Partygoers have described “a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity”, “an honour” and “a dream come true” to be celebrating the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee at a Buckingham Palace party.
Some 22,000 people are marking the historic occasion outside the royal residence beneath overcast skies in central London – but the quintessentially British summertime weather has not dampened spirits.
Crowds are eagerly awaiting the Prince of Wales and the Duke of Cambridge, who are due to speak at Party at the Palace before stars including rock band Queen, Diana Ross and George Ezra perform from 8pm.
Aisha Kasim, 37, described being at the event as a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity”.
University learning support worker Ms Kasim travelled to the palace concert with her mother Mae Kasim, a retired teacher, from their home in Aberdeen.
Aisha, who was wearing a Scottish flag, told the PA news agency: “I think it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity and I think it’s the sort of thing that we probably won’t see again any time soon.
“(The Queen) is our longest-serving monarch, she’s done amazing all these years, so it’s just great to come along for the party and to make the journey from Scotland.
“We flew all the way from the other side of the country for this so we’re happy to be here.”
“I’m actually from Nigeria as well, I’m Nigerian-Scottish, and Nigeria was an ex British colony, so I’ve grown up my while life with that,” she added.
Lucy Morris, 39, and her son Lucas Wainwright, 14, travelled from Durham in north-east England for the concert.
Both were wearing Union Jack wigs and face paint, and the teenager described being at the event as “the best thing of my life”.
Lucas, who had also swapped his prosthetic leg to a “Jubilee-style leg” patterned with Union Jacks for the occasion, told the PA news agency: “It’s an honour to be here. I’m looking forward to seeing the royals come out.
“They’re connected to God, they’re here to lead us as a country, as a nation. I think that’s very important.”
Paying homage to the rock band Queen who will be performing at the concert, Ms Morris said: “He’s hoping to see the Queen, whereas I’m hoping to see the other Queen.”
Lincolnshire couple Mandy and Malcolm Tipple were among those wearing Union Jack flags and matching face paint for the occasion. Mr Tipple, 65, told PA: “It’s fantastic. I’m ex-military and I’ve followed the Queen all my life.”
Mrs Tipple, 59, added: “I’m just proud to be British, so to be here for this is a dream come true.” Meanwhile, millions more are expected to watch the concert from their homes via BBC One.
Queen, whose guitarist Brian May performed on Buckingham Palace roof for the last Party at the Palace in 2002, will be joined by singer Adam Lambert, while Eurovision star Sam Ryder will also take to the stage.
Sir Elton John is featuring in a pre-recorded performance, and live performances were also given by Alicia Keys, Nile Rodgers, Andrea Bocelli, Duran Duran, Hans Zimmer, Ella Eyre, Craig David, Mabel, and Elbow.
British household names including Sir David Attenborough, David Beckham, Stephen Fry and US Open winner Emma Raducanu are also marking the historic occasion.