Queen Elizabeth thanked her people for getting involved in her Platinum Jubilee celebration with great pomp, parties, parades and public holidays to herald her record-breaking 70 years on the British throne.
The government said that millions of people across Britain and the world are expected to join the festivities starting on Thursday in honour of the 96-year-old, who has reigned for longer than any of her predecessors.
“Thank you to everyone who has been involved in convening communities, families, neighbours and friends to mark my Platinum Jubilee in the United Kingdom and across the Commonwealth,” 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.”
However, in a sign of the monarch’s advancing years and recent “episodic mobility” issues which have led her to cancel some engagements, Elizabeth’s involvement in the events might be somewhat limited.
The celebrations begin with the Trooping the Colour military parade in central London, and for the first time, Elizabeth will take the salute from the 1,500 soldiers and officers from the balcony of Buckingham Palace.
Other senior royals, including son and heir Prince Charles, 73, and his eldest son Prince William, 39, will carry out other ceremonial duties on her behalf. However, much attention will be focused on those who will not be present.
Second son Prince Andrew, 62, who settled a US lawsuit in February in which he was accused of sexually abusing a woman when she was underage, is not expected to attend.
Her grandson Prince Harry, now living in Los Angeles with his American wife Meghan, will also be absent when the royal family gathers on the palace balcony to watch a fly-past by modern and historic Royal Air Force planes after the parade.