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Comment 05 JUNE 2012

Jubilation and the biggest cheer of her reign for the nation's favourite grandma

05 JUNE 2012

Looking out on an unending sea of red, white and blue and wave upon wave of well wishers, the Queen can be in no doubt of her place in people's hearts.

Despite the Britishness of the weather and the absence of Prince Phillip, her final appearance of the Diamond Jubilee from the balcony of Buckingham Palace was as joyful as those of the past few days.

 

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The tributes on the Mall were humorous as well as heartfelt and serious, with many wellwishers decked out in jaunty crowns and holding handwritten messages of support, a carnival atmosphere reigned.

Up and down the famous avenue, they took up the chant: "We want the Queen".

And when the lady of the hour finally stepped out, the masses, who you might've thought were already hoarse, gave a great cheer.

 

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The Queen appeared together with senior royals - Prince Charles, the Duchess of Cornwall, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry - whom she has given key roles in four days of pomp and pageantry. 

They were treated to an aerial display which included two King Air aircarft, Spitfires, a Hurricane and a Lancaster.

As a glorious finale, the Red Arrows filled the air with the colours of the Union Jack.

Then, soldiers from The Queen's Guard, which protects the royal residences, performed the Feu de Joie or Fire of Joy.

 

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This is a celebratory cascade of rifle fire which has been performed only once before for the monarch, at her 80th birthday in 2006.

Accompanying the rat a-tat-tat was the National Anthem, played by the band of the Irish Guards. But they were almost drowned out by the enthusiastic singing of the adoring crowds.

Finally the soldiers gave three cheers for their Diamond Queen.

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