SYLVIA HUI, Associated Press
LONDON (AP) — Royal fans were hoping for Queen Elizabeth II to appear at Buckingham Palace after a colorful street performance in London on Sunday, the last day of the monarch’s 70th birthday holiday weekend.
Thousands of performers will walk the three-kilometer (nearly two-mile) route from the Horse Guards Parade down the mall to Buckingham Palace, recounting the Queen’s life story with dancing, colorful costumes, carnival music and giant puppets.
The festivities will begin with the ringing of bells in Westminster Abbey, and a military band will lead the gilded gold horse-drawn carriage that brought the Queen to her coronation 69 years ago.
Monarch will not participate in the competition, but archived video of her will be broadcast from the windows of the car.
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The royal fans braved the wet and cold weather and camped out overnight at the mall to ensure they had the best view of the competition. Some have come for celebrities to perform, while others say they want to be part of a historic moment.
“This is part of history, it will never happen again. It’s something special, so if you’re going to do it, you have to go big or go home,” said 50-year-old Sean Wallen.
The Queen has not appeared in public at Platinum Anniversary events since Thursday, smiling and waving on the balcony of Buckingham Palace with her family. She has limited her performances in recent months due to what the palace describes as “episodic mobility problems.”
However, she delighted the country when she appeared in a surprise comedy video opening Saturday’s concert in front of Buckingham Palace. In the video, the Monarch is seen drinking tea with a computer-animated Paddington Bear and reveals that, like the furry character, she is partial to marmalade sandwiches and likes to keep them in her purse.
Diana Ross and rock band Queen headlined an all-star tribute concert that also featured Rod Stewart, Duran Duran, Alicia Keys and Andrea Bocelli.
On Sunday, celebrities including Ed Sheeran will perform the song “God Save the Queen” outside Buckingham Palace in the final of the competition. Many hope that the monarch will appear on the balcony for the second time at the end of the festive weekend.
Jo Kearney contributed to this report.
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