Queen receives standing ovation at Platinum Jubilee show as the nation salutes her 70 years of service

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The Queen arrives for the A Gallop Through History Platinum Jubilee celebration at the Royal Windsor Horse Show (Steve Parsons/PA) (PA Wire)
The Queen arrives for the A Gallop Through History Platinum Jubilee celebration at the Royal Windsor Horse Show (Steve Parsons/PA) (PA Wire)

The Queen was greeted with a standing ovation from a 5,000 strong crowd on Sunday night to mark the start of her Platinum Jubilee celebrations.

Celebrations got underway with a star-studded equestrian extravaganza featuring some of the world’s leading performers.

The 96-year-old monarch enjoyed a cast of entertainers , including Tom Cruise, Dame Helen Mirren, who appeared as the Queen, Damian Lewis and Katherine Jenkins, as part of the musical and theatrical event ‘A Gallop Through History’ closing the four-day Royal Windsor Horse Show.

The Queen clearly enjoyed the show and at its finale, when her own horses and ponies were led around the open-air arena, appeared enthralled, beaming as the animals passed the royal box.

The Queen meets Alan Tichmarsh and Adjoa Andoh (left) as she departs following the A Gallop Through History Platinum Jubilee celebration at the Royal Windsor Horse Show (Steve Parsons/PA) (PA Wire)
The Queen meets Alan Tichmarsh and Adjoa Andoh (left) as she departs following the A Gallop Through History Platinum Jubilee celebration at the Royal Windsor Horse Show (Steve Parsons/PA) (PA Wire)

Dame Mirren gave a heartfelt tribute to the Queen, telling the head of state: “For all these years you have carried our nation. You have been at its heart, its drumbeat. You have given us purpose and when situations have been challenging your hope, guidance and leadership have been unswerving.

“I address you on behalf of all your loyal subjects. We commend and admire the way that you carry out the affairs of state with such dexterity and poise.

“I therefore speak on behalf of a grateful nation and commonwealth when I give you our sincere and most loving thanks.”

Despite ongoing mobility issues the Queen had walked to her seat in the royal box after she was driven into the Castle Arena escorted by mounted divisions of the Household Cavalry.

She was joined by the Earl and Countess of Wessex for the show that reflected her life-long passion for horses.

A tri-service guard of honour featuring the Coldstream Guards, RAF Regiment and Royal Navy was in place for the Queen’s arrival which was signalled by the National Anthem being played by military musicians.

The Queen sat in the royal box with a blanket over her knees and a shawl around her shoulders as Omid Djalili, the event’s narrator of the journey through history, took the audience through key moments, adding his inimitable humour.

Dame Helen, who won an Oscar for her portrayal of the Queen in the film of the same name, played Queen Elizabeth I as the show began by chronicling the events of the first Elizabethan age, from the attempted invasion of the Spanish Armada to leading figures of the day like William Shakespeare.

Dame Helen appeared as Queen Elizabeth I in a theatrical performance entitled A Gallop Through History (Steve Parsons/PA) (PA Wire)
Dame Helen appeared as Queen Elizabeth I in a theatrical performance entitled A Gallop Through History (Steve Parsons/PA) (PA Wire)

Highlights included the Royal Cavalry of Oman who filled the arena with their display of horsemanship, which had the Queen smiling, including the sight of horses lying down on command, and the precision marching and rifle handling skills of the King’s Guard of Norway.

Performers from Azerbaijan had the crowds cheering when riders performed feats as their horses galloped, from lying on their backs to doing handstands.

At one point the Queen was spotted picking up her handbag and she reached inside for her lipstick and applied a new coat to her lips.

The unexpected appearance marked her majesty’s second public appearance in three days, after she made a surprise visit to the annual equestrian event on Friday where her horse was named supreme champion.

Djalli could not resist a joke and said to the monarch: “Thank you for choosing us over the State Opening of Parliament.”

Earlier in the week, the monarch pulled out of the ceremonial event due to ongoing mobility troubles.

Her throne remained empty while Prince Charles delivered the speech in her place.

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