Queen's Jubilee: Sarah Ferguson leads tributes

Jubilee wishes from Her Majesty’s inner circle: Former lady-in-waiting Lady Pamela Hicks joins Sarah Ferguson and James Middleton in praising the ‘inspirational’ Queen

  • Members of the royal inner circle paid tribute to the Queen on Instagram
  • Sarah Ferguson hailed her former mother-in-law’s ‘kindness and selflessness’
  • Her former lady-in-waiting Pamela Mountbatten said she is an ‘inspiration’
  • Duchess of Cambridge’s brother James Middleton described her as a ‘matriarch’ 

The Queen’s former lady-in-waiting Lady Pamela Hicks shared her memories of the Coronation as members of the royal inner circle shared tributes to mark Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee. 

Lady Pamela, 93, the younger daughter of Prince Philip’s uncle Louis Mountbatten, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma, was among those who attended the Coronation at Westminster Abbey on June 2, 1953. 

She praised the Queen’s ‘inspiring’ performance on the day, despite the gravity of the occasion. 

Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York, hailed her former mother-in-law’s ‘kindness and selflessness’, while James Middleton, the younger brother of the Duchess of Cambridge, described her as a ‘matriarch’. 

Lady Pamela, 93, the younger daughter of Prince Philip’s uncle Louis Mountbatten, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma, was among those who attended the Coronation at Westminster Abbey on June 2, 1953, pictured. She shared her memories of the day in honour of the Queen’s Jubilee

It came as the Queen was joined by her family to kick off her four days of Platinum Jubilee celebrations with Trooping the Colour. 

Remembering the day of the Queen’s Coronation, Lady Pamela said: ‘On June 2, 1953 the world witnessed the most public of coronations.

‘The more than 8000 guests in attendance included royalty and dignitaries from all over the world. Every crowned head was given a carriage in which to arrive at the Abbey, and as there was so many people to get in several people processed to the seats with sandwiches concealed beneath their cornets!

‘My father had a rather unsettling ride behind the coronation coach on a horse that was so fresh it pranced around and would not keep to a dignified walk. When he dismounted at the Abbey and the lifeguard trooper approached to take the reins, my father told him, somewhat unrealistically, to take the horse away and exercise it.

‘I knew that for the Queen the coronation ceremony meant a great deal, particularly the anointing, for which she had requested the cameras be turned off. 

‘This was the most moving part of the rite, and when it came, the maids of honour stepped forward to take her velvet robes and jewelry. 

The Queen’s former daughter-in-law Sarah Ferguson shared a childhood photo of Her Majesty and a post praising he ‘kindness and selflessness’

The Duchess of Cambridge’s brother James Middleton described the Queen as a ‘matriarch’ and compared her to his eldest dog

‘When they then covered her coronation dress with a simple white linen over dress, I was struck by how young and vulnerable the Queen appeared. 

‘There was a hushed stillness, a sense of gravity and occasion as the Archbishop of Canterbury anointed her hands, her head and her heart with the consecrated oil that symbolized her divine right to rule. 

‘And while she may have looked fragile, the certainty in her voice as she said her vows was inspiring.

‘That’s evening I listened intently as the Queen made a speech to her subjects around the world “Throughout my life and with all my heart I shall strive to be worthy of your trust”

Queen Elizabeth II leads the lighting of the principal Jubilee beacon at Windsor Castle yesterday evening

Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Kent watch Trooping the Colour from the balcony at Buckingham Palace yesterday

Prince William and Kate with children Princess Charlotte, Prince George and Prince Louis at Buckingham Palace yesterday

The Queen smiles as Prince Louis puts his hands over his ears on during the flypast over Buckingham Palace yesterday

She added: ‘To know her is to admire her above all else’. 

Meanwhile the Duchess of York, who shared a childhood photo of the Queen, said: ‘How inspiring to see the country united in celebration of your extraordinary dedication to duty and service and steadfastness. 

‘You embrace all that you do with kindness and selflessness and this is the finest example. Thank you Your Majesty.’

The Duchess of Cambridge’s brother James Middleton added: ‘From one matriarch to another wishing Her Majesty all the best on her special Jubilee.’

The Platinum Jubilee celebrations will continue today with a Service of Thanksgiving at St Paul’s Cathedral.  

Wellwishers wait for the arrival of the Royal Family ahead of the Service of Thanksgiving at St Paul’s Cathedral this morning

Members of the public gather outside St Paul’s Cathedral in London this morning ahead of the service of thanksgiving

Yesterday the Queen met her great-granddaughter Lilibet for the first time after Prince Harry and Meghan Markle had lunch with the monarch and senior royals behind closed doors as part of the Platinum Jubilee celebrations.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex introduced their little girl to the Queen – nicknamed Lilibet as a child – yesterday at Windsor after attending a private Royal Family lunch at Buckingham Palace following Trooping the Colour.

Harry and Meghan are expected to remain mostly low-profile over the four-day Jubilee weekend, with no sign of the Netflix cameras that followed them around at the Invictus Games in the Netherlands in April. 

But they will attend today’s Service of Thanksgiving at St Paul’s Cathedral – their first joint royal engagement in two years.

Prince Charles will officially represent the Queen at the service in London today after she was forced to pull out last night, and there will also be no appearance from Prince Andrew after he tested positive for coronavirus.

Members of the Household Division during the Trooping the Colour ceremony at Horse Guards Parade in London yesterday

The Sussexes, who are staying at Frogmore Cottage in Windsor while visiting from California, were not allowed on the Buckingham Palace balcony yesterday and instead watched proceedings from Horse Guards Parade.

But today’s service will be Harry and Meghan’s first appearance with The Firm since the frosty Commonwealth Service at Westminster Abbey in March 2020 shortly before they officially stepped down as senior royals.

The 96-year-old Queen will miss today’s service at St Paul’s following a last-minute decision announced by the Palace at 7.30pm last night after she experienced ‘discomfort’ during the Trooping The Colour events.

She is understood to have suffered episodic mobility issues yesterday – and, in a statement, the Palace revealed the Queen ‘greatly enjoyed’ her birthday parade and flypast but ‘did experience some discomfort’.

It said: ‘Taking into account the journey and activity required to participate in tomorrow’s National Service of Thanksgiving at St Paul’s Cathedral, Her Majesty, with great reluctance, has concluded that she will not attend.’

It is understood the decision ahead of the service, which begins at 11.30am today, was considered regrettable but sensible due to the length of the journey and time involved and the physical demands the service would require.

Senior members of the monarchy at St Paul’s this morning will also include the Duchess of Cornwall, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and the Sussexes, who will be joined by the extended royal family.

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