Buckingham Palace rocks with concert for the queen

Tuesday, June 4, 2002

LONDON -- Buckingham Palace rocked Monday night with screaming guitars, cheering fans and pop stars led by Paul McCartney and Eric Clapton in a concert celebrating Queen Elizabeth II's 50 years on the throne.

Guitarist Brian May of the group Queen, standing on the palace roof with his long hair flying in the breeze, opened "The Party at the Palace" with a solo performance of "God Save the Queen," while tens of thousands of fans waved the Union Jack flag in the plaza below the palace.

Puerto Rican singer Ricky Martin went straight into "The Cup of Life" with a brief assist from Mis-Teeq, and then sang "Livin' La Vida Loca."

More than three hours later, the concert ended with McCartney singing a medley of Beatles' classics, such as "All You Need Is Love," "Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band" and "Hey Jude."

Some of the songs McCartney sang alone, some with rock stars from his generation such as Clapton, Rod Stewart, Joe Cocker, and two in the finale numbers with all the other performers from the gala.

When the music ended, Queen Elizabeth II led the royal family onto the stage to thank the performers. Her son, Prince Charles, then gave a speech thanking everyone for their participation in the Golden Jubilee and his mother for the five decades she has been queen.

"We feel proud of you, proud and grateful for everything you have done for your country and the Commonwealth over 50 extraordinary years supported throughout by my father," said the prince.

"You have embodied something vital in our lives: continuity. You have been a beacon of tradition and stability in the midst of profound, sometimes perilous, change," he told the queen.

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