Spectacular military parades, street parties up and down the country, drone and light shows at Buckingham Palace, and a surprising starring turn from Queen Elizabeth II and Paddington Bear: Britain’s four-day Platinum Jubilee extravaganza has been one long party demonstrating the extraordinary popularity of the monarch after 70 years on the throne.
Britain’s longest-reigning monarch only made three brief appearances during the long holiday weekend dedicated to marking her service. But the absence of the leading lady didn’t dampen the nation’s party atmosphere, with millions turning out for patriotic street shindigs, barbecues and picnics in their cities and villages.
The four days of celebrations were bookended by two Buckingham Palace balcony appearances by the 96-year-old queen — one on Thursday as festivities kicked off, and the other on Sunday at the finale of a massive street pageant.
Crowds erupted into three cheers as the queen waved and smiled on the balcony along with…