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THE BUCKINGHAM BUNCH: “Her Majesty asks that at the end of the concert, you leave in an orderly fashion, or else she’ll be forced to unleash the corgis,” said Sir Paul McCartney as he stripped off his Union Jack-lined jacket; waved it at the crowds; pulled out his red, white and blue guitar, and began singing “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da” at the close of the Diamond Jubilee concert at Buckingham Palace. On Monday evening, artists from every decade of the Queen’s 60-year reign performed for a crowd of 20,000 who had gathered on the Mall and in London’s adjoining parks on the third day of the Diamond Jubilee celebrations.
The only down note came earlier in the day from the Queen’s husband, Prince Philip, who was hospitalized for a bladder infection. Buckingham Palace said the prince, who was looking hale and healthy during Sunday’s flotilla on the Thames, was in stable condition. He was taken to King Edward VII Hospital in London from Windsor Castle on Monday afternoon as a precautionary measure, and will remain in the hospital under observation for a few days, a palace spokeswoman said.
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After McCartney’s performance, Prince Charles paid tribute to his mother — and his father: “The only sad thing about this evening is that my father couldn’t be here with us,” the prince told the crowds and his fellow guests onstage, including the Queen, the Duchess of Cornwall, McCartney, Sir Tom Jones, Annie Lennox and Elton John. “He has unfortunately been taken ill, but if we shout loud enough, he might just hear us in hospital.” The crowds responded at once, chanting “Phil-ip! Phil-ip! Phil-ip!”
Charles paid tribute to the Queen, whom he addressed as “Your Majesty, Mummy” and going on to profess his duty. The Queen, dressed in a embroidered gold dress, had tears in her eyes during the speech and while the crowds sang “God Save the Queen.” Later, she lit the national beacon with the Jubilee Crystal Diamond and watched a fireworks display over Buckingham Palace, which was lit up in red, white and blue lights.
Royal guests at the concert included the Duke of York, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry. The Duchess donned a blue and purple print dress from Whistles and an Alexander McQueen jacket. The concert featured performances by artists such as Stevie Wonder, Sir Elton John, Kylie Minogue, Jessie J and Dame Shirley Bassey. Madness performed on the roof of Buckingham Palace, singing “Our House.”