The lucky few had had their picnic in the gardens of Buckingham Palace – more on that in another post – while other diehards came into London for the Concert, or had camped out overnight from the Pageant.
People were there from all around the world – Canada, Australia, the States, Columbia, India, Russia - to see one or more of the events ...
This historic concert, a celebration of The Queen’s 60-year reign through music was attended by the Royals and guests ...
... with the lucky picnic ticket holders having seats in the stands set up around the Victoria Memorial, the throng milled beneath them, The Mall filled up nearly back to Admiralty Arch ...
|Screens along The Mall|
... there were big screens along The Mall, in St James Park and Green Park – many were picnicking ... just happy to be a part of the scene – listening through the trees.
|The radiating roof concept|
by Stufish Architecture
Victoria Memorial had been turned into a stage set with a ‘radiating crowned style roof’ by the architect and renowned designer Mark Fisher and his Studio ‘StuFish’ –
This magnificent stage set focussed down The Mall making full use of the historic backdrop of Buckingham Palace with spectacular lighting and projection effects.
|Buckingham Palace lit up|
Songs echoed out ... Diamonds are Forever, Congratulations, Delilah, Isn’t She Wonderful, It must be Love, Love, Love, All my Loving ...
... stars appeared on stage and twinkled in the sky ... Annie Lennox had white fluffy wings (not sure why!), Grace Jones used a hula-hoop – she looked stunning - but paled into insignificance by Sasha Kenny from Wrexham, Wales, who hula-hooped her way round the London Marathon in five hours five minutes!
|Will-I-Am and Jessie J|
Alfie Boe and Renee Fleming sang a duet from a Palace window ... I know now who Jessie J, Will-I-am and Ed Sheeran are ... Lang Lang, the Chinese pianist played ... and many more Kyle, Sir Tom (the Voice), Sir Paul and Sir Elton, Stevie Wonder, Shirley Bassey ... with Madness on the roof of the Palace.
Then there was the Commonwealth Band consisting of two hundred musicians and singers on stage to present the Diamond Jubilee’s album “Sing” – including the Military Wives Choir, an Aboriginal guitarist, the African Children’s Choir, Ayub Ogada ... and more ... from the Commonwealth countries ...
Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu, the left-handed guitarist, comes from Elcho Island just off the coast of Australia .... he was born blind yet plays drums, keyboards, guitar and the didgeridoo ...
Arnhem Land Region is one of the five regions of the Northern Territory, and has been occupied by indigenous people for tens of thousands of years ... it remains one of the largest Aboriginal Reserves being known for its isolation, the art of its people, and the strong continuing traditions of its indigenous inhabitants.
.... however it is Gurrumul’s singing voice that has attracted rave reviews. He is left-handed yet plays the right hand-strung guitar ‘upside down’ – he adapted his playing style to suit the instrument ... he knew no better.
|Lydia - the soloist of the Commonwealth Band|
He is intensely shy ... this was apparent too at both the concerts he has played at while here ... the Diamond Jubilee Concert and earlier in May at Windsor.
The African Children’s Choir was found in 1984 in the midst of the Ugandan civil war as a means of supporting homeless and orphaned children.
Lydia, the soloist chosen to begin and end the track, and the choir travel the world performing. Their appearance fees and any sponsorship money they attract, pay not only for their own education and upkeep, but also funds schools to bring literacy to the neediest of Africa’s children.
|Ayub Ogada with the Nyatiti|
Ayub Ogada is an internationally renowned musician and singer from Kenya ... he performs on the traditional east African stringed instrument, the nyatiti.
A final Jubilee sing-a-long rolled forth along The Mall ... the musicians and performers wrapping the Concert up, then ...
... The Queen and Prince Charles came on stage to thank all the performers, the public for being there and the 600 technicians working behind the scenes – noting that without them nothing would have happened.
|The Queen meeting the Commonwealth Band|
Prince Charles paying tribute to his mother and the work she has done over the years ... then asking the crowd to cheer for Prince Philip stuck in hospital – but seemingly getting better ...
The fireworks displayed, set to a diamond theme, then The Queen was handed a diamond ‘lighter’ to ignite the final 4,250th beacon of the total that had been lit across the Commonwealth ...
|Fireworks at the end of the evening|
... beacons have been used for centuries as a form of communication for war, celebration, in jubilation .. as our Diamond Queen's was in this year - beacons being lit from Tonga to Britain ..
The Concert gave thanks for The Queen’s life through music and was a fitting tribute celebrating the life and service of a very special person, who had given so much for her sixty years on the throne ...
... and with that the starlit evening came to an end ... to be immortalised on YouTube, digital media and the web ... long may “Sing” raise funds for disadvantaged children, while we too are able to sing “God Save Our Gracious Queen” for a few more years yet.
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