You know, I’ve been writing this liveblog without a break for almost four hours and I haven’t used the term ‘Platty Joobs’ once. This is my proudest achievement, and a fitting high to go out on. Goodnight again, everyone.
I’ve just checked Twitter, and Lee Mack seems to be the highest trending performer of the night. Let this be a lesson to Diana Ross. Why wobble through three old songs when you can make three jokes two and a half hours apart and have everyone eating out of your hands.
Scrap that, I’m going to hang on here a bit for a debrief. In terms of sheer historical record, I wonder where this concert will sit compared to the last two. I think the oddly underpowered finale might scupper its chances of being the best one ever, plus the Andrew Lloyd Webber bit genuinely made me fear for my life. But then there’s Paddington. That’s what this whole thing will be remembered for. Not least because the Queen actually acted, and in the tricky role of ‘the Queen’ too.
Picture highlights from the Platinum Party at the Palace
And, bang, it’s done. Diana Ross shouts ‘Thank you’ and the feed cuts. And that’s that. Concert over. Thank you all for being here and reading along, and saving my sanity at several points tonight. I’ll be back in ten years for the next jubilee concert, and until then I’ll be living under an assumed identity. Goodnight all.
She’s done Chain Reaction. She’s done Thank You. And now she’s doing Ain’t No Mountain High Enough. This could potentially be her Hey Jude. Strap yourself in. This could go on for a while.
There are some sound issues here. Ross is being drowned out by the music, and her ad-libs seem much less loud than her actual singing. I don’t want to say that she’s miming. I’ll leave that to everyone else who’s watching this instead.
Lee Mack is back, promising that this will all be over soon. He thanks the orchestra and introduces Diana Ross. Diana Ross walks on the stage, assisted by a helper, and sings Chain Reaction slightly too fast.
And now, a heart-rending performance of Climb Every Mountain set to a drone display of a postage stamp and a goose and a horse. Iconic.
And now for Sigala and Ella Eyre, singing the sort of song that ITV2 would choose to soundtrack a Take Me Out promo. The cool thing about this is that there’s an illuminated drone display, showing corgis and handbags. The cooler thing is that Prince Charles now gets to update his Linkedin to read “opening act for Sigala and Ella Eyre”.
He finishes his speech by urging the crowd to cheer for the Queen. It’s a lovely way to finish the concert, which still has 20 minutes left to run.
Charles, one hand in pocket, does his old “Mummy” routine. He thanks Queen Elizabeth for her service, before offering a personal tribute. He mentions his dad, and red government boxes. Home video flashes up on the palace behind him. Thunder rumbles in the distance.
Oh no, wait, he’s here to introduce Prince Charles. Maybe next time.
And now here’s Stephen Fry, here to rap one of his famous hip-hop bangers.
Elton John, still beamed onto the palace, is singing Your Song. If you remember that weird Covid video he did a couple of years ago, where he sounded like he had a blocked up nose, relax. This is much better.
Judi Dench and David Beckham are now being projected onto the side of Buckingham Palace to thank the Queen for her service. And she’s inside the house. Imagine that. Imagine being inside your own home and having a giant holographic David Beckham appear out of nowhere to thank you. The Queen must be absolutely doing her nut at the moment.
The nice thing about this is that Prince William set this song up by ending his speech with the line “what a wonderful world”. Personally I would have ended the speech with “I like to move it move it” just to see Hans Zimmer scramble to keep up, but that’s why Prince William is going to be king and I’m going to be arrested for treason in about half an hour.
And now Celeste is here to perform the biggest feat of the night: singing What a Wonderful World without using any of the actual notes from What a Wonderful World.
I say that Hans Zimmer is playing, but in truth there’s just a weird, loud drone. It’s a bit like watching Prince William record a hypnotherapy CD, in all honesty. It’s going on a bit but hopefully it’ll stop me biting my fingernails.
Prince William is here now, to continue the environmental message. Hans Zimmer is still playing in the background, which I think technically makes Prince William a rapper.
This is the Hans Zimmer bit, by the way. There are ballerinas, and clips of nonagenarians telling us about the fragility of the world. It’s quite unexpectedly powerful, and that’s even with a couple of dancers titting around dressed as bees.
Now David Attenborough is projected onto Buckingham Palace, warning us all of our imminent self-created demise. I’d say it was the biggest bummer of the night, but Andrew Lloyd Webber was only here a few minutes ago, remember.
No, wait, it’s better. She’s singing Empire State of Mind, but for the last chorus she’s changed “New York” to “London”. “London, concrete jungle where dreams are made of”, she sings. Clearly someone’s just been to M&M World.
Like an ACTUAL GENIUS, Alicia Keys just said, “When I’m in London, I feel like I’m at home”, and then proceeded to sing a song about ... New York. Impeccable. Standing ovation. Can’t be bettered.
Now she’s singing Girl on Fire. Lots of songs about fire tonight, aren’t there? Honestly, would it have killed anyone to read the Wikipedia page about the Windsor Castle fire of 1992 before choosing their setlists?
Alicia Keys is here! Singing a ballad called Superwoman. Which seems a little bit braggy, if you ask me. This isn’t her party, after all. Maybe she would have done better to sing a song called The Queen Has Got Some Nice Hats or whatever.
That banger done, Julia Andrews is here for another testimonial. She’s followed by Mo Farah. For those keeping score, Mo Farah was definitely recording his on his phone.
They’re doing Girls on Film now, and models are catwalking up and down the stage in fancy dresses. I am enjoying this bit far more than I anticipated. Plus, Buckingham Palace is all lit up with the word “Fashion”, just for any attendees who couldn’t grasp the complicated subject of the moment.
Aw, Ms Banks has done a little rap about the Queen. That’s nice. She’ll enjoy that.
The announcer introduces Duran Duran. Duran Duran introduces Nile Rodgers. Nile Rodgers doesn’t introduce anyone, which feels like a missed opportunity if you ask me. Either way, they’re singing Notorious and they look for all the world like they’re having a ball.
And now Andrea Bocelli is here to sing Nessun Dorma. Nessun Dorma, of course, translates to None Shall Sleep. That’s quite the choice for a man who is currently shouting as loudly as he can right next to a 96-year-old woman’s house at half past nine at night.
Suddenly this has transformed into a weirdly angry Churchillian rant about the British strength of spirit. I’m here for it. And now’s here’s Tom Daley and Jessica Ennis-Hill to explain what it’s like to be better at sports than us. Jeez, we get it, guys.
If you want to see the Queen’s sweet segment with Paddington, the royal family’s official YouTube account (which exists) has uploaded it.
He’s just a solid crowdpleaser, isn’t he? I wonder what he’ll do next. Football chants, maybe, or the I Feel Like Chicken Tonight jingle.
Oh, I spoke too soon. He’s gone already. Replaced by a spoken word performance by Doc Brown about sporting events.
And now he’s singing Sweet Caroline. It’s a brilliant choice, even though it isn’t his song, because a) it has inspired the biggest crowd singalong of the night and b) better this than Sailing.
And now for Rod Stewart, dressed like the last banana you’d eat in the bunch. If the BBC wanted lots of shots of people in the crowd screaming songs word for word, they’ve hit paydirt here. I just saw a shot of a woman yelling the lyrics to Baby Jane like her life absolutely depended on it.
Now he’s singing a second song, and it turns out that THIS is the one my seven-year-old makes me play in the car. I’m quite worried that I don’t pay enough attention on the road now, to be frank.
And now it’s time for George Ezra, here to sing that song that my seven-year-old keeps making me play in the car all the time. But, look, he’s happy enough and he isn’t the Phantom of the Opera, so I’m fully invested.
Right, Sam Ryder is here to save the day. Single-handedly responsible for rescuing the UK’s reputation at Eurovision, it now falls upon him to make us all forget about Andrew Lloyd Webber. He’s wearing a sparkly Union Jack pyjama onesie, and he has managed to unite a bored and fractious crowd. There is a chance that even Prince George is smiling at this, although that might be a prediction too far.
More testimonials now. Daniel Craig, Paul McCartney, Michelle Obama and more celebrities who didn’t quite remember to turn their iPhones to landscape when recording videos.
I don’t know the line-up for tonight, but ideally this musicals bit will be followed by some sort of chemical bath for all our eyes and brains.
Oh good god, Jason Donovan is here, singing a song from Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat. There is still an hour and half left of this concert.
What I like most about this Lion King bit is that they’re all waving birds on sticks around, like the things they stick on top of tips to keep the seagulls out. And this is an important civic function, because the absolute last thing the Queen needs this week is to be attacked by seagulls.
Thank god, it’s finished now. Jesus CHRIST. Lion King now.
Now, I was told quite firmly not to be too snarky during this liveblog. So, at the risk of jeopardising my entire career, I hate this bit and I wish I was dead.
Thankfully that was not the extent of it. The cast of Hamilton is now performing Wait for It. It’s genuinely sad when it ends, largely because it’s followed by a performance of Phantom of the Opera, from a musical whose name I can’t remember.
Here’s Brian May jamming with Queen Victoria earlier on.
Oh good god. Andrew Lloyd Webber is now sitting at a piano with Lin-Manuel Miranda, who is singing a version of You Say from Hamilton with lyrics rewritten to reflect the jubilee. If anyone is available to retrieve my sphincter from deep within my body, please hurry to my house.
Now it’s time for Andrew Lloyd Webber or, as he’s more commonly known, an opportunity to go to the toilet.
Mimi Webb is singing a song about setting someone’s house on fire. At a concert for the Queen. Remember when Windsor Castle burned down in the 1990s? I think we might have found our culprit.
And now it’s Mimi Webb who, from memory, is a British singer-songwriter. She is known for her singles Before I Go and Good Without, the latter of which peaked at number eight on the UK Singles Chart. That’s all from memory, by the way, and not because I just Googled “Mimi Webb” in a blind panic.
Oh, he’s doing a special little rap about the Queen. That’s nice. She’ll enjoy that.
Hey, fantastic, it’s Craig David now! And he’s wearing a sparkly tracksuit and singing a song that nobody seems to know. Backstage, Elbow weeps.
Oh, wait, he’s doing the Rewind Selecta one now and it might have elicited the biggest cheer of the night so far. This only reinforces my belief that the staunchest royalists all spent the year 2000 smashed on WKD and listening to Oxide and Neutrino.
I’m not judging Diversity’s set, but if Prince George was any more visibly bored his hair would catch fire.
This performance is basically History of Dance, but about songs from the 1960s onwards. It’s Pan’s People, I think, except with more ribbons and jumping.
Nope. One song and they’re off, to be replaced by some interpretive street dance. By ‘Ashley Banjo and Diversity’. I’m old enough to remember when Ashley Banjo and Diversity were just called Diversity. You’ve changed, Ashley Banjo. You’ve changed.
And now straight into Elbow, singing their anthem about being being hungover. They’re being backed by an enormous string section and a choir.
Are they going to do another song after this? Everyone else has done multiple songs, but this is Elbow’s only real breakout song. There is a danger of them trying to follow this up and the whole thing turning into an episode of Later with Jools Holland.
Jax Jones and his furry hat just shouted “Give it up for Her Majesty”, and then started to play the sort of song that sounds like it was specifically designed to be played during a spin class. Wait, now he’s playing a guitar next to a statue as well. Is this going to be the defining image of the night? God, I really hope so. I love looking at people playing guitar next to a statue.
Nandi Bushell, the young drummer for (I think) the Argos adverts, is also here. As is Mabel, a performer best known for wearing the sort of radioactive hazard sleeves most usually seen on people who work in nuclear power plants.
Aw, he’s wearing a fluffy top hat. It just goes to show, nobody is too cool to make an effort for the Queen.
After a brief interlude where Lee Mack made jokes about Partygate and Freddie Mercury, it’s time for Jax Jones; an artist I am definitely still young enough to recognise.
We are the Champions now. Incidentally, almost everyone in attendance is waving a miniature Union Jack.
I am wildly enjoying the cutaways to the royals in the audience, by the way. Prince George hasn’t quite fully developed the ability to look interested in things he’s being forced to watch against his will, and already looks bored out of his mind. We’ll make a liveblogger of you yet, young prince.
Having performed We Will Rock You, Harris + Hoole are now barging through Don’t Stop Me Now. Unfortunately there are no cutaways to Queen Elizabeth II doing air guitars with Garfield, so I’m afraid I’ll have to pass on this one.
And how exactly does Brian May plan to replicate the iconic rooftop performance of 20 years ago? He’s – brace yourself – standing quite near a statue. Above and beyond, Brian.
Ah, now it’s time for Queen + Adam Lambert, the Harris + Hoole of nostalgic rock acts. Unfortunately the song is only 30 seconds in, and the group have already been upstaged by Paddington Bear.
Wait, no, she’s tapping a teaspoon along to We Will Rock You. To entertain a CGI bear. It’s good. I like it. What’s happening?
We begin with a long shot of a butler carrying a pot of tea through Buckingham Palace so that – and this is real – the Queen can serve it to Paddington Bear. “Tea?” she asks him, before looking alternately startled and delighted. And then she reveals a handbag full of marmalade sandwiches, and it might be the best thing she’s ever done in her entire life?
There is applause coming from Buckingham Palace. This (hopefully) means that the concert is about to begin.
Princess Anne is already in attendance, sitting next to six vacant seats. Presumably these are reserved for more important members of her family. For those of you keeping count, Princess Anne is the member of the Royal Family most likely to hold your coat on a day out at Alton Towers.
Shirley Ballas is being interviewed now, and describing the Queen’s constant ‘cheeky grin’. I don’t want to be the one to tell her, but might she be confusing the Queen with one of Ant and Dec?
More arrivals! More great efforts!
And now testimonials to the Queen, from Dolly Parton, Barry Gibb, Michael Buble, Ginger Spice and several other celebrities whose kind words will go unseen because the Queen is almost definitely watching Mysteries of the Bermuda Triangle on Channel 5 right now.
Backstage, Roman Kemp is interviewing Queen. That is to say Queen + Adam Lambert. Which is to say Brian May, Adam Lambert and Colonel Sanders.
I hope you’re watching this on TV, by the way, because Kirsty Young is literally wearing a pearl knuckleduster. It’s quite the accessory - simultaneously sending the message that a) this is a respectful, prestigious event and b) Kirsty Young will eff you the hell up.
How does the BBC plan to fill this half-hour void? So far, with a montage of the Queen looking benignly indifferent at various celebrities. Frank Sinatra, Judi Dench, Lady Gaga, Dustin Hoffman, Craig David. The Queen has met all of them and, if this montage is any indication, recognised none of them.
Some of tonight’s talent have arrived and stood in front of a branded backdrop.
This is probably important: host Kirsty Young has pointed out that the actual concert doesn’t start for another half an hour, so I’m going to have to vamp wildly until then. Fans of reading descriptions of people wearing slightly too tight Union Jack T-shirts, this is going to be your Christmas.
OK then, here we go. The Platinum Party at the Palace is officially go. I literally haven’t watched a second of jubilee coverage so far, so I have no idea what to expect.
The crowds have gathered...
Of course, this sort of concert is tradition now. Twenty years ago, for the Queen’s golden jubilee, there was an enormous concert that featured Brian May playing his guitar on the roof of Buckingham Palace, Paul McCartney singing a version of Hey Jude that lasted, conservatively, for three full calendar months, and a moment backstage where Paul McCartney said something so condescending to Phil Collins that Phil Collins immediately developed a lifelong grudge.
And then, ten years ago, there was another concert for the Queen’s diamond jubilee, but the only really memorable thing that happened there was that Grace Jones demonstrated her proficiency at hula hooping. We can only hope that Diana Ross was watching this and took notes, because god knows how much we’d all like to see her singing Chain Reaction while simultaneously doing a Rubik’s Cube or whatever tonight.
While we wait for things to actually happen, it’s worth asking ourselves who this concert is actually for. It certainly isn’t for the Queen herself, since she got her big treat at the jubilee horse show a couple of weeks ago. And it probably isn’t for staunch music fans either, since this is effectively going to be three hours of already respectable acts at their most staid and reverent. But maybe it’s for the actual attendees. All in all, 22,000 people will be watching the concert in person, many of them key workers, volunteers and members of the armed forces. These people will all have the time of their lives tonight. It would be wonderful if some of that translated to television, but let’s wait and see.
Hello world, and welcome to The Guardian’s liveblog of the BBC’s Platinum Party at the Palace. That’s right, some people are singing on TV on a Saturday night, and thus The Guardian is legally mandated to liveblog it.
What is the BBC’s Platinum Party at the Palace? Glad you asked. It’s the pop culture centrepiece of the Queen’s platinum jubilee; an hours-long miniature Live Aid that takes place in a palace and, as far as I am aware, exists to raise money for no good causes. Instead, we’ll be treated to performances by Queen + Adam Lambert, Diana Ross, Nile Rodgers, Elbow, Duran Duran and, slightly bewilderingly, Hans Zimmer. It will be good clean fun, and lots of it, and you’re welcome.
The big question, of course, is whether or not the Queen herself will attend the concert. And the big answer seems to be ‘Are you actually kidding?’. Listen, the Queen is 96 years old and she’s already had quite a big weekend. She doesn’t want to stay up until 10.30pm to watch Elbow any more than you do. But, hey, perhaps a younger royal will be there instead. My money’s on Prince Edward, but what the hell do I know?
The show begins on BBC One at 7.30pm. Please, someone, watch it with me.
Queen, Diana Ross, Ella Eyre and George Ezra will be among the musicians performing at Buckingham Palace for the Platinum Party at the Palace concert this evening.
Alicia Keys, Adam Lambert and the Eurovision 2022 runner-up Sam Ryder will also perform at the two-and-a-half-hour event and there will be a specially recorded appearance from Elton John.
There will also be appearances by public figures including Sir David Attenborough, Emma Raducanu, David Beckham, Stephen Fry and Dame Julie Andrews.
More than 30 royals will gather for the musical extravaganza.
However, the Queen is not expected to attend, having missed some celebrations since appearing on the balcony at Buckingham Palace for her birthday event on Thursday.
You can follow all the action right here in our blog.