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Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Diamond Jubilee: Queen touched by outpouring of support in balcony appearance

 Josie Hawthorn, 13, from Hadlow, was part of the Diamond Choir which sang in the Diamond Jubilee Service of Thanksgiving.

Josie was one of 41 young people chosen for the choir after more than 400 auditions at 18 cathedrals around the country.

The choir sang an anthem composed to mark the Queen's 60-year reign.

The anthem, which is called The Call of Wisdom, was written by composer Will Todd.

The Queen's Guard made a "feu de joie" - a celebratory cascade of rifle fire - on the palace forecourt, interspersed with the national anthem played by the Band of the Irish Guards.

It is only the second time a feu de joie has been fired in Her Majesty's reign. The first was following the Queen's Birthday Parade in 2006 in celebration of her 80th birthday.

The Queen's Guard then gave three cheers, with the words "hip hip hooray" echoing down the Mall.

As the Queen waved goodbye, the crowds cheered but expressed their disappointment that the celebrations were drawing to a close, shouting: "We love the Queen", while deafening applause rang out until the royals went back inside.

The celebrations will give the country the bounce it needs in the face of an faltering economy, Prime Minister David Cameron said today.

He said street parties across the UK showed the nation pulling together, while the Olympics would be a "giant advertisement" for the country across the globe.

The Prime Minister said this weekend demonstrated the best of Britain, telling Sky News the celebrations in the face of sometimes dire weather showed the country's tremendous resilience in the face of adversity.

Mr Cameron said: "What's happened this weekend is that (we have been) celebrating this great institution, Her Majesty's service of 60 years on the throne, but also seeing some of the best of British creativity, culture, music and the rest of it all at the same time.

"I think really it is the best of Britain. We have seen the country come together with a sense of celebration and unity but also tremendous resilience, resilience from people who want to celebrate despite the weather and resilience of course from Her Majesty - nothing stops her doing the job she does.

"This is something that has brought the country together and you definitely notice that in my constituency, in the smallest villages that I went to. In the whole country, everyone's talking to each other, everyone is chatting with their neighbours. It brings communities of people together, whatever your politics."

He added: "People obviously say that bank holidays aren't good for the economy. But I think this year we have these two extraordinary events, 60 years of Her Majesty on the throne and the Olympics.

"These are moments when we get the chance to show off the best of Britain and that includes the institutions, the past, the history, the pageantry that we have seen today."

Earlier the Queen returned to Buckingham Palace after a carriage procession through the capital.

With the Duke of Edinburgh in hospital, she was escorted by the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall in the 1902 State Landau as it led the procession.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry travelled behind in another state landau and during the procession a 60-gun salute by the King's Troop could be heard across London.

As the family arrived at the palace's Grand Entrance, coachman Philippa Jackson, who would have driven a third coach had the Duke of Edinburgh been able to attend, presented the Queen with a posy of flowers from the palace gardens.

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