Platinum Jubilee live updates: Royals appear on palace balcony, minus Andrew, Harry and Meghan

Britain is celebrating its longest-reigning monarch, Queen Elizabeth II. On June 2, festivities began. (Video: Alexa Juliana Ard/The Washington Post)

Updated June 2, 2022 at 6: 15 p.m. EDT|Published

June 2, 2022 at 12: 05 a.m. EDT

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LONDON — Britain is celebrating Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee, her 70th year on the throne, with a huge dollop of pomp. The celebration kicked off with a military parade in London, Trooping the Colour, with 1,400 troops in bearskin caps — alongside an Irish wolfhound nicknamed Seamus — marching to honor the queen’s formal birthday.

The 96-year-old Elizabeth made two appearances on the Buckingham Palace balcony — looking well enough — wearing light blue, her gloved hands resting on a cane. The palace said that Elizabeth enjoyed the parade but felt some discomfort and she would not be attending St. Paul’s Cathedral’s Thanksgiving service on Friday.

In the crowds outside the palace on Thursday, it was a party. People wondered what would happen to Elizabeth’s monarchy.

What to know from Thursday’s celebration

  • The queen was joined on the palace balcony by members of the royal family — though not Prince Andrew, Prince Harry or Meghan, Duchess of Sussex. While the palace reported that Andrew was positive for coronavirus, Harry and Meghan were seen behind the scenes.
  • After dark, “beacon masters” lit 3,200 fires on hilltops, castle walls, country estates and farm fields.
  • Many expect this will be the last big bash for the 96-year-old queen, Britain’s longest-reigning monarch. Even those with a skepticism about the House of Windsor embrace the four-day weekend. Brits are ready to put the pandemic behind them and party.

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