The Queen always worries that no one will show up to see her

DESPITE being the most famous woman in the world, the Queen always worries that no one will see her on big occasions.

But yesterday, as she celebrated 70 years on the throne, her fears were unfounded.

Cheering crowds gather along the Mall to watch the RAF fly by

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Cheering crowds gather along the Mall to watch the RAF fly byPhoto credit: Getty
The flag-waving crowd stretched more than a mile from Buckingham Palace to Downing Street

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The flag-waving crowd stretched more than a mile from Buckingham Palace to Downing Street
Retired therapist Rita, from St Tudy, Cornwall, was dating her D-Day veteran father John, 97

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Retired therapist Rita, from St Tudy, Cornwall, was dating her D-Day veteran father John, 97Credit: RBL

The flag-waving crowd stretched more than a mile from Buckingham Palace to Downing Street.

So many came to see her that the subway stations around the palace had to close at 10am – with two hours until her historic double-balcony performance.

But still, people kept pouring in because everyone knew they were witnessing a once-in-a-lifetime event.

At 96, Queen Elizabeth II is the first British monarch in 1,000 years to celebrate a platinum jubilee.

And it’s likely there never will be again.

They cheered for more than three hours – but the biggest hooray came when the Queen first stepped onto the balcony to salute the troops as they returned from Horse Guards Parade.

“She left for cup of coffee”

When she walked in after 15 minutes and stood next to her cousin, the Duke of Kent, the crowd treated her like their favorite grandma.

A shout went out: “She went in for a cup of coffee and put on her slippers.”

And you knew right away she was back out — because the thousands who were allowed out of the Mall to surround the Queen Victoria Memorial stormed into God Save the Queen. Everyone wants her to rule over us for a long time.

Many of the hundreds of thousands who lined the route had their own personal reason to say thank you to Her Majesty.

Rita Westlake took her first steps as a toddler in south London when the Queen was crowned.

She says: “Exactly 69 years ago my family, who lived in Peckham, rented a TV to watch the coronation.

“When the trumpeters sounded, I got scared, jumped up and took my very first steps towards my mother. Thanks to the queen, I ran before I could walk.

“She has had a huge impact on my life and it’s amazing to be here.”

Retired therapist Rita, from St Tudy, Cornwall, was with her D-Day veteran father John, 97 – one of 3,000 jubilant military veterans who were given top spots at a British Legion stand next to Buck House.

Corporal John Jenkins was a gunsmith for the RAF during the Second World War. From 1969 to 1974 he often saw the Queen up close while serving as weapons electrician on the Royal Yacht Britannia. And he was in Portsmouth on the day the Queen shed tears as the ship was decommissioned.

I worked on the royal yacht Britannia. It's an honor to say

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I worked on the royal yacht Britannia. It’s an honor to say “thank you” today, said Paul JenkinsCredit: RBL
The queen is the treasure of the nation. It was a festival atmosphere, said Kat Olga

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The queen is the treasure of the nation. It was a festival atmosphere, said Kat OlgaCredit: Delivered
At 96, Queen Elizabeth II is the first British monarch in 1,000 years to celebrate a platinum jubilee

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At 96, Queen Elizabeth II is the first British monarch in 1,000 years to celebrate a platinum jubileeCredit: PA

John, from Bournemouth, Dorset, said: “I am honored to be here today to thank you for everything she has done for our country.”
More than 2,000 key workers were also in the stands, including

Gilbert Falconer, 65, who traveled from Scotland after bagging his seat in a national vote.

The paramedic said, “It’s like winning the lottery for me.”

Economic analyst Kat Olga, 28, from Surrey, was among thousands who stood outside Buckingham Palace during the flyby.

She said: “There was a festival atmosphere. The police had closed all the gates to the park but they opened them just after the parade and it was great walking down the Mall to Buckingham Palace with everyone. The Queen is our nation’s darling.”

Student Edmund Burgess, 20, who traveled from Somerset, said: “We were two rows down the Mall. We got here at 6am after traveling to London yesterday and staying in a hotel.

“I came to the Diamond Jubilee ten years ago but that was just a soak. Today was incredible.”

Builder Phil Benton, 56, from Cambridge, said: “People say the monarchy is a waste of money. But the Queen more than pays off with her lifetime of service.

“It was a great day”

“She recognized that Harry and Meghan are part of the family and it’s an olive branch to have them here for the anniversary.”

Jan Beveridge, 80, a retired advertising manager from Hornchurch, Essex, said: “The Queen has always been there for our country. Everyone applauded and cheered as the family was out on the balcony.

“The huge crowd here shows how amazing everyone thinks they are. London is absolutely packed. I’ve never seen it like that.”

Henna Bakhshi, 44, a public sector investigator from South East London, said: “Seeing the ’70’ fly by was a very special moment. My kids were so excited.

“Everyone looks up to the Queen and we’re proud of her.”

IT chief Rupert Mills, 46, from Walton-on-Thames, Surrey, said: “The anniversary celebrations have brought the country together after two years of the pandemic.

“The Queen has been so great for our country for 70 years.

New Zealanders Emily Hurle, Lauren Stone and Amelia Jull, all 28, and Lauren Keith, 27, walked into the mall wearing tiaras, sipping cocktails and hoping to catch a glimpse of the Queen.

Lauren Keith, who now lives in London, said: “She’s a legend. We love her. The masses today show how people feel about them.”

Amelia added: “She’s a big deal in New Zealand too and we all watch the Queen’s Christmas speech at home.” Jackson Waters, ten, from Dartford, Kent, said: “It was crazy when the planes flew by, and I really liked all the cheering.

“There were so many people in Trafalgar Square and I had to climb on my parents’ shoulders to see. The Red Arrows flew right over us.”

Jackson’s mother Suzanne, 45, a transport engineer, added: “It was a great day, a real best of British with all the flags and the atmosphere.

“I came for William and Kate’s wedding and the Diamond Jubilee, but there were a lot more people today.”

https://www.the-sun.com/lifestyle/5481225/historic-crowds-prove-queen-wrong/ The Queen always worries that no one will show up to see her

Jessica MacLeish

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