BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: UK  
News Front Page
Middle East
South Asia
N Ireland
Talking Point
Country Profiles
In Depth
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
Tuesday, 4 June, 2002, 07:57 GMT 08:57 UK
Palace pop spectacle wows Jubilee crowds
Fireworks grand finale over Buckingham Palace
More than a million people gathered in London to listen to some of the world's greatest rock and pop legends perform at Buckingham Palace in honour of the Queen's 50 years on the throne.

The normally sedate palace grounds rocked to an eclectic line-up of stars, including Sir Elton John, Dame Shirley Bassey, gothic rocker Ozzy Osbourne, Tom Jones, S Club 7 and Beach Boys stalwart Brian Wilson.

The Queen meets concert performers
The Queen meets concert performers

In the audience were 12,000 lucky members of the public who had won tickets in a national ballot to attend the event, which was listened to by millions worldwide on radio, television and the internet.

"I have had some good times in my life, but I never thought it would get as good as this, dining in the gardens of Buckingham Palace at the queen's expense. It's fantastic!" said John Renton, a 67-year-old retired factory worker from Sunderland.

Outside the palace gates, a million Royal fans crowded into The Mall and various London parks to watch stars from the last 50 years perform for the Queen, on giant TV screens.

Your majesty, mummy - you've been a beacon of tradition and stability

Prince Charles

In the royal box, the queen's grandchildren, Princes William and Harry, clapped and swayed to the music while Prince Charles's longtime companion Camilla Parker Bowles, sitting nearby, sang along to the hits.

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh arrived for the second half of the concert, just in time to hear Eric Clapton perform Layla.

They later joined stars like Rod Stewart and Joe Cocker on stage to thank them for their performances.

Concert crowd
Millions watched the concert
The Prince of Wales paid a moving tribute to his mother saying: "We feel proud of you; proud and grateful for everything you have done for your country and the Commonwealth over 50 extraordinary years, supported unfailingly throughout by my father.

"You have embodied something vital in our lives - continuity. You have been a beacon of tradition and stability in the midst of profound, sometimes perilous change."


The concert had started at 1930 BST with Brian May playing "God Save the Queen" from the palace roof, delighting the 250,000 people gathered below.

He said: "I couldn't get a note wrong, it was probably the best I've every played it. It was such an adrenaline rush, I cannot describe it. It was like a roller-coaster.

Sir Paul McCartney rocked the crowd
Sir Paul McCartney rocked the crowd
"On top of the Palace - I don't think there is anywhere else you can go after that."

Members of the Royal Family laughed along with the crowd as comedians Lenny Henry and Dame Edna Everage presented acts like Atomic Kitten, Sir Cliff Richard, Tony Bennett, S Club 7 and Pop Idol winner Will Young.

Ricky Martin played a spectacular set with fireworks and Union Jack-clad female dancers, while Shirley Bassey belted out Goldfinger.

Launch new window : Picture gallery
Golden Jubilee celebrations

Comedian Ben Elton, one of the hosts of the event, said: "This is a great moment of national unity."

Sir Paul McCartney invited the audience to join in the Beatles' classics All You Need is Love, Hey Jude and I Saw Her Standing There, rounding off a spectacular evening.

He told BBC Radio 5Live after the show: "It was just fantastic. It's been a really buzzy day.

"When I was singing I just suddenly realised there were people in the Mall, all over Britain and all over the world listening. That's a big audience!"

Ozzy Osbourne was on best behaviour
Ozzy Osbourne was on best behaviour
The Queen, accompanied by Prince Philip, then drove out of the Palace to The Mall to light the national Golden Jubilee beacon.

It was the last of nearly 2,000 royal beacons stretching from Lands End to John O'Groats in Britain, and Antarctica to Zambia abroad.

It was also the signal for three tonnes of fireworks to be set off from the roof of the palace.

Launch new window : LONDON MAP
Click here for a detailed plan of London's celebrations

A stunning climax to the third day of Golden Jubilee celebrations across the country. Monday's events had kicked off with a 41-gun salute and a national singalong.

The guns were fired in London's Hyde Park and were watched by the Queen on a giant television screen in Slough, Berkshire, where she launched the BBC's Music Live event.

Liverpool street party
Street parties were held up and down the country

The Queen started a national rendition of All You Need is Love by setting off a gold metronome.

At the same time, hundreds of street parties across the country began their celebrations.

The only sour note of the celebrations so far has been a brief fire at Buckingham Palace on Sunday night which required the building to be evacuated and interrupted preparations for the musical extravaganza.

No members of the Royal Family were in residence at the time, and the hundreds of staff, workmen and performers escaped to safety unhurt.

Prince Charles
"All of this has made me feel extraordinarily proud of this country"
Andy Trotter of the Metropolitan Police
"This has been a huge, demanding night"
Jubilee concert organiser Bernard Doherty
"No matter who's on the stage, the audience is ready to sing along"

Key stories



See also:

04 Jun 02 | UK
03 Jun 02 | Entertainment
04 Jun 02 | UK
04 Jun 02 | Entertainment
03 Jun 02 | Scotland
03 Jun 02 | Scotland
Internet links:

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more UK stories are at the foot of the page.

E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more UK stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |