There’s been quite the hubbub happening over in jolly old England these past few days as the British celebrated the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. Marking Elizabeth II’s sixty years on the throne, the festivities included parades, concerts, and a service at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London that drew over 2,000 guests. Though the British have been known to grumble about the monarchy from time to time, the incredible outpouring of enthusiasm and support for the queen on this occasion shows that, for many, there remains a deep well of affection for the royal family and its history. Queen Elizabeth herself was pretty jazzed about the extravagance of the shindig held in her honor, calling the experience “marvelous” and “incredible” and claiming “it has touched me deeply to see so many thousands of families, neighbors, and friends celebrating together in such a happy atmosphere.” Those who turned out got to see plenty of good old-fashioned pageantry, with hundreds of soldiers in full regalia marching through London and World War II era jets flying overhead while the crowd below launched into round after round of “God Save the Queen.”
Of course, the queen had to do a little showing off of her own as well. In addition to sporting several different designer outfits, for the last day of the festivities Her Majesty wore the world’s most valuable brooch. Because when you’re the queen, you can apparently pull that sort of thing off. The brooch is a pear-shaped, 158-carat diamond, estimated to be worth somewhere in the vicinity of 80 million British pounds. Kind of makes whatever you wore to your last jubilee seem a little paltry, doesn’t it?
The rest of the royal family was on hand to show their support, with Prince Charles and Camilla, Prince William and Duchess Kate, and Prince Harry all standing alongside their family’s matriarch for an eleven minute appearance on the balcony of Buckingham Palace as throngs of adoring fans cheered. And you can’t blame the UK for going a little nuts, Diamond Jubilee’s don’t come around all that often. Queen Elizabeth II is only the second monarch in British history to celebrate six decades on the throne; Queen Victoria reached her own sixty-year milestone in June of 1897. You can relive the entire last day of the party with a cool two minute time lapse video taken by a photographer at the UK’s Guardian newspaper here.