Meghan and Harry to appear on balcony for Trooping the Colour but not with Queen

The four-day celebrations to mark the Platinum Jubilee kick off today, and the Queen urged Brits up and down the land to join in the bank holiday fun.

As people prepare for millions of street parties and an array of other events, the 96-year-old thanked the nation for keeping her “inspired” to carry on through the good times and the bad of her 70-year reign.

And she declared: “I know that many happy memories will be created at these festive occasions.”

The celebrations start in style today with Trooping the Colour to mark her official birthday.

And in the spirit of togetherness she hopes to foster, Prince Harry and Meghan will be at the ­ceremony as they take a break from their ­self-imposed exile in the US.




An aerial view showing Horse Guards Parade, the Mall and Buckingham Palace

Although they will be over half a mile away from the main ­Buckingham Palace balcony event.

The pair will come face with other royals, including the Duchess of Cambridge and the Duchess of Cornwall for the first time in two years when they gather on the balcony at Horse Guards Parade.

The couple flew in yesterday with their children Archie, three, and 11-month-old Lilibet from ­California, where they moved after quitting royal life.

Trooping the Colour, featuring 1,500 soldiers and 350 horses returns to London for the first time since the pandemic.





Prince Harry and Meghan Markle travelled from the US for the Jubilee (

Getty Images)




Rod Stewart at Buckingham Palace for a sound check ahead of the Platinum Jubilee

Prince Andrew will not be at the event after he made a £12million payout over sex scandal claims, but he may attend a service of thanksgiving at St Paul’s cathedral with other family members tomorrow.

Harry and Meghan will not be on the balcony at the Palace for an RAF fly-past later today after the Queen declared only working members of her family would attend. Instead, they will return to their Windsor home.

Prince Charles, Prince William and Princess Anne are to join the Queen at the Palace as adoring crowds below pay tribute to her seven decades of loyal service. Buckingham Palace last night issued a new portrait of the Queen to mark the Jubilee. Taken by royal photographer Ranald Mackechnie in the Victoria Vestibule at Windsor Castle on May 25, it shows her resting her hands on her lap.

Mr Mackechnie said it was “an honour and a ­privilege” to ­photograph her for the occasion.

Her Majesty paid tribute to the thousands of volunteers who have worked tirelessly to prepare for this historic occasion.

It culminates in a huge concert outside the Palace on Saturday and a pageant through the streets of London on Sunday. Sir Rod Stewart, Sir Elton John, Ella Eyre, Diana Ross and Brian May will be among the performers.

Sir Rod was yesterday spotted at the gates of the Palace as he prepared for a sound check at the venue. And Sir Elton was pictured arriving at Leipzig airport, Germany, in a wheelchair.

Elbow frontman Guy Garvey also attended the soundcheck as he belted out tunes from his set.





Ella Eyre rehearses with dancers on a stage outside Buckingham Palace (

George Cracknell Wright/LNP)

Supermarkets are preparing for a Platinum Jubilee bonanza as revellers snap up booze, burgers and bangers for the street parties.

Tesco is expecting to flog six million bottles of beer and six million bottles of wine to those toasting the Queen’s ­record-breaking reign.

And 150,000 of the store’s one litre bottles of Pimm’s, four million bottles of gin and 150,000 bottles of ­champagne are also likely to be drunk. Supermarket bosses expect 1.3 million packs of sausages, 600,000 packs of burgers, almost a million packs of BBQ meat and 1.7 million packs of rolls and baguettes to fly off the shelves.

Waitrose said demand for Dubonnet – the Queen’s favourite tipple – was up by 50% ­year-on-year while online searches for Jubilee cakes have surged by 165% in a week.

And more than half a billion pounds has been spent on bunting and flags to line the streets for Jubilee parties.

The four-day spending spree worth £6.37billion to the economy will give stores a £2.25billion boost, figures from VoucherCodes.co.uk have shown.

Fraser McKevitt, head of retail and consumer insight at market analysts Kantar said: “We should never ­underestimate the appetite for a party, especially a royal one.”

Tesco’s BBQ meat buyer Emily Allen added: “Since the beginning of the week we’ve seen a change in shopping habits with many people stocking up on outdoor food and getting ready for the celebrations.”





The Queen has thanked the nation for keeping her ‘inspired’ to carry on (

Getty Images)

The Queen tonight leads a festival of light from Windsor that will beam across the land and around the world as cities, towns and Commonwealth nations light commemorative beacons. Prince William will light a tree installation outside the Palace.

The ­ceremony goes back to Queen ­Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee in 1897.

Charles and Camilla will appear in a cameo guest special of ­ EastEnders tonight, as Albert Square ­celebrates the Jubilee. Tomorrow, the ­Archbishop of York is to lead the service of thanksgiving at St Paul’s cathedral with several members of the Royal Family in attendance.





Prince Charles and Prince William will make their own heartfelt tributes to the Queen (

Getty Images)

On Saturday, ­Princess Anne will represent the Queen at the Epsom Derby, as Prince William and Kate travel to Wales to celebrate with locals before they put on a special performance at Cardiff Castle.

Sunday’s “once in a lifetime” People’s Pageant will include 6,000 performers and seven decades of “national treasures” on open-top buses. Thousands are also taking part in the official Big Jubilee Lunch.

Charles and Camilla will visit the country’s largest at the Oval cricket ground in South London while Prince Edward and Sophie are to join one on the Long Walk at Windsor Castle.

Princess Eugenie yesterday visited the Queen’s Jubilee Emblem Display at the V&A Museum in London.