The Queen has delighted millions of viewers by appearing in a surprise comic sketch with Paddington Bear to kick-start the Jubilee concert.
The monarch and the famous bear – both much loved British institutions – tapped out the beat of the We Will Rock You anthem together on china teacups using silver spoons as a unique way of getting the celebrations under way.
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 in attendance outside Buckingham Palace.
Motown legend Diana Ross, performing for the first time in Britain in 15 years, is a star attraction at the event, which is being held on a purpose-built 360-degree stage outside the queen’s central London residence.
With the special, secretly-pre-recorded humorous two-and-a-half-minute sequence played at the start of the televised BBC’s Platinum Party at the Palace, the unlikely duo set the rhythm for opening act Queen + Adam Lambert – who joined in on the main stage.
Elizabeth II and the digitally animated character met for a chaotic cream tea at ‘Buckingham Palace’ in the footage, with the Queen revealing she shares Paddington’s love of marmalade sandwiches and keeps an emergency stash in her trademark handbag.
The duffle-coat wearing bear showed the Queen how he ensured he always had his favourite treat on him just in case, lifting up his red hat to reveal his snack.
The Queen responded by revealing ‘So do I’ before opening her bag and declaring ‘I keep mine in here’ to show her very own ready-made supply of the bread and orange preserve staple.
Accident-prone Paddington was shown causing mayhem by accidentally depriving the understanding sovereign of another cup of tea and spraying cream from a chocolate eclair over a Palace Footman.
Queen Elizabeth II and Paddington Bear having cream tea at Buckingham Palace taken from a film that was shown at the BBC Platinum Party at the Palace
The Queen performed a skit for the BBC’s Platinum Party at the Palace, where she and Paddington Bear chatted before she tapped along to ‘We Will Rock You’ by Queen
The bear from deepest darkest Peru congratulated the Queen on her reign of 70 years, saying: ‘Happy Jubilee Ma’am. And thank you. For everything.’
The modest Queen replied: ‘That’s very kind.’
It brought back memories of the Queen’s James Bond skit for the London 2012 Olympic opening ceremony, when the monarch met 007, played by Daniel Craig, and then appeared to parachute into the stadium, with the help of a body double.
Paddington and the Queen were pictured sat opposite each other in ornate chair at a table, laid for afternoon tea, covered with a white linen cloth in an opulent room.
Buckingham Palace said the Queen felt the opportunity to invite Paddington to tea was ‘too fun to miss’.
The Palace said: ‘Her Majesty is well known for her sense of humour, so it should be no surprise that she decided to take part in tonight’s sketch.
‘There was an interest in the filming and animation process and the opportunity to invite a famous bear to tea was just too much fun to miss.
‘While The Queen may not be attending the concert in person, she was very keen that people understood how much it meant to her and that all those watching had a great time.’
The Queen surprised millions of viewers by sharing a marmalade sandwich with everyone’s favourite animated bear
In a pre-recorded segment, Padding and Her Majesty were pictured sharing a marmalade sandwich at Buckingham Palace
The film was kept under wraps for several months by Buckingham Palace, BBC Studios and Heyday Films/StudioCanal.
Actor Ben Whishaw voice Paddington, just as he did in the hit movies of the children’s story.
Those involved in the film, which was actually shot at Windsor Castle, praised the Queen’s wit and warmth during the process, saying she shone and put them all at ease.
The Royal Family are out in force this evening along with tens of thousands of fans at the star-studded Party at the Palace event – but the Duke and Duchess of Sussex will be missing.
Among the royal attendees at Saturday’s star-studded live Jubilee concert, staged in front of Buckingham Palace, are the Prince of Wales, the Duchess of Cornwall and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
Prince Charles and Prince William are set to 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.
But Harry and Meghan, whose daughter Lilibet is celebrating her first birthday, will not be among those in the royal box.
A spokesperson for the couple, who stepped down as senior royals in 2020, said they were spending the day privately.
Others in attendance include Diana Ross and Alicia Keys are the Earl and Countess of Wessex and their children Lady Louise Windsor and Viscount Severn, the Princess Royal and Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence, Princess Beatrice and her husband Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi, and Princess Eugenie and her husband Jack Brooksbank.
Buzzing atmosphere: Crowd arriving before the start of the Platinum Party at the Palace in the front of Buckingham Palace
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. Pictured: The crowd arriving before the start of the Platinum Party at the Palace
Members of the public on The Mall before the start of the Platinum Party at the Palace in front of Buckingham Palace, London
Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his wife Carrie Johnson are pictured arriving at the BBC’s Platinum Party for the Palace as part of the Queen’s celebrations for 70 years on the throne
The Royal Box is filling up ahead of the concert this evening. Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge sits next to daughter Princess Charlotte, in front of Zara Tindall, the Queen’s granddaughter and her husband Mike Tindall, far left
Wales’s First Minister Mark Drakeford and wife Clare, are pictured in front of Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer and his wife Victoria as they wait for the Platinum Party at the Palace staged in front of Buckingham Palace
Anne’s son Peter Phillips is joined by his children Savannah and Isla, while Zara and Mike Tindall, who spent the day at the Epsom Derby with Anne and Sir Tim, will also be there.
The line-up: Who is performing at the star-studded Platinum Party at the Palace?
The star-studded line-up for this evening’s Party at the Palace is as follows:
Queen + Adam Lambert
Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber
Sir Elton John
Sir Rod Stewart
Sigala & Ella Eyre
The Queen’s cousins – the Duke of Gloucester, the Duke of Kent and Prince Michael of Kent – with the Duchess of Gloucester and Princess Michael of Kent – and Princess Margaret’s daughter Lady Sarah Chatto and her family are also in attendance, along with a number of other extended family members.
Political leaders who have been pictured arriving so far this evening include Prime Minister Boris Johnson with wife Carrie, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer and Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford.
Eurovision star Sam Ryder and Diversity’s Ashley Banjo are among the stars praising the Queen’s service ahead of their performances this evening.
The special event will be opened by Queen + Adam Lambert, while soul singer Diana Ross will close the concert, which will be broadcast live on BBC One on Saturday evening.
Ryder, who was 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.
Speaking backstage about the monarch’s 70 years on the throne, Ryder, 32, 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 subtle 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’.
Banjo, 33, will be performing with his dance troupe Diversity during the concert, teasing that in honour of the historic occasion they will be doing ‘something special’ and ‘different’ which reflects across history while also looking to the future.
He also said that to describe the Queen as an ‘icon’ is an understatement, adding: ‘She’s just an extremely special person, such a unique human for the country and the world.’
Brian May said that he hopes the collaboration of Queen + Adam Lambert can ‘pull off something epic’ when opening the show this evening.
The 74-year-old guitarist created a classic moment 20 years ago during the 2002 Golden Jubilee celebrations when he performed God Save The Queen on Buckingham Palace’s roof.
Speaking backstage, May said: ‘We’re exceedingly honoured and exceedingly happy to be here, it means a lot to us.
‘We were here 20 years ago for the Golden Jubilee and it’s great to be asked back.
‘And we like to bring something special every time, so we’ll see if we can pull off something epic tonight.’
He added that he does feel a ‘little bit of pressure’ this time around, but noted that the band enjoys the challenge of creating events which will be memorable.
Queen drummer Roger Taylor described the band’s opening set of the Platinum Party at the Palace as a ‘feel-good’ moment to take people’s minds off the misery of covid.
He told the BBC’s Roman Kemp: ‘This is a short feel-good set and we want to bring joy and really kick off the proceedings with a big kick-off.
‘This is a moment of jubilation after all the misery we’ve been through and which we won’t talk about.’
The band’s guest lead singer Adam Lambert praised the Queen’s ‘graceful and powerful presence.’
He told the BBC: ‘We’re ready to go. To be a guest of the United Kingdom for the Jubilee, it’s a huge honour.
‘From what I’ve learned about the Queen, even more so in the last couple of years being an American, [she’s an] impressive lady with a graceful and powerful presence in this country.
‘I’m thrilled, I’m thrilled to be here to celebrate.’
Broadcasters Roman Kemp and Kirsty Young will lead the BBC’s live coverage of the event, which is being broadcast on BBC One, BBC iPlayer and BBC Radio 2.
Brian May, Adam Lambert and Roger Taylor of Queen attend the BBC’s Platinum Party at the Palace this evening
George Ezra hailed the Queen’s 70-year reign as sovereign as ‘admirable’ and ‘mindblowing’ ahead of performing this evening
Eurovision star Sam Ryder has said the manner in which the Queen carries herself ‘reminds us that strength can be gentle’
Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber and Lin-Manuel Miranda attend the BBC Platinum Party at Palace backstage press room, London
Reflecting on the Queen’s reign, Kemp, 29, said: ‘People don’t understand the actual service that gets put in sometimes, I think.
‘Over that amount of time, the things that she’s done for the country, in terms of bringing awareness to certain causes, bringing awareness to things that need to be shouted about and being able to back it up, whether it be finances or press or whatever, it’s been amazing.’
He also noted the tourism that the monarch brings to the UK, adding: ‘She basically travels to countries all around the world showing who we are as Brits and that’s something that should never be snubbed and it should be celebrated.’
The Royal Ballet will also feature during the special concert, with ballet dancer Lauren Cuthbertson saying it is ‘the most incredible feeling’ to have been selected to perform in honour of the Queen.
The concert, being held outside Buckingham Palace, also features performances from Duran Duran, Craig David, Alicia Keys and Sir Rod Stewart.
Other famous faces from the worlds of sport, stage and screen who are part of the event include Sir David Attenborough, tennis star Emma Raducanu, David Beckham, Stephen Fry and Dame Julie Andrews, with the evening also featuring a specially recorded performance from Sir Elton John.
George Ezra hailed the Queen’s 70-year reign as sovereign as ‘admirable’ and ‘mindblowing’ ahead of performing at the BBC’s Platinum Party at the Palace concert.
The singer, 28, said he feels ‘very flattered’ to be among the line-up, noting that this event will rank in his career highlights alongside playing the main stage at Glastonbury.
Ashley Banjo, Perri Kiely and Jordan Banjo of Diversity attend the BBC Platinum Party at Palace backstage press room, London, on day three of the Platinum Jubilee celebrations for Queen Elizabeth II
A look at what’s coming: Nile Rodgers took fans behind-the-scenes of the the Queen ‘s Platinum Jubilee Party on Saturday
Reflecting on the Queen’s reign backstage at the event, Ezra said: ‘I was watching the other day a clip that kind of showed every prime minister that she has worked with, and this is my ignorance, but I just hadn’t realised how far back it was.
‘And then when we think about the fact that this is the 70th Jubilee, that’s unbelievable because of course in my life, she will have always been the monarch.
‘I think it’s admirable, I think it’s mind-blowing actually.’
Andrea Bocelli has said that when he previously met the Queen, he thought she was ‘very smart’ and ‘kind’.
Speaking backstage at the BBC’s Platinum Party at the Palace concert, the Italian operatic tenor, 63, said that he also really liked the monarch’s accent.
Composer Hans Zimmer has recalled accidentally insulting the Queen when he was a child, and joked that if she remembers this he might be cut from the Platinum Party at the Palace programme.
Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries and Home Secretary Priti Patel smile and take photos as they take their seats outside Buckingham Palace for a star-studded concert tonight
Speaking backstage at the event, he said: ‘I’ve met her a couple of times. I remember when I was tiny, when I was three or four years old, and I sort of insulted her.
‘Because I was introduced to her and I looked at her and I stared at her and I said: ‘You’re not the Queen,’ and she goes: ‘Why not?’ And I say: ‘You’re not wearing a crown,’ which to a three-year-old makes perfect sense.
‘So maybe she remembers – maybe I’m going to get cut out of the programme tonight.’
The Oscar-winning composer also revealed that he knows the Queen is a pianist and hopes that she and the whole country enjoys the special Jubilee concert.
Excited ticket holders queue for up to 12 hours ahead of star-studded Party at the Palace TONIGHT
Excited ticket-holders have 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 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.
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.’
Teenager Samantha Gee arrived six hours before the gates are due to open, having travelled all the way from Folkestone
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
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
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.’
Jubilee partygoers Mandy and Malcolm Tipple said they travelled from their home in Lincolnshire for Party at the Palace because they wanted to celebrate being British.
The couple wore Union Jack flags and matching face paint for the Buckingham Palace concert.
Mr Tipple, 65, said: ‘It’s fantastic. I’m ex-military and I’ve followed the Queen all my life.’
Mrs Tipple, 59, added: ‘I’m just proud to be British, so to be here for this is a dream come true.’
Lucy Morris, 39, and her son Lucas Wainwright, 14, travelled from Durham in north-east England for Party at the Palace – which the teenager described as ‘the best thing of my life’.
British Eurovision star Sam Ryder rehearsing outside Buckingham Palace ahead of the BBC’s Party at the Palace concert
Lucas, who had swapped his prosthetic leg to a ‘Jubilee-style leg’ patterned with Union Jacks for the occasion, said: ‘It’s an honour to be here.
‘I’m looking forward to seeing the royals come out.
‘They’re connected to God, they’re here to lead us as a country, as a nation. I think that’s very important.’
Paying homage to the rock band Queen, who will be performing at the concert, Ms Morris said: ‘He’s hoping to see the Queen, whereas I’m hoping to see the other Queen.’
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!!
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
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
‘[T]une in to Platinum Party at the Palace from 7.30pm on BBC One for a huge evening of music and celebrations’.
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.’