While Queen Elizabeth II was unable to attend Saturday’s (June 4) concert in her honor as part of the Platinum Jubilee Celebration, she did make a surprise cameo during the opening set from Queen featuring Adam Lambert.
The performance started with pre-taped footage of the Queen sitting inside Buckingham Palace at a small dining table, as the camera then shifted to a full on uniformed drum corps just outside the Palace gates drumming the beats to “We Will Rock You” while a rapturous crowd clapped along in unison while waiving small British flags as well. The camera then shifted back to the pre-taped segment with the reveal of the Queen dining with British treasure Paddington Bear as they simultaneously tapped out the “We Will Rock You” beat on their respective tea cups.
As far as theatrics and staging go, Queen were in top form. Singer Adam Lambert looked formidable, appearing in the middle of choreographed drum corps and the Buckingham Palace gates behind him, while Roger Taylor‘s drumming usurped that of the drum corps. Lambert then walked the runway leading to a circular stage that surrounding the Queen Victoria memorial statue in front of Buckingham Palace, with guitarist Brian May eventually making his presence felt with a guitar solo high above the stage on an elevated platform that placed him on a level with some of the statues figures.
For Queen’s part of the concert, they performed a trio of songs with “Don’t Stop Me Now” coming news as the crowd sang along with Lambert’s soulful vocals. As the band’s performance wound down, a screen behind them showed a wealth of archival footage of Queen Elizabeth II throughout the years.
And finishing out their set, Queen delivered their fitting tribute, “We Are the Champions” as a swath of British flags waved across the massive turnout for the show.
Queen and Adam Lambert’s set opened a night of music and celebration of the 96-year-old monarch, with Rod Stewart, Duran Duran, Andrea Bocelli, Diana Ross and more performing as well. The celebration was held to mark her 70th anniversary as the Queen. She initially attained the title on Feb. 6. 1952.