God Save The Queen!
Queen Elizabeth cut something of a lonely figure as she processed down alone the aisle of London’s St. Paul’s Cathedral for Tuesday’s special service to mark her Diamond Jubilee.
With her husband, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, in the hospital, Her Majesty, 86, took her place at the end of the procession, a few paces behind her son Prince Charles, 63, and his wife Camilla.
Just ahead of the trio was the the Duchess of Cambridge in a dusty pink Alexander McQueen dress and Jane Taylor hat.
She and husband William and Prince Harry – both men in traditional tailcoats – had arrived at the cathedral a few minutes ahead of the monarch, who was greeted by the crowds with shouts of “God Save The Queen.”
A Palace source says the Duke, who turns 91 on Sunday, was “very disappointed” to be missing the day’s events, which wrap up the central celebration of the Diamond Jubilee. Many also believe the Queen would have relished having him by her side for Tuesday’s day of religious and national thanksgiving.
During his sermon, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams, said, “Our prayers and thoughts are very much with [Prince Philip] this morning.”
Williams praised the Queen’s “dedication” that has lasted through most of the adult lives of those in the congregation. “We are marking six decades of living proof that public service is possible and that it is a place where happiness can be found,” he said.
After the service, the Queen rode with one of her ladies in waiting, in the royal Bentley, to attend a Jubilee luncheon at Westminster Hall.
Later Tuesday, Her Majesty was scheduled to make a special broadcast of thanks, which was recorded in the Presence Room in Buckingham Palace on Monday evening, prior to the Jubilee Concert.