Fireworks cap off all-star Diamond Jubilee concert
Published Monday, June 4, 2012 10:18PM EDT
Thousands of Britons serenaded Queen Elizabeth II with "God Save the Queen" before a massive fireworks display lit up behind Buckingham Palace after a star-studded lineup of musicians celebrated the Diamond Jubilee Monday evening.
As many as 10,000 people had been expected to fill the Mall outside of the palace for the concert, while an estimated 500,000 watched on large screens in city parks and millions more viewed it on television.
One notable absence, however, was the Queen's husband, Prince Philip, who was taken to hospital Monday for a bladder infection.
The Duke of Edinburgh was taken to King Edward VII Hospital in London from Windsor Castle as a precautionary measure, and will remain there for a few days, Buckingham Palace announced.
Meanwhile, the Queen, members of the Royal Family and other dignitaries including Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his wife Laureen, as well as the general public, were treated to performances by Paul McCartney, Elton John, Stevie Wonder, Cliff Richard, Tom Jones and Shirley Bassey, along with younger artists.
Elton John performed "Your Song," "I'm Still Standing" and "Crocodile Rock." Tom Jones posed the question, "Why? Why? Why?" in the song "Delilah," while Annie Lennox sang "There Must Be An Angel."
Ska band Madness performed "Our House" on the palace roof, evoking a similar appearance at a Golden Jubilee concert 10 years ago by Brian May of Queen.
Kylie Minogue and Stevie Wonder sang a medley of greatest hits, and McCartney played a number of Beatles classics, including "Let It Be." American soprano Renee Fleming also performed with the BBC Concert Orchestra.
When the music ended, the Queen took the stage with her son, Prince Charles, and his wife, the Duchess of Cornwall, to light the last of 4,200 beacons that will glow throughout Britain and around the Commonwealth.
One such beacon is alight in Kenya at the Treetops Hotel, where the Queen was informed of her father's death in 1952, which brought her to the throne.
Canada House in London -- the country's diplomatic nerve centre in England -- also lit two beacons in honour of the Queen.
Before the Queen stepped forward to place an oversized replica diamond into place to light the beacon, Prince Charles thanked the concert's organizers, and paid tribute to his mother.
"Your Majesty. Mummy," he began to a loud cheer from the crowd and a smile from the Queen.
The prince noted how well his mother handled the transition to Queen at such a young age.
"Suddenly, unexpectedly, your and my father's lives were irrevocably changed, when you were only 26," he said.
"So, as a nation, this is our opportunity to thank you and my father for always being there for us, for inspiring us with your selfless duty and service, and for making us proud to be British."
He then led a crowd in three rounds of "Hip hip, hooray."
The lighting of the beacons ended Monday's official events, and was followed by a massive and colourful fireworks display set to British Composer Edward Elgar's Enigma Variations and other British compositions.
Monday and Tuesday have been proclaimed "bank holidays" in the United Kingdom to celebrate the Queen's 60 years on the throne.
The day's festivities were tempered somewhat with the news that Prince Philip had been hospitalized.
The prince had joined the Queen and senior royals on the River Thames Sunday in cold and rainy weather for a Diamond Jubilee flotilla.
Buckingham Palace said the prince, who turns 91 on Saturday, was taken to hospital in London from Windsor Castle as a precautionary measure.
He was expected to remain hospitalized under observation for a few days.
"The Duke of Edinburgh will not attend tonight's concert," the palace tweeted earlier Monday.
Sunday's massive 1,000-boat flotilla that floated down the Thames was a spectacular showing of support for the Queen, despite heavy rain at times, CTV's Ben O'Hara-Byrne said.
"What was most spectacular, I think, and this goes for the Canadians who were down there too, was everyone showed up with so much colour, so many union jacks and Canadian flags down there as well, O'Hara-Byrne said.
The thousands of people lined the river's edge 12 to 15 rows deep, many staying despite not being able to see much, he said.
Noting that Britain doesn't celebrate a national day like Victoria Day or Canada Day, the Jubilee events have given Britons a reason to come out in droves and show their "Britishness," O'Hara-Byrne said.
"People have been gearing up for this for a very long time," he said.
While in London, Harper will meet Tuesday with Prime Minister David Cameron at his official residence at 10 Downing St.
Harper is also expected to have an audience with the Queen at Buckingham Palace on Wednesday.