On 4th June, in celebration of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee, a spectacular music concert was held outside Buckingham Palace, featuring a variety of well-known names. The concert was named The Platinum Party at the Palace. Cora-Laine Moynihan attended the concert. Here are her thoughts.
Saturday morning started as any other normal Saturday would. I woke up, got ready, had breakfast, etc. Only this Saturday was not like any other normal Saturday, when I would wake up at 10am or, at a push 10:30am. No, rather I woke up at 8am, got ready, had breakfast and left my house by 9:20am to catch a train all the way to London for the Platinum Jubilee Party at the Palace concert.
Don’t worry, I won’t divulge the boring train journey to you, or my random wanderings around the capital city, and how my partner and I spent the majority of our free time in the Lego store. Instead, I’ll skip those five hours, and hop right into the beginning of my jubilant evening.
As any other concert starts, my night started in a queue. And by ‘started’ I mean a good three quarters of it was spent queuing.
My first queue of the night was solely to enter the premises. Lurking at the Green Park entrance to the Palace was what I can only describe as an endless queue. Endless, not in the sense of the dreadful anxiety leading up to an exam, or the waiting times at A&E. But endless as in a stifling cold that bungs up your nose for weeks and keeps coming back. I was waiting a good, long hour and a half in a heaving queue that parted a mile or so down the park when we reached security. After a few giggles from the guards at our lego, and the fact my partner tried to smuggle his wallet through the metal detector, we were in.
From there, now this is the exciting part, finally free from the horde and inside the Palace ground, we did the next best thing we could three hours away from the show starting. We joined another queue.
And then another after that. Two more hours of queuing just for food and drink. For hydration. For sustenance. For some Pimms.
Flags of red, white, and blue
Nearing the start of the concert time, we made our way to the stage, where crowds congregated in patriotic hordes around the Victoria Memorial. Flags of red, white, and blue flew as capes from many shoulders, paper flags shook in millions of hands, and random hats and crowns covered thousands of heads.
We waited in anticipation. Watching the three stages for signs of life. Doughnuts in one hand. Flags in another.
Paddington Bear, in all his glory, dined with the Queen
Then, the screens switched on, and a video played that sent laughter and joy throughout the audience. Paddington Bear, in all his glory, dined with the Queen, causing mess after mess, before revealing his trademark marmalade sandwich. In turn, the Queen revealed hers, opening the concert in the most playful way possible.
Once the clip ended, the show began. Queen emerged – Adam Lambert led the royal marching band and the remaining members of Queen through powerful renditions of “We Will Rock You”, “Don’t Stop Me Now”, and “We Are The Champions”, embodying the very spirit of Freddie Mercury in his performance. Following that, a court of comedians, singers, dancers, and bands mounted the stages at Buckingham Palace. Jax Jones. Andrew Lloyd Webber. Lin Manuel Miranda. Rod Stewart. Alicia Keys. Elton John (via a pre-recorded video). These performers, and more, delightfully riled up the audience, and celebrated the 70-year reign well into the dark. And once the blue sky darkened, the Palace lit up in images of forests, the Queen, and all sorts of pretty patterns. An unexpected cinema screen that thrilled us all.
Yet, just when we all thought that was the best the BBC would give us, the highlight of the show, a gigantic corgi, appeared above the roof. Fetching a bone and chasing it. Formed by orange, white, and red lights, it was fully animated. Tongue out and as playful as a real corgi would be. My favourite drone display to date. That display topped it all.
Danced our hearts out in silly robot moves, cliché Tik Tok dances, and Mexican waves
As the concert drew to an end, and the standing crowd thinned, the final act appeared on-stage and closed the concert with one last beaming performance. Diana Ross, though much older and more feeble compared to her golden days, sang Ain’t No Mountain High Enough to a ready and waiting crowd. The remaining of whom, including my partner and I, danced our hearts out in silly robot moves, cliché TikTok dances, and Mexican waves. The concert ended in cheers and glee.
To say the Queen would have been visibly touched by the celebration was an understatement, had she been there.
Instead, understandably too frail and unwell, the Queen missed the celebration and was represented by her son and grandson, both of whom delivered heartfelt speeches within the concert. Yet, the standing audience were angered by the obvious segregation of the wealthy from the poor.
The wealthy lords and ladies, princes and princesses, and the rich businessmen of the world sat in stands
You see, those standing had won their tickets from a ballet (or in my case, were gifted them by charities). They were people from the working class, key workers, and ordinary folk. Meanwhile, the wealthy lords and ladies, princes and princesses, and the rich businessmen of the world sat in stands, with clear views of the stages. Unblocked by bobbing heads. Free from the accidental treading on toes or spilled drinks. Rather, they sat happily in their seats after their one- minute drives from the palace gates.
I’m not making that last part up either.
Unseen by viewers at home, prior to the concert starting, the majority of seated guests were driven about 100 metres from within the confines of the Palace to the stands in fancy minibuses and black-out SUVs. Us standing guests were abruptly parted and prevented from entering or exiting the performance area for at least 10 minutes each time the seated guests passed, So, I’m sure you can imagine the upset caused at the end of the show, when we were once again halted as if we were about to cause riots to make way for the “more important” people, as one person near me shouted. Poor Lin Manuel Miranda even faced some flack for walking slowly through the parting while the rest of us waited, distressed that we’d miss our trains.
It’s a shame that for many, this could have ruined their otherwise amazing evening. I was one of the lucky people that did not miss my train. However, I cannot say the same for all the other train goers that attended the day’s festivities. Regardless of the waiting and queuing, the concert itself was fantastic, and a wonderful celebration of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II.
Featured image courtesy of Alex Watkin. Permission to use granted to Impact. No changes were made to this image.
In-article images courtesy of Cora-Laine Moynihan. Permission to use granted to Impact. No changes were made to these images.
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