Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 28 December 2014

Charles tribute to Queen at concert

The Prince of Wales kisses the Queen's hand at the end of the Diamond Jubilee Concert at Buckingham Palace
The Prince of Wales kisses the Queen's hand at the end of the Diamond Jubilee Concert at Buckingham Palace
Fireworks above Buckingham Palace during the Diamond Jubilee Concert
Sir Paul McCartney on stage outside Buckingham Palace during the Diamond Jubilee Concert

The Prince of Wales has paid a heartfelt tribute to the Queen after a rousing Diamond Jubilee concert and also remembered the Duke of Edinburgh ill in hospital.

Stood on stage with his mother the Queen a few feet away, Charles told hundreds of thousands who had gathered to watch the star-studded event that they were "celebrating the life and service of a very special person".

But he added there was a disappointing element to the evening. "The only sad thing about this evening is that my father cannot be her with us because unfortunately he's been taken unwell," he said.

The Queen looked down at the ground as Charles spoke about his father but he remained upbeat despite the 90-year-old Duke being treated in central London's Edward VII hospital for a bladder infection, which will see him remain under observation for a couple of days. He told the crowds: "Ladies and gentlemen, if we shout loud enough he might just hear us in hospital." A huge cheer went up from the spectators and many stamped their feet and chants of "Philip, Philip" broke out.

The Prince began his words of praise for the Queen by addressing her first as "Your Majesty", then "Mummy", which brought a huge cheer from spectators.

Charles told the Queen: "A Diamond Jubilee is a unique and special event, some of us have had the joy of celebrating three jubilees with you, and I have the medals to prove it. And we're now celebrating the life and service of a very special person, over the last 60 years. I was three when my grandfather George VI died and suddenly, unexpectedly you and my father's lives were irrevocably changed when you were only 26. 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."

At this point there were huge cheers from the crowds and many members of the Royal Family applauded including the Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry.

On stage were all the acts who had performed during the night including Sir Paul McCartney who had given the event a rousing finale. Charles ended by saying that through the Queen's leadership of the Commonwealth she had given the country that "essential sense of unity through diversity". Then he led the crowd in giving three cheers for the Queen.

The concert was staged outside Buckingham Palace and so many people were attracted to nearby St James's Park and the Mall, where they could watch performers on big screens, that police declared the areas full just before 9pm and directed others to Hyde Park.

After Charles' speech there was a huge fireworks display fired from the roof of the palace.

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