Queen Elizabeth II has ruled the United Kingdom for 70 years. For the platinum anniversary, the monarch is now being celebrated by her people. Visitors come from the USA – and that fuels rumours.

A country is celebrating its queen – and itself. On Thursday (today) the starting signal for a multi-day royal state of emergency will be given in the United Kingdom: Great Britain will celebrate the 70th birthday of Queen Elizabeth II until Sunday.

The central celebrations take place in London. The Queen thanked her countrymen for the forthcoming celebration. “I know that many beautiful memories will be created on these festive occasions,” said a message from the 96-year-old monarch, which the palace published on Thursday night.

Kick off with the “Trooping the Color” parade

The traditional “Trooping the Color” birthday parade (11:00 a.m. CEST) will kick off. Surprisingly, Queen’s grandson Prince Harry and his wife Duchess Meghan will follow the military show together with other family members, as the palace announced.

The visit of the couple who had emigrated to the United States in their old homeland had triggered fears of a “Sussex bomb”, especially in the conservative British media – that Meghan and Harry, who were recently accompanied by a Netflix film team, were selfish about the anniversary could overshadow performances. Now the signs point more to a family peace. Because the couple is also expected on Friday at a thanksgiving service for the Queen in London’s St. Paul’s Cathedral and on Saturday evening at a big party with music stars and celebrities at Buckingham Palace.

Queen could meet great-granddaughter Lilibet

Even more: According to media reports, a private meeting with Harry’s grandmother is planned for Saturday. The Queen could meet great-granddaughter Lilibet for the first time, who was named after the monarch’s family nickname. Little brother Archie (3) is also there. The potential audience has fueled rumors the couple could have their daughter christened in front of the Queen. This would be another peace gesture in the family internal dispute. Above all, Harry’s father Prince Charles and brother Prince William are said to resent the 37-year-old’s sharp criticism of the palace in recent months.

There is also a clear limit for Harry and Meghan: They will not be there on Thursday afternoon when the Queen and other royals like Charles and William and their families show themselves to the people on the balcony of Buckingham Palace. Only “working royals” are planned there, as the palace confirmed. Harry and Meghan gave up their royal duties when they moved to the United States. The second oldest son of Queen Prince Andrew will also be missing. He has largely retired from public view over his involvement in a sex abuse scandal.

In the coming days, the focus will be all the more on the Queen. Elizabeth has been King George VI since the death of her father. Queen of Britain on 6 February 1952. She was crowned on June 2, 1953.

Millions of people celebrate Queen at street parties

Across the country, millions of people celebrate their queen at street festivals. Hundreds of thousands are expected in London, who will try to catch a glimpse of the royal family. However, only a few thousand can be there when the heir to the throne, Prince Charles, accepts the march of more than 1,200 officers and soldiers on behalf of his mother on Thursday not far from Buckingham Palace.

The 73-year-old will be joined by his sister Princess Anne and elder son Prince William, also a future king. “Trooping the Color” has been the official birthday parade of the British Head of State for more than 260 years. The Queen’s birthday is April 21st, but because of the usually better weather, the military show always takes place in June.

Queen follows parade from the palace

The Queen will watch and salute the parade from Buckingham Palace, while Charles and William’s wives, Duchess Camilla and Duchess Kate, among others, will make the short journey to Horse Guards Parade in carriages. The children of Princess Margaret, the Queen’s younger sister who died in 2002, are also invited.

The royals then return to the palace, where they watch a formation flight in honor of the Queen from the balcony. In the evenings, beacons light up the twilight across the country. The Queen takes on the symbolic start at her residence Windsor Castle west of London. At the same time, her grandson William lights up a tree of lights 35 kilometers east of Buckingham Palace.

Extra holiday for celebrations

More celebrations will take place over a long weekend until Sunday. A “Street Pageant”, a kind of street carnival, is planned for Sunday in London. So that people can celebrate their queen properly, there is another non-working holiday once. In addition, pubs are allowed to open much longer. The four-day festival is intended to bring the country together again after Brexit and the corona pandemic. British flags have been flying everywhere for days, houses and front gardens are decorated. Die-hard Royals fans camp out on London’s Mall to secure a good spot for the parade.

The Queen in particular is still extremely popular in the country. According to polling firm Yougov, 84 percent of people in Britain believe the Queen has done a very good or good job in her 70 years on the throne. However, support for the monarchy is waning among younger people. According to a Yougov poll, support among 18- to 24-year-olds has fallen from 59 percent to 33 percent since 2011.