Stars rock palace for Britain’s jubilee concert

Stars rock palace for Britain’s jubilee concert

LONDON - Agence France-Presse
Stars rock palace for Britain’s jubilee concert

Queen Elizabeth II waves from the Royal Box surrounded by guests including members of the royal family and the clergy during the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Concert. AFP Photo

Queen Elizabeth II smiled as she took her place for a star-studded diamond jubilee concert Monday in front of Buckingham Palace, despite her husband’s sudden hospitalization.

The 86-year-old sovereign drew a huge cheer as she arrived for the second half of the concert. She was escorted into the royal box by her son and heir Prince Charles as her consort Prince Philip was earlier taken to hospital as a precautionary measure with a bladder infection. He is to miss the rest of the jubilee celebrations marking her 60 years on the throne.

The monarch waved to the crowds as she took her seat. The concert, in warm evening sunshine, kicked off with fireworks and an energetic performance from Robbie Williams that got the crowds rocking.

After an opening salvo of pyrotechnics and music from a military band, resplendent in their scarlet tunics and bearskin hats, Williams jumped out from behind to join them for a high-octane rendition of his song “Let Me Entertain You.”

The concert, put together by Take That star Gary Barlow and staged on the Queen Victoria Memorial in front of Buckingham Palace, was being watched by more than 10,000 lucky ticket holders in temporary stands, and tens of thousands more on The Mall.

Senior members of the royal family were in the stands, including Prince William, his wife Catherine and brother Prince Harry. Prime Minister David Cameron and Anglican leader Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, were also in the royal box. After Williams returned to open the second half, the next performance was “Sing,” featuring artists from across the Commonwealth.

Following a crowd wave from the back of The Mall to the front, Welsh diva Shirley Bassey performed “Diamonds are Forever”, before Australian star Kylie Minogue took to the stage. Elton John appeared in a sparkling pink jacket to perform “I’m Still Standing”, “Your Song” and “Crocodile Rock.”

Grace Jones, 64, performed “Slave to the Rhythm” in a sultry plastic outfit and kept a hula hoop going throughout.

Annie Lennox wore a big pair of white angel wings.

Beatles star Paul McCartney paid tribute to the queen’s years of service.