Rock 'n' roll, beacons for Jubilee celebrations
The Royal Barge passes St. Paul's Cathedral during the Diamond Jubilee River Pageant along the River Thames to Tower Bridge, London Sunday June 3, 2012. More than 1,000 boats will sail down the River Thames on Sunday in a flotilla tribute to Queen Elizabeth II's 60 years on the throne that organizers are calling the biggest pageant on the river for 350 years. (AP Photo/Lewis Whyld, PA) UNITED KINGDOM OUT
LONDON (AP) — The celebration of the 60-year reign of Queen Elizabeth II is ready to rock.
A gala concert kicks off at Buckingham Palace on Monday evening with Sir Elton John, Sir Paul McCartney, Dame Shirley Bassey, Sir Cliff Richard and Sir Tom Jones heading the line-up, along with younger artists.
Sea Cadets onboard TS Royalist man the masts and line the decks as the Royal Barge turns towards HMS President, during the Royal flotilla to celebrate Britain's Queen Elizabeth II's golden jubilee, on the river Thames in London, Sunday June 3, 2012. Her Majesty The Queen and His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh were onboard the Royal Barge, the Spirit of Chartwell with several other members of the Royal Family to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee at the River Pageant on the Thames.(AP Photo/MOD Royal Navy) The Royal Barge was accompanied by the Royal Barge Honour Guard made up of two P2000 patrol boats, two picket boats, two rigid inflatable boats from HMS Diamond, and four Off-shore Raiding Craft from 539 Assault Squadron Royal Marines. The Massed Bands of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines piped the boats down the river as they sailed behind the Royal Barge before Her Majesty The Queen was escorted by the First Sea Lord, Sir Mark Stanhope into HMS President, where the Royal Party then watched as the remaining boats sailed past. Portsmouth-based Minehunter HMS Hurworth was the Royal Navy’s contribution to the Pageant while the Royal Naval Reserves formed a Guard of Honour and Colour party at HMS President to receive the Queen. This was the first time the Colour had been presented in the presence of the Queen since it was presented the year following her Golden Jubilee. To round the whole pageant off, the Fleet Air Arm staged a flypast in a diamond formation over HMS President – with nine Royal Navy helicopters led by a Second World War Swordfish.
Afterward, more than 4,200 beacons are to be set alight in Britain and abroad to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee. One beacon is to be lit in Kenya at the Treetops Hotel, where Elizabeth was informed of her father's death in 1952, making her the queen.
After a drizzly, gray start, the weather looked better Monday morning, with a forecast of some sunshine by the time the concert starts.