Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Jubilee Concert in the Mall

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.
Stufish's Concept

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 ...

Victoria Memorial
... 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 ...

Grace Jones
... 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
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.

Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories


Patricia said...

I can't help but think about my mother and this celebration. She just thought so much of the Queen (not so much of her family) Though she was delighted when Prince William was born on the same day as her first granddaughter! She knew all the Kings and Queens and was quite a scholar of history.

What a great review and lots of good pictures. Thank you for sharing

Karen Walker said...

How lucky you got to see this. What I've seen on our morning news is mesmerizing.

Old Kitty said...

I saw bits of this on the telly - I think I liked Madness best!

Take care

Bob Scotney said...

We've missed all this in the USA so thanks Hilary for filling us in.

Heather Murphy said...

Yes, being in the States, we only get to see snippets on the news. It looks like quite a celebration!

D.G. Hudson said...

We've recorded it, and have been following the celebrations in the Canadian newspapers.

Thanks for sharing this post, Hilary.

Chuck said...

Hilary, I heard this was a spectacular concert for the Queen. A fellow worker today told me he and his wife watched it on television last night but don't know who was broadcasting it. I just caught bits and pieces on the news but he told me it was quite a show. I know you enjoyed it! Take care.

Jo said...

The broadcast I saw was very much edited and many of the people you mentioned were never shown over here. I was sorry not to see Shirley Bassey, wondered what she was like. Alfie Boe has a fantastic voice and I would love to have seen him. Ah well, maybe he's on You Tube.

Botanist said...

I watched highlights of this yesterday. It was a fantastic celebration, and such an inspired idea to set the stage outside Buckingham Palace like that. The lighting effects on the Palace walls were stunning.

Unknown said...

Sounds like a blast. I want to hear more from that man Gurrumul. What a talent that man has.

Kyra Lennon said...

The Jubilee weekend was so amazing - I loved the concert! Looking forward to the next one, now! :D

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Patricia - so much is happening this year in the UK - it'd be wonderful if my mother was a little more it - and others had still been with us to enjoy. The Royals seem to have come together and are a happy family .. so it is lovely to see them. Glad you enjoyed the pictures and post ..

@ Karen - yes I was lucky to see it on the night and then highlights were shown again the next evening ..

@ Old Kitty - I hate to say it .. I had (have) no idea who Madness are - apart from musicians and even glancing at Wiki - but I see they performed 'Our House' and 'It Must Be Love' from the roof ... I loved their lighting set fronting Buckingham Palace.

@ Bob - you certainly picked a 'wrong time' to visit your daughter .. anyway glad you're enjoying these brief Jubilee posts ..

@ Heather - I'm sure more will appear in the months to come .. it's been an amazing time

@ DG - that sounds like a great idea - enjoy it when you can watch .. and we're lucky in this day and age that there is a choice of coverage ..

@ Chuck - here it was the BBC, so it might have been an arm of the BBC in the States. It was an amazing event .. so well staged.

@ Jo - Shirley Bassey and Alfie Boe were amazing .. Alfie rocked! I'm sure they're on YouTube ..

@ Ian - you're so right about the setting - couldn't have been bettered .. and the lighting backdrops on the Palace as you say were stunning weren't they ..

@ Clarissa - it was incredible .. and Gurrumul is amazing - it's so good to learn about new musicians who give back to their land. He is amazingly talented .. it was lovely to see Stevie Wonder with his arm around him ...

Thanks so much everyone - glad you enjoyed some of the snippets - cheers Hilary

SueH said...

We watched the pageant on TV, enthralled (and glad we weren't out in the rain!) and also the last 45 minutes of the concert on Monday night.

There are plenty of clips on YouTube for any who couldn't get to see it!
My favourite is this

The service at St Paul's cathedral on Tuesday morning was very moving, regal and majestic - plus a carriage procession before the crowds swelled into the Mall!

Proud to be British - long may HM reign!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Kyra - it was all just staggering wasn't it .. every part of the weekend .. I want to savour this one for a while - then we can roll out the next - sadly not in our lifetime I suspect!

@ Sue - DELIGHTED YOU POSTED THE CLIP - that's the bit I loved about the lighting effects in the front of Buck House - just amazing weren't they.

THANK YOU SO MUCH ... everyone can click over if they so wish ...

We were relatively dry down here - but poor souls in London .. and that concert - it's just uplifting to see the performers (old and new) ..

I'm going to do posts on the Thanksgiving Service and the Carriage Procession ..

I concur .. Long May Our Queen Reign!

Cheers to you both .. Sue once again many thanks for the YouTube clip .. Hilary

Glynis Peters said...

Catching up on your Jubilee posts, Hilary. We managed to find channels that were showing the events, so this expat never missed out on a right royal event!

It was wonderful to see the UK pulling together and having fun.

T. Powell Coltrin said...

Yes, this is quite the celebration. I'm not really a royal family watcher, but I think the queen is beautiful. Goes to show you, that beauty can be at any age and is more than appearance.


baygirl32 said...

wow looks like quite the time

Robyn Campbell said...

What a great review with a lot of lovely pics, Hilary. I think everyone had a marvelous time at the Diamond Jubilee. Thanks for sharing. If the pics are this much fun to see, I cannot imagine what it was like in person. Lydia is beautiful! :-)

Talli Roland said...

I really enjoyed the concert... everything except for Cheryl Cole, and What the heck was he doing there?

Francene Stanley said...

You posted a wonderful coverage of the event. Thank you for sharing. I know I was glued to the television for four days as events unfolded. I'm proud to be included amongst the English people although Australia is my country of birth.

Karen Jones Gowen said...

Fantastic! Thank you for sharing this. What an exciting time for England. And the Queen looks so lovely.

Julie Flanders said...

Wow, this made me feel like I was there too, and brought back great memories of when I got to visit London some years ago. The picture of Buckingham Palace lit up with the Union Jack is stunning, as are the fireworks at the end. I didn't know about the Commonwealth Band, what a wonderful story about the guitarist and all the rest. Beautiful post, Hilary. :)

jabblog said...

It certainly was a busy weekend. I wonder if she'll have a Platinum Jubilee?

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Glynis - glad you were able to actually watch the events - so you didn't miss out - we did have fun .. though there were some nay-sayers around!

@ Teresa - The Queen held her head high all the time - she was amazing - and her beauty shone through ..

@ BayGirl - it was a fabulous time ..

@ Robyn - glad you enjoyed the post - it was a fun time and the tv Concert was just brilliant. I'm glad people are picking up on the Commonwealth Band ..

@ Talli - I don't think I saw that part it was right at the beginning I think .. not sure I like to think about it!

@ Francene - good to see you - and there can't have been many households not watching - so delighted the Aussie in you had fun too! I hope to add a few more posts ..

@ Karen - it's been a fun weekend and generally lots to learn, which I always find so stimulating!

@ Julie - glad you enjoyed my take on things - and brings back those memories for you.

The pictures on Buckingham House were quite an extraordinary feat by the architects'/set designers - just gorgeous ..

The Commonwealth Band song is gorgeous .. while I'm glad I've promoted Gurrumul, Ayub and the singers .. thanks so much ..

@ Janice - it was a busy time wasn't it - but fun. Platinum 70th .. she'll be 95/6 by then - we'll definitely do something I'm sure ..

Cheers to you all .. thanks so much for coming by .. Hilary

Jannie Funster said...

i LOVE all the songs you mention they play. Popular music, eh? Universal language.

Amazing how they projected those images onto the Palace. Cool! Technology these days can be so much fun.

And the Queen looks great these days. All those years of sun avoidance have been good to her complexion, methinks.

Wish I could been a ticket holder. Wonder if the picnic was extra tasty??


Luanne G. Smith said...

It really was an impressive Jubilee! So much British pride on display this week. Wonderful. She's still going strong, too. :)

klahanie said...

Hi Hilary,
I watched random bits on the BBC 'red button' option to watch some of the performing musicians.
I would like to think of it as a positive celebration of a nation and a worldwide audience who would be amazed by such a spectacle.
Although Sir Cliff Richard should maybe consider retirement.
Still, a moment of wonder for those who partook and those who watched it.
Cheers, Gary

Sherry Ellis said...

Wonderful pictures of a fantastic event!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Jannie - certainly a Universal language - and apparent here from the range of musicians present. Did you see those images - I loved the Madness one .. just delightful to watch ...

I found it so interesting an architect was contracted for the set building and lighting design - fascinating technology you say.

The Queen does look amazing doesn't she - she certainly doesn't lounge around the beach .. but she does ride, walks the moors, and used to be on the Yacht Britannia every August .. so she hasn't completely avoided the great outdoors - her mother had wonderful skin .. as did Queen Mary.

I tried for tickets to the Concert .. but failed! I'd have loved to have been there and to have tried the picnic .. I have to find out more about the contents though ..

@ Luanne - glad you enjoyed the bits you saw .. it has been a wonderful celebratory weekend .. and certainly The Queen looks in rude health - I'm pleased to say.

@ Gary - I didn't have the red button option .. but I think I do now - that we're digital finally.

I'm sure we'll see parts of it again - especially if it's wet - there were so many options for everyone .. horses, boats, rivers, music, picnics, heraldry, Service of Thanksgiving, and our history of the nation set out before us .. the world certainly saw Britain at its best ..

I agree with you re Sir Cliff .. and everyone seemed to enjoy the whole ..

@ Sherry - it was a great time wasn't it .. thanks re the pix ..

Cheers - so lovely to see you here - Hilary

A Lady's Life said...

We love the Queen and we watched what they showed us on TV on various stations.
We hope she lives and reigns a long time as she did such a wonderful job so far.
Thanks Hilary for this post :)

Juliet said...

Hilary, I've been missing your posts because Google or blogspot has inexplicably dropped you from the list of posts that I follow, and so I haven't been notified of new posts. So here I am catching up (luckily I decided to go hunting). Love the details about the celebrations - I saw some of the concert on TV the night after the event and it was certainly spectacular, and the little African girl was very touching. Thank you for passing on the colour and flavour of this big occasion.

Bish Denham said...

What a show, so many people! I think I'd have stayed home and watching it all on TV from the comfort of my sofa.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ A Lady's Life - it's been an amazing weekend and am glad you were able to see some of the events. I too hope she reigns long and glorious - delighted you enjoyed the post ..

@ Juliet - sorry about the Reader situation .. or Blogger or Google .. I just don't fully understand it - when some of my comments go awol!

Glad you're back and that you enjoyed the extra tidbits of info here - it was an amazing concert ..

@ Bish - yes I enjoyed the evening in watching .. I was quite mesmerised - something for me - I'm usually itching to get up and move around!

Thanks so much for being here - cheers Hilary

nutschell said...

what a historic occasion! I wish I could've been there to see it all for myself, but you did a great job of recounting the events, I feel like I was there:)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Nutschell .. delighted you enjoyed the retelling in the post - it's been an amazing time - something we'll never see again .. I'm just delighted I was alive!

Cheers to you .. Hilary

Susan Scheid said...

I thought surely I had commented on this, but see nothing! Goodness knows what I wrote, but I will say now that those fireworks look divine!

~Sia McKye~ said...

How absolutely fabulous, Hilary! Thank you for sharing so much with us Yanks!lololo~ I love how the Palace was lit up with the flag look. Beacons (4,250? WOW!) would have been cool to see as well.

So much music and joy to be had by the people.

I enjoyed reading about it all!

Have a great weekend and my regards to your mother. Bet she enjoyed some of the televised programmes on it.


MTeacress said...

Wow. What a party. I don't think I can comprehend it fully without actually being there. Amazing.:)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Susan - your last one was on the picnic and pageant day .. I thought you'd enjoy reading about Gurrumul .. but the fireworks were short and very good - very effective

@ Sia - it's been a fabulous time - can't believe a week has gone by ..
as you say the front of Buckingham Palace had wonderful light drops - especially "My House" one ..

I heard the boom from here - not even sure if we had one locally .. but lots of people took part.

It was a great concert .. and so pleased you enjoyed the post.

Thanks re my Ma - I'm sure she'll enjoy hearing about it .. when we can discuss it together ..

@ Michelle - it was a great time - and you've said something I've been feeling .. I think we Brits haven't fully appreciated the enormity of the whole event - we've just been so amazed at all the photos or tv etc and partying ..

Cheers Susan, Sia and Michelle - lovely to see you .. thanks for your thoughts re my Ma .. Hilary

Judy Croome | @judy_croome said...

Hilary this gives such a great feeling of the Jubilee. The whole weekend was so marvellous - a real feast for Royalists like me! Such a worry about Prince Phillip though, do hope he's better soon. And didn't the Queen look simple stunning in her outfit on the day of the St Paul's Church Service? And did you see the size of those diamonds on her lapel - I was SO proud that they were both from that magnificent South African gemstone, the great Cullinan Diamond.

Judy, South Africa

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Judy - glad you enjoyed it - so much going on .. and like me - I'm a Royalist through and through and certainly for the history/heraldry of our British life - it's just wonderful to have these weekends.

I just had to go and look at the newspaper for the diamond jewels!! - quite magnificent aren't they?

Honestly there's so much going on - it's been so difficult to keep up ..??!!

It's just been a wonderful time for us all .. hope all's well your end of the world - as time passes and peace settles in ... and the wedding such fun to see the photos ..

Cheers Hilary

Ella said...

Hello Hilary!
Thank you for sharing more insight on this extravaganza! I loved England when I went, yrs and yrs ago!

How wonderful to see all the magic and the realm of history that is England!

Thank you so much for giving us a glimpse of more! I wish I could return to England again, someday...

Thank you! :D

Cheers to you and the Queen of course @>------

Friko said...

The concert setting was brilliant, pity so many of the performers were rubbish.

You are very kind about the whole thing.

Diane said...

Thanks for bringing me up to date on the jubilee. We managed to watch a little bit, but there was just too much going on at this end to sit and watch the TV!! Have a great weekend,Diane

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

We watched the entire celebrations on television. Each time Queen Elizabeth smiled at the camera, everyone in our front room smiled. And when they showed the two photos with them in similar poses, one when they got engaged and one just recently, it brought tears to my eyes. It couldn't have been easy for them. I hope Prince Philips feels better soon.

Paula RC said...

I never thought would sit through two programmes about the royals, but I did and enjoyed them. I thought they were wonderful and it made me proud to be British. We are so lucky to live in this country and to have quite a peaceful life and to enjoy the safety of being in large crowds. It was wonderful to see so many people enjoying themselves.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us.

Connie Arnold said...

What a fabulous celebration that was! We have relatives that were there for some of it. How lovely of you to share about it and your great pictures!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Ella .. glad you're enjoying my posts - and that you loved this little land of ours. I hope you get back here one day ..

We've had an amazing time - just great to see what the Brits can do .. incredible events we've managed to put on .. and yes - I'll drink to you and to our Queen .. thanks!

@ Friko - I agree to some extent - but I look on the bright side .. and probably I am kind - but it's the way I look on life!

@ Diane .. I've got to get to your posts - as I gather you were fairly busy ..

@ Joylene - it was a lovely concert and the Queen did look happy .. and they've had an excellent marriage - seems to have really been a fairytale one - and the Prince is out of hospital ..

@ Paula - I always enjoy the Celebrations and Pageantry - so like you I am proud to be British on days like we had (terrible English!) ..

.. and you've highlighted how even with the crowds everything was peaceful and happy and safe .. while we were all enjoying ourselves ..

So pleased you all enjoyed the post - and in general the Jubilee celebrations .. it's been a happy time for so many of us ..

Cheers for now - Hilary

Arlee Bird said...

Such a memorable event. I'm sure this is an exciting year in Britain with this and the Olympics. I watched some of the proceedings on TV and it certainly was elegant.

Tossing It Out

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Connie - glad you've been keeping up via your relatives and I'm sure they enjoyed sharing in our very British celebrations and am pleased this adds a little to their report backs.

@ Lee - you're so right .. so memorable - and we do have so much going on - it's lovely to be a part of it.

Thanks Connie and Lee - Hilary

dolorah said...

Wow Hilary; I would have loved to be there to see this jubilee. What an awesome tribute; and you wrote this so well. I'll have to look through U-tube to find any of the concerts.

If you know if there is a CD release would you please let me know? This just sounds beautiful and inspirational.


Nick Wilford said...

We caught a few of the highlights - Robbie Williams and Elton John - but too much going on to watch very much. The stage certainly looked impressive and must have been even more so in person. I hadn't fully realised about all the charity elements involved, so thanks for filling us in on those.

Empty Nest Insider said...

Hilary, Thanks for bringing us a backstage pass to the Jubilee! It was certainly a momentous occasion, and it was nice that Prince Charles also asked everyone to cheer for his father. Julie

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Donna - so would I have loved to be at the Jubilee - but tv is an amazing invention - we can join in too.

There's a lot of Youtube videos out there .. but at some stage I'll try and draw some info together, as well as the CD when I hear about it ... so pleased you enjoyed it.

@ Nick - you've been away on a wonderful trip - but it's great that you've picked up a little ..

... there's been a great deal of charity this past week - I must add that in to the mix too .. thanks for pointing it out ..

@ Julie - so pleased you enjoyed your backstage pass - gosh I wish I'd have had one!

Yes Prince Charles cheering his father was lovely .. and the cheers rang out ...

So great to see you - thanks for commenting - cheers Hilary

TALON said...

I taped a broadcast of the concert and it was great. I especially loved when Prince Charles referred to the Her Majesty as "Mummy" :)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Talon .. so glad you've got a recording of the concert - and it is lovely when they appear natural together .. cheers Hilary