Excited ticket-holders queued for up to 12 hours before tonight’s star-studded Platinum Party at the Palace, enjoying a festive atmosphere despite the long wait.
Many in the long line of people couldn’t wait for the party to start as they wore Union Jack hats, waistcoats and dresses in the Green Park sunshine near Buckingham Palace.
The concert is the highlight of the third day of public events to mark the 96-year-old monarch’s record-breaking Platinum Jubilee with 22,000 people set to attend in person outside Buckingham Palace.
Prince Charles and Prince William will take centre stage in front of a crowd of 22,000 to pay tribute to the Queen during the star-studded Jubilee concert.
The father and son – both future kings – will speak separately in honour of the monarch towards the end of the BBC’s open-air Party at the Palace show, staged in the front of Buckingham Palace.
Clarence House and Kensington Palace announced both Charles and William would address the crowds at the high profile event, which falls on the third evening of the four-day Jubilee festivities.
Motown legend Diana Ross, performing for the first time in Britain in 15 years, is a star attraction at the event, to be held on a purpose-built 360-degree stage outside the queen’s central London residence.
The front-runners in the buzzing crowd of fans were Gerry and Mandy Haines from Hornchurch, Essex, who raced to the front of the 15,000-strong queue at 7.30am.
‘We want to see Queen and Adam Lambert, the opening act,’ said Gerry, 65. ‘We’d also like to see the other Queen of course, but I don’t think she’ll be there tonight.’
Added Mandy, 48, wearing a ‘Bri-Army’ T-shirt: ‘I love Queen and Brian May, but I also love the real Queen, she’s done a great job all these years and we’re overjoyed to be here to celebrate.’
As she spoke, Queen could be heard rehearsing in the background, with the strains of We Will Rock You clearly discernible more than 100 yards away.
Excited ticket-holders queued for up to 12 hours before tonight’s star-studded Platinum Party at the Palace and enjoyed a festive atmosphere despite the huge snaking queues full of expectant fans hoping for a once-in-a-lifetime show this evening
Pictured: Paul and Sam Hacquoil of Newquay, Cornwall, arrived at 10am and described it as ‘a once in a lifetime’ experience
Keen: Gerry and Mandy Haines (pictured) from Hornchurch, Essex, raced to the front of the 15,000-strong queue at 7.30am
Teenager Samantha Gee arrived six hours before the gates are due to open, having travelled all the way from Folkestone
Pictured: Michelle White, from Bournemouth (left) and (right) Denise Holdsworth and Samantha Short join the queue
Buzzing atmosphere: Crowd arriving before the start of the Platinum Party at the Palace in the front of Buckingham Palace
Samantha Gee, 16, from Folkestone, Kent arrived about 10am – six hours before the crowd were allowed through to their seats at the open-air event.
‘I’m a massive fan of Queen and Adam Lambert but I just wanted to be here really,’ she told MailOnline.
The free tickets for the event were given to 22,000 lucky ballot winners, including 5,000 key workers.
One couple there several hours ahead of the event was David Hitchins and his wife, from Guildford in Surrey.
Mr Hitchins, a contractor, said: ‘I was gifted two tickets after I raised over £25,000 for the NHS. We’re so excited to be here and I’m very proud of what I’ve achieved.’
Also waiting was Shane, 32, originally from Austin, Texas, who has been living in London for nearly four-and-a-half years.
He said being here and living in London over the Queen’s Jubilee is a ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ experience.
He said: ‘Being from America this is something totally different – we would never get this. It feels like a country-wide holiday and to have such a sense of community in such a big place, it’s just incredible to embrace this moment.’
Future kings the Prince of Wales and the Duke of Cambridge were planning to take to the stage to pay public tributes to the Queen during the three-hour concert.
Diana Ross, Queen + Adam Lambert, Alicia Keys, Hans Zimmer, George Ezra, and Eurovision 2022 runner-up Sam Ryder were among the celebrity acts preparing to entertain the live crowd and a television audience of millions.
Denise Holdsworth, 57, from Bradford, W. Yorks said George Ezra was the big attraction for her, but added: ‘It will be lovely to see Prince William as well.’
George Ezra has tweeted ahead of his performance this evening, writing: ‘Here’s something I never imagined myself saying… I’m playing at Buckingham Palace tonight for the Queen’s Jubilee!!
‘[T]une in to Platinum Party at the Palace from 7.30pm on BBC One for a huge evening of music and celebrations’.
Pictured: Members of the public in Green Park before the Platinum Party at the Palace in the front of Buckingham Palace
Excited crowds: Members of the public gather on The Mall ahead of the Platinum Party at the Palace on Saturday evening
Among the royal attendees at Saturday’s star-studded live Jubilee concert, staged in front of Buckingham Palace, will be the Prince of Wales, the Duchess of Cornwall and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. Pictured: Fans gather on the Mall today
Samantha Short, 43 from Gloucester said: ‘It’s just amazing to be here on such a special occasion. Even the queueing has been enjoyable, with everybody laughing a joking – the party’s already started!’
Both women were wearing Union Jack dresses and met in the queue for the event, which snaked throughout the park as far as Green Park Tube station.
Paul and Sam Hacquoil from Newquay, Cornwall, were also among the early birds, arriving at 10am.
Hospitality executive Paul, 50, said: ‘We wouldn’t have missed this event for the world – it’s once in a lifetime.’
Sam, 54, a property services manager, added: ‘The atmosphere is amazing and I’m really looking forward to seeing William and Kate.’
Fabricator John Jackson, 61 from Sheffield, said he’d been on ‘Cloud Nine’ since hearing that he and his wife Nerys had won tickets.
‘I was so made up when we got the email,’ he said. ‘It’s like a fairytale.’
British Eurovision star Sam Ryder rehearsing outside Buckingham Palace ahead of the BBC’s Party at the Palace concert
An impression of the stage at Buckingham Palace for the Platinum Party at the Palace which will be shown live on BBC One
Revellers arrive at The Mall to attend the jubilee concerts which will be held outside Buckingham Palace as part of the four day platinum jubilee celebrations
In the evening today, the BBC’s Party at the Palace – set on three stages in front of Buckingham Palace – will entertain a live crowd of 22,000 people and a television audience of millions
A woman wears a plastic crown as people gather on The Mall ahead of a concert outside Buckingham Palace this evening
Revellers bring their camping gear at The Mall for the concerts which will be held outside Buckingham Palace this evening
Meanwhile, Nile Rodgers took fans behind-the-scenes ahead of the star-studded event on Saturday evening.
The 69-year-old musician is set to take to the stage at Buckingham Palace’s star-studded concert alongside the likes of Sir Rod Stewart, Sir Elton John and Diana Ross to celebrate the Queen’s Jubilee on Saturday night.
Nile took to his Instagram to share a video of him walking through the set outside the Palace as he rehearsed for the big show.
Addressing fans to the side, he said: ‘Yeah it was really good fun, it’s gonna be great’.
He then walked right up to the gate of Buckingham Palace and threw up a peace sign to the security guards on top of the roof.
‘Don’t think I’ll ever get a shot like that again,’ he commented.
Captioning the video he wrote: ‘Finishing rehearsal for #thequeensplatinumjubilee2022 and waving to #security #guards on rooftop of #buckinghampalace a #onceinalifetime #photo.’
Queen + Adam Lambert will open the BBC’s Platinum Party At The Palace concert with a special performance marking the Queen’s 70 years on the throne.
A look at what’s coming: Nile Rodgers took fans behind-the-scenes of the the Queen ‘s Platinum Jubilee Party on Saturday
Born to perform: Queen + Adam Lambert will open the BBC’s Platinum Party At The Palace concert with a special performance
It will come 20 years after guitarist Brian May performed God Save The Queen on Buckingham Palace’s roof during a show marking the Golden Jubilee in 2002.
Alicia Keys and Andrea Bocelli will also play during the three-stage, two-and-a-half-hour event on Saturday June 4.
The line-up will also include Duran Duran, Bond composer Hans Zimmer, Ella Eyre, Craig David, Mabel, Elbow and George Ezra.
The evening will also feature appearances from sports figures and stars of the stage and screen.
Sir David Attenborough, Emma Raducanu, David Beckham, Stephen Fry, Dame Julie Andrews, The Royal Ballet and Paralympian swimmer Ellie Simmonds will all make appearances.
Eurovision star Sam Ryder has said the manner in which the Queen carries herself ‘reminds us that strength can be gentle’ ahead of performing at the Platinum Party at the Palace.
Ryder, who came runner-up in the recent Eurovision song contest while representing the UK, is among the star-studded line-up who will entertain a live crowd of 22,000 people and a television audience of millions this evening.
Speaking backstage about the monarch’s 70 years on the throne, Ryder said he feels it is ‘so selfless to give your entire life to that service’.
He added: ‘How many of us could say that we could do that. It’s breathtaking. The way that she carries herself, it reminds us that strength can be gentle.
‘I think that’s so important, to me all the time. To carry yourself in a way where you’re bringing so many people together in unity and solidarity but doing it with such a subtly kindness.’
The singer revealed that he got the call to do the Jubilee concert while on the bus home from Eurovision last month, which left him feeling like he was ‘overflowing with joy’.