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Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Prince Charles pays moving and personal tribute to 'Mummy' the Queen at spectacular Buckingham Palace Diamond Jubilee Concert

By Rebecca English, Royal Correspondent

-Queen arrived mid-way through the concert and was escorted to her seat by Prince Charles and Camilla
-Paul McCartney wishes Prince Phillip a speedy recovery after he misses concert with infection
-Robbie Williams, Kylie Minogue, Tom Jones, Elton John, Grace Jones, Annie Lennox among those to perform to 12,000-strong crowd

Prince Charles paid a tribute to 'Mummy' ons tage at Buckingham Palace after a momentous concert featuring some of the world's leading musicians - such as Paul McCartney, Sir Tom Jones and Elton John - in the background

Prince Charles gave a warm, emotional and often witty speech in praise of his mother at the close of the Diamond Jubilee Concert.

Just his opening word – ‘Mummy’ – earned him rapturous cheers from the crowd as the Queen, dressed in a gold lame gown dotted with crystals, looked on plainly delighted.

The pair, accompanied by the Duchess of Cornwall, had minutes earlier made their way down to the stage encircling the Queen Victorial Memorial, to a standing ovation.

Celebrities including Kylie Minogue and Cheryl Cole jostled to stand as close to the royal party as possible.

The prince gently warmed his audience up by making a joke about the terrible weather for Sunday’s river pageant.

‘If I may say so, thank God it turned out fine!’ he said.

Gary Barlow of Take That, who organised the concert, shares a word with Her Majesty as Shirley Bassey, right, and Cheryl Cole, far left, lead the applause

He also made a poignant reference to the Duke of Edinburgh who was in hospital, just a few miles away.

‘The only sad thing about tonight is that my father cannot be here with us because, unfortunately, he’s been taken unwell.’

And he added to tumultuous applause: ‘If we shout loud enough he might just be able to hear us in hospital.’

Turning to his mother, he paid tribute to ‘the life and service of a very special person’ (although he appeared to make a mistake when he referred to her being 26 when she acceeded to the throne. In fact she was 25.)

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.

The prince went to say how proud the jubilee celebrations had made the country at a time when so many were suffering from ‘hardship and difficulty’ and paid tribute to the members of the public lining the banks of the Thames on Sunday in the wind and the rain.

As he drew to a close, he led the audience in giving three cheers for the Queen, before kissing her hand affectionately and adding: ‘So Your Majesty we offer you our humble duty and with it three resounding cheers for our Majesty The Queen!’

Sir Paul McCartney, who was closing the concert with three songs, wished the Duke well, saying: 'We all send our best wishes for a speedy recovery. I hear he's not too bad.'

Take That star Robbie Williams opened the show by belting out one of his biggest hits, the aptly-named Let Me Entertain You.

Blazing glory: Crowds stand in The Mall as they watch fireworks rain down above the The Diamond Jubilee Concert stage

Red, white and very blue: The epic finale to the concert lit up the sky

Dazzling display: An incredible scne as orange fireworks clash beautifully with the purple of the stage

Union Flags line the Mall as thousands of dancing fans gear up for the big climax to the show

Performers from the present generation also appeared on stage - Will.i.am Jessie J, JLS and Ed Sheeran.

But it was the veterans Sir Cliff Richard and Sir Tom Jones who got the crowds on their feet with renditions of classic songs from their repertoire.

Organisers said days before the concert that the Queen would take her seat at around 9pm.

She arrived wearing a stunning cocktail dress of gold lame designed by Angela Kelly under a dark cape.

The dress had sweeping trimmings of antique gold lace and deep olive, and was adorned with Swarovski crystals.

Pomp and cricumstance: Union Flags as far as the eye can see as the concert draws to a close and royals take to the stage

Gary Barlow had said he was performing with a very special guest and Cheryl Cole certainly didn't disappoint in the style stakes as she stepped out on stage at the Queen's Diamond Jubilee concert tonight.

The 28-year-old looked effortlessly elegant in a strapless black gown by Polish designer Ewa Minge, which boasted a bodice covered in sequins, a velvet trim and ended with a dramatic layered white and black fishtail.

Cheryl and Gary performed a special, and moving, rendition of Need You Now to the 12,000-strong crowd that had gathered to celebrate outside Buckingham Palace.

It appeared that Cheryl impressed Prince Harry and Prince William who were seen beamed as they watched the show from the Royal box.

Even Kate Middleton, who is formally Catherine Duchess of Cambridge, was seen smiling and waving her flag along to the song.

The duo led the best of British talent performing alongside the biggest names of music including Sir Tom Jones, Sir Elton John, Dame Shirley Bassey to name just a few.

There was also plenty of help from stars around the Commonwealth including the likes of Kylie Minogue, Will.i.am and Grace Jones.

An event 60 years in the making: Images of The Queen throughout her reign were projected onto Buckingham Palace

Flag flies above the Mall: Thousands watch the Union Flag raised after the concert finished

Robbie Williams kicked off proceedings at the Queen's Diamond Jubilee concert at Buckingham Palace as the first act to take to the stage in the glorious sunshine.

The Take That star sang his hit song Let Me Entertain You to the thousands of fans who managed to secure tickets to the celebrations.

Last song: Sir Paul McCartney took to the stage to sing the last song of the evening

Paying tribute: Sir Paul told the Queen: 'May I congratulate Your Majesty on 60 fantastic years'

Sheer madness! The band took to the roof of Buckingham Palace to perform their hit Our House

Just another street in Britain: As Madness performed projections were put onto Buckingham Palace transforming the Royal residence into difference streets

Crowd pleaser: The rooftop performance was without doubt one of the highlights of the show

Inside the Palace: The projections also appeared to open up the palace as if it were a dolls house

Doping Britain proud: The setting of the concert was a spectacle in itself and the weather held out to turn into a fine evening to celebrate The Queen's 60 years on the throne

From day to night: As the night began to fall the TV screens showed Kylie performing on stage

All for you: Queen Elizabeth arrived mid-way through the performance but appeared to enjoy the show despite having earplugs in

Think pink: Sir Elton John was dressed in a sparkling bright pink coat and a black suit and a pair of black trousers as he performed Your Song and dedicated it to the Queen

What a talent: Stevie Wonder sang a special Happy Birthday song for The Queen and Will.i.am also joined him on stage

Get your hands in the air! Robbie looked dapper in his military-inspired outfit with his initials embellished on his cuffs. The singer told the audience to throw their hands in the air

With Buckingham Palace providing a stunning backdrop Robbie made a dramatic entrance surrounded by military band players.

The singer had donned his own military-style jacket in navy with his initials embellished in gold on his cuffs.

Following his performance Robbie saluted the Royal box where the family sat with the best view of the proceedings.

Simply stunning! Cheryl Cole donned an elegant strapless gown with a huge fishtail skirt as she took to the stage with Gary Barlow at the Queen's Diamond Jubilee concert

Special treat for the Royals: Cheryl sang Need You Now with Gary Barlow and much to the surprise of fans sang live

Cheryl's a hit! Prince William and Harry were seen beaming while Kate waved her flag with plenty of enthusiasm

Getting into it: Garry was seen dancing around the stage as Cheryl belted out notes to the song

We are with her! Guards happily posed up with Cheryl who tweeted a snap of herself

Best seats in the house: Prince Charles and Camilla were seen on the front row of the Royal box

Double trouble: The Voice judges Will.i.am and Jessie J performed the Black Eyed Peas song I Gotta Feeling and were decked out in red white and blue

Rocking around: Sir Cliff Richard took to the stage in a dusty pink suit whit a diamante tie as he showed off his best moves

Still got it! The 71-year-old singer was seen dancing around the stage with scantily clad dancers

What a spectacle! 12,000 people made their way outside Buckingham Palace and hordes were seen watching the show on the big screens

The guest of honour, The Queen arrived mid-way through the show and was escorted to her seat by the help of Prince Charles and Camilla.

Her husband Prince Phillip was hospitalized earlier in the day due to a bladder infection so that could have been the reason for her late arrival.

Lenny Henry introduced Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and said: 'You just missed Tom Jones,' before pointing up to the palace and adding 'I mean you live just there'.

A song for the moment: Cliff Richard performed his 1968 song Congratulations but said it was written for this very moment

Feeling patriotic: The 12,000-strong crowd were not short of flags

As unusual as ever: Grace Jones didn't disappoint with her outfit and took to the stage in a black and red outfit and she was seen hula-hooping as she sang

Feeling the love: Boy band JLS took to the stage to sing their hit track Everybody in Love

Young and old: The audience was made up of all sorts of people from Great Britain and beyond, young and old to enjoy the concert

By royal appointment: The singers took to the elaborate stage with Buckingham providing a spectacular backdrop

One has arrived! The Queen made her entrance mid-way through the performance and looked sophisticated in her black caped coat

Mixed music: Lang Lang took to the piano while British tenor Alfie also performed

What a great day: The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were seen laughing with Zara Phillips and Mike Tindall sat behind them
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