small village in Green Park and St James's Park for this moment. The screens flashed into life and the massed crowds jumped to their feet to watch... the Jubilee edition of EastEnders!

Shelagh and Louise Loveder
Shelagh and Louise were the ones who got in
But the sun shone on the privileged few inside the palace as Prince Andrew and other members of the Royal family chatted informally with the crowd. It was a strange experience to be walking the palace courtyard looking out at all those faces peering enviously in through the famous iron railings.

On the palace lawns, Union Jack-bedecked picnickers exchanged stories with complete strangers as they tucked into smoked salmon roulade and Golden Jubilee chicken with pasta salad.

On the Mall, there was an incredible air of expectancy as revellers watched the TV screens to see Peggy toast the Queen... echoed by a roar of "The Queen" as the crowd responded.

Rooftop rendition

There were gasps as Brian May took to the roof of the palace for his rendition of God Save the Queen.

It was an emotional moment as the crowds inside the palace, outside on the streets and across the world on TV, were united as an audience to what would prove to be the concert of the century.

Buckingham Palace
Time for a little sightseeing
In the palace gardens the crowds leapt out of their seats, bopping to Ricky Martin and Mystique as the party accelerated to a rip-roaring pace.

Outside, the audience waved flags, Union Jack hats, and just about everything else in colours of red, white and blue in time to the music.

Young and old alike got into the party mood as the Queen Victoria monument rocked like it had never rocked before.


In the royal box, the young princes seemed to particularly enjoy S Club 7, and Prince William blushed as Emma Bunton blew him a big kiss.

Cherie Blair, the Countess of Wessex and Charles Kennedy seemed to really get into the music as icons from the last 50 years took to the stage.

As Phil Collins opened the Motown medley with You Can't Hurry Love, the security staff had trouble keeping the fired-up palace partygoers in their seats as the aisles filled with spirited dancers of all ages.

No such limitations for the crowds outside, they enjoyed every moment as the big screens relayed slick TV pictures and a great sound system powered out every note.

Buckingham Palace
There were other sights to see
Whoever chose the line-up did a great job, it transcended the generations as pop icons from the 1950s and 60s intermingled with current chart-toppers.

There were some items in the programme that were not as well received by the crowds.

Tony Bennett's number was taken as an opportunity for an intermission, and Sir George Martin's monologue on the Beatles was excellent but lacked continuity with the rest of the programme.


There were some inspirational ideas like Elton John playing piano in the Palace Music Room as the front of the palace was bathed in pink light.

You had to be outside to experience the spectacle of giant screens in the palace grounds showing Tom Jones pounding out Sex Bomb to a rapturous crowd of royal subjects. I don't know what Queen Victoria would have thought of it, but for us it certainly heralded the start of a new era for the monarchy.

Buckingham Palace
Creeping in at the back
On stage, Toploader, Will Young and Ozzy Osbourne slugged it out for the loudest applause, but their support paled into insignificance by the reception the crowds gave to the Queen.

The concert was unforgettable, but words can't describe the assault on the senses as fireworks, searchlights, floodlit fountains, and moving images on the palace walls were accompanied by the sound of the hits of fifty years.

For all that were there, it will become a lifetime memory.

Key stories



Jubilee Celebrations

Stars rock the Palace

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