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Platinum Jubilee highlights Queen experiences ‘discomfort,’ will miss Friday’s service at St. Paul’s

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

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. But the palace later announced that while she “greatly enjoyed” the parade, she “did experience some discomfort” and would miss Friday’s thanksgiving service at St. Paul’s Cathedral.

In the crowds outside the palace on Thursday, it was a party. But people wondered aloud what happens to the monarchy after Elizabeth.

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. Harry and Meghan were spotted behind-the-scenes, while the palace announced that Andrew had tested positive for the coronavirus.
  • 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. And even those who are lukewarm toward the House of Windsor have embraced the special four-day holiday weekend. Brits are ready to put the pandemic behind them and party.
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Here's what to know:

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. Harry and Meghan were spotted behind-the-scenes, while the palace announced that Andrew had tested positive for the coronavirus.
Many expect this will be the last big bash for the 96-year-old queen, Britain’s longest-reigning monarch. And even those who are lukewarm toward the House of Windsor have embraced the special four-day holiday weekend. Brits are ready to put the pandemic behind them and party.

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