Daily Express

Queen and Palace shine brightest on night of stars

- Mike Ward Express TV critic

WELL, wasn’t that a hoot? The Platinum Jubilee Party was just the celebratio­n the nation needed.

A sea of joyful souls outside Buckingham Palace and streaming down The Mall, with thousands of baby Union Flags aflutter.

What a wonderfull­y uplifting sight, not least for the simple fact that we’re able to do this kind of thing again. I didn’t spot a mask the whole night, other than on that chap from Phantom Of The Opera, and I’m not sure even his adhered to NHS guidelines.

“The running order for tonight’s show reads like a Who’s Who of top turns,” BBC One’s Kirsty Young had promised us before the proceeding­s began, and even though there were a few “Who’s That’s” thrown in as well, the spirit of the crowd rarely flagged.

It was a shame, of course, Her Majesty wasn’t able to be there, but she still pretty much stole the show.

Her pre-recorded teatime audience with Paddington Bear, the sweet surprise that got the party started, was the funniest moment of the night, other than when Andrew Lloyd Webber started singing.

As for the Royals in attendance, they seemed to be having a genuinely good time. Wills sang along to Sir Elton John’s Your Song. Kate sang along to more or less anything that could be sung along to and waving her own baby flag with real gusto.

Not quite as much gusto, mind you, as Boris Johnson, a couple of rows behind, during Jason Donovan’s Any Dream Will Do.

And did you spot Sir Keir Starmer at the same moment, not even semiwaving his? Boo! Hiss! etc.

Of course, however much the acts might wish otherwise, on a night like this it’s the crowd-pleasing numbers we want most. Queen and Adam Lambert hit the sweet spot from the off with three classics: We Will Rock You, Don’t Stop Me Now and We Are The Champions. Rod Stewart went with Baby Jane, only to find the crowd reacting 10 times as keenly to his next number, a cover of Neil Diamond’s singalong failsafe Sweet Caroline.

And even though you wouldn’t have wanted to be standing near anyone attempting the chorus of Sam Ryder’s Eurovision runner-up Space Man, you knew his performanc­e would go down a storm.

Likewise, Andrea Bocelli’s Nessun Dorma. But the star of the night in my book? No, not Diana Ross. Nor Duran Duran. Nor even Diversity, although their 70 Years of British Pop routine was brilliantl­y inventive.

No, my star of the night was the Palace. Only a few years ago, we were wowed just by seeing someone playing a tune on its roof.

This time, as William put it in his speech, it had been turned into “a giant IMAX screen”.The visual effects projected on to its walls, celebratin­g the Queen’s 70 years on the throne, were not just technicall­y awe-inspiring but utterly beautiful. Knighthood­s all round, Ma’am?

 ?? ??
 ?? Picture: PA ?? Highlight...Paddington Bear’s pre-recorded cuppa with Her Majesty got the party started
Picture: PA Highlight...Paddington Bear’s pre-recorded cuppa with Her Majesty got the party started
 ?? ??

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United Kingdom