St. Kitts – Nevis’ PM Enjoys Diamond Jubilee Concert

St. Kitts - Nevis' PM - Denzil Douglas
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St. Kitts – Nevis’ PM – Denzil Douglas
Photo By Erasmus Williams

Basseterre, St. Kitts – Nevis
June 05, 2012 (CUOPM)

St. Kitts and Nevis’ Prime Minister the Dr. Denzil L. Douglas declared the star-studded Jubilee Concert at London’s Buckingham Palace “breathtakingly amazing”.

The St. Kitts and Nevis leader and other Heads of State , Heads of Government, High Commissioners and Diplomats from the from 16 Realm Countries and other Commonwealth nations as well as other important personalities from the United Kingdom and beyond had earlier attended a reception to celebrate Her Majesty’ s milestone.

On Sunday, Dr. Douglas participated in the Jubilee Pageant on the Thames, where an estimated one-million people turned out despite the cold and pouring rain to support the Queen.

“This clearly demonstrates the outpouring of support and high regard with which Her Majesty is held,” Prime Minister Douglas said in a brief comment.

St. Kitts and Nevis’ High Commissioner to the Court of St. James, His Excellency Kevin Isaac said during the  cruise along the river, Prime Minister Douglas also engaged other dignitaries from throughout the Commonwealth.

The star-studded lineup serenaded Queen Elizabeth and the visiting dignitaries and the huge crowds at a pop concert outside Buckingham Palace as part of the celebrations to mark her 60-year reign.

Although the Diamond Jubilee celebrations were overshadowed by news her husband had been hospitalised with a bladder infection, the monarch still attended Monday’s gig featuring pop stars including Paul McCartney, Stevie Wonder and Annie Lennox.

On a clear-skied Monday night, hundreds of thousands of cheering, flag-waving people from around the world packed the grand red road leading to the monarch’s 775-room London residence, watching the concert live or on giant screens.

At the end of the three-hour performance, a tired-looking queen took to the stage with her son and heir-to-the-throne Prince Charles who read out a touching tribute.

After thanking the artists and engineers who put the event together, he said: “The only sad thing about this evening is that my father couldn’t be here with us because unfortunately he is taken unwell. But ladies and gentlemen, if we shout loud enough he might just hear us in hospital,” he added, to loud cheers.

The prince sought to sum up the public’s affection for a monarch who is seen as a symbol of stability and service at a time of economic gloom and political disillusionment.

He led a huge, boisterous crowd in three cheers for his mother, and the evening concluded with the national anthem, a spectacular fireworks display and the giant image of a Union Jack flag beamed on to the front of Buckingham Palace.

At Monday’s pop concert, the famous Mall Avenue was a sea of red, white and blue, the colours of the Union Jack.

Robbie Williams opened the show with “Let Me Entertain You,” and McCartney ended it with “Let It Be,” “Live and Let Die” and “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da” during which he was joined on stage by the other acts.

Stevie Wonder sang a jubilee version of “Isn’t She Lovely?” before breaking into “Happy Birthday.” Veteran crooner Sir Cliff Richard performed a medley of songs, Tom Jones belted out “Delilah” and Dame Shirley Bassey sang “Diamonds Are Forever.”

There were classical touches with Lang Lang on piano and Renee Fleming singing opera, and Gary Barlow, who organised the concert, joined a giant choir on stage for a rendition of the song which he and Andrew Lloyd Webber penned for the event.

Elton John was at the piano for “I’m Still Standing,” followed by “Your Song” and “Crocodile Rock,” prompting a mass singalong that included members of the royal family.

A montage of footage from the queen’s 60 years on the throne, including her coronation and silver and golden jubilees, was beamed on to the walls of the imposing palace.

Madness took to the palace roof to perform 1980s hit “Our House.” while arguably the highlight of the night was Grace Jones, dressed extravagantly in red and black, keeping a hula hoop spinning around her waist throughout “Slave to the Rhythm.”

The jubilee has underlined the popularity of the 86-year-old queen, head of a royal family which only 15 years ago was mired in scandal after the death of the hugely popular Princess Diana.

The extended holiday weekend celebrations have also been a boon for Britons battered by recession and state spending cuts.

Millions of people have spilled onto streets bedecked in Union Jack bunting up and down the country for outdoor parties during the holiday.

Elizabeth is only the second monarch to mark 60 years on the throne – her great-great-grandmother Queen Victoria reached the milestone in 1897. She is also on course to become the longest-serving British sovereign in 2015.

Her reign began in 1952 and has spanned 12 prime ministers from Winston Churchill to David Cameron.

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