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Platinum Jubilee: The Queen receives a standing ovation at an equestrian celebration as the nation celebrates 70 years of service

The Queen was honored with a standing ovation as her Platinum Jubilee celebrations began with a star-studded equestrian extravaganza featuring some of the world’s leading artists.

Hollywood actors Tom Cruise and Dame Helen Mirren, who played yet another Queen of England, led the cast of entertainers who performed at the first major event to mark the Queen’s 70th reign.

The audience rose in applause and cheering as the monarch arrived at the Arena near Windsor Castle for a musical and theatrical romp through the ages called A Gallop Through History.

The event was hosted by the Royal Windsor Horse Show, which has welcomed spectators over the past three days, including the monarch, who spent part of her Friday touring the show grounds after previously missing the State Opening of Parliament.

The Queen clearly enjoyed the show and at the finale, when her own horses and ponies were shown through the open-air arena, she seemed delighted and beaming as the animals passed the royal box.

Omid Djalili, who acted as narrator for the event, couldn’t help but joke, telling the monarch: “Thank you for choosing us over the State Opening of Parliament.”

Dame Mirren paid a heartfelt tribute to the Queen, telling the Head of State: “Throughout the years you have carried our nation. You were in his heart, his drumbeat. You have given us purpose and when situations have challenged your hope, guidance and leadership, you have been unshakable.

The Queen was driven to the show (Steve Parsons/PA)

(PA wire)

“I address you on behalf of all your loyal subjects. We commend and admire the way you conduct the affairs of state with such skill and sovereignty.

“It is therefore on behalf of a grateful nation and commonwealth that I speak as I extend our heartfelt and loving thanks to you.”

Despite ongoing mobility problems, the Queen had proceeded to her place in the royal box after being driven into the Castle Arena, accompanied by mounted divisions of the Household Cavalry.

She was joined by the Earl and Countess of Wessex for the show, which reflected her lifelong passion for horses.

A tri-service honor guard comprising the Coldstream Guards, RAF Regiment and Royal Navy was in place for the Queen’s arrival, which was signaled by the national anthem played by military musicians.

Tom Cruise poses for a selfie before the Queen’s honor show (Steve Parsons/PA)

(PA wire)

Among the celebrities attending the show were Damian Lewis and Katherine Jenkins, an all-star cast of British and international talent for Sunday’s performance, which was broadcast live by ITV.

Ahead of the event, Cruise was asked by the PA news agency if he was looking forward to the show, where he is expected to announce an element of the performance, and he replied “absolutely”.

The actor, best known for action film franchises Top Gun and Mission Impossible, later told ITV presenters Phillip Schofield and Julie Etchingham that the Queen “is a woman I admire a lot”.

Cruise said, “What she has achieved is historic. She has met presidents, world leaders and people from all walks of life.

“Not just Americans, but the world knows the dignity, devotion and kindness I’ve always felt for them.

Dame Helen Mirren dressed as Queen Elizabeth I performs during A Gallop Through History (Steve Parsons/PA)

(PA wire)

“Someone who understands her position and has represented her in an extraordinary story over the past 70 years.”

The Queen sat in the royal box with a blanket over her knees and a shawl around her shoulders as Djalili, the herald and narrator of the tale’s rampage, guided the audience through key moments, adding his inimitable humor.

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

Highlights included the Royal Cavalry of Oman filling the arena with their horsemanship that made the Queen smile, including the sight of horses lying down on command, and the precise marching and rifle handling skills of the Kings Guard of Norway.

Performers from Azerbaijan got the crowd cheering as the riders galloped their horses and performed feats ranging from the supine to the handstand.

The Queen watches the show (Steve Parsons/PA)

(PA wire)

At one point, the Queen was seen picking up her handbag and she grabbed her lipstick and applied a new coat to her lips.

Cruise introduced what he described as “one of the most riveting, heart-in-your-mouth thrilling shows” when he announced a performance by The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery.

He said: “It takes tremendous courage and discipline to do what they are doing, galloping with guns fired in the battles of the First World War, weighing a ton and a half, with no brakes.

“The drive testifies to absolute trust between horse and rider.”

The crowd clapped to the beat of the music while an orchestra played and horses galloped through the arena pulling historic cannons.

At the end of the show, the Queen did a lap of honor in her vehicle, waving to cheering onlookers as she drove past.

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/queen-platinum-jubilee-helen-mirren-tom-cruise-b2079739.html Platinum Jubilee: The Queen receives a standing ovation at an equestrian celebration as the nation celebrates 70 years of service

Bobby Allyn

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