'Discomfort' Sidelines Queen

Elizabeth will skip Friday church service celebrating her 70 years on throne
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 2, 2022 5:43 AM CDT
Updated Jun 2, 2022 2:20 PM CDT
Queen's Platinum Jubilee Celebration Is Underway
Crowds gather near Trafalgar Square in London, Thursday, on the first of four days of celebrations to mark the Platinum Jubilee.   (Stefan Rousseau/PA via AP)

Update: Buckingham Palace says Queen Elizabeth II will not attend a church service to mark her Platinum Jubilee after experiencing “discomfort” at events on Thursday, per the AP. The palace says that with “great reluctance” the 96-year-old monarch has decided to skip Friday’s service at St. Paul’s Cathedral. The palace says “the queen greatly enjoyed today’s Birthday Parade and Flypast but did experience some discomfort.” Britain is marking the monarch’s 70 years on the throne with four days of events. Our original story from Thursday morning follows:

Four days of celebrations honoring Queen Elizabeth II’s 70 years on the throne will get underway Thursday with a display of British military traditions stretching from the days of horse and cannon to the jet age, per the AP. Formal celebrations for the Platinum Jubilee begin with Trooping the Color, an annual military review that has marked the sovereign's official birthday since 1760. The queen is expected to join the working members of her family on the balcony of Buckingham Palace at the end of the event, when 70 aircraft are set to roar overhead. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will join other royals to watch the spectacle, having traveled from their home in California.

The jubilee is being commemorated with a four-day holiday weekend. The celebration of Elizabeth's reign includes a service of thanksgiving Friday at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London, a concert at Buckingham Palace on Saturday, and a pageant staged by thousands of performers drawn from schools and community groups around the country on Sunday afternoon. Throughout the weekend, neighborhood organizations and individuals are expected to hold thousands of street parties around the country, repeating a tradition that began with the queen’s coronation in 1953. An official Platinum Jubilee portrait of the 96-year-old queen has also been released.

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In a written jubilee message, Britain's longest-reigning monarch and the first to reach the milestone of seven decades on the throne thanked people in Britain and across the Commonwealth involved in organizing the celebrations. For many, the occasion is the first opportunity for a big bash since the start of the coronavirus pandemic more than two years ago. "I know that many happy memories will be created at these festive occasions," Elizabeth said. "I continue to be inspired by the goodwill shown to me, and hope that the coming days will provide an opportunity to reflect on all that has been achieved during the last 70 years, as we look to the future with confidence and enthusiasm," she said. (More Queen Elizabeth II stories.)

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