Jubilee takes a musical turn

Elton John acknowledges the crowd at the concert, part of the jubilee celebration.
Elton John acknowledges the crowd at the concert, part of the jubilee celebration. (JOEL RYAN / AP)

Some big names put on a show in honor of the queen. A sour note: Her husband took ill.

Posted: June 06, 2012

LONDON - Thousands of flag-waving fans gathered Monday to watch Paul McCartney, Elton John, and other musical royalty celebrate Queen Elizabeth II with a Buckingham Palace concert featuring acts from throughout her 60-year-reign. But the joy was tempered by news that the queen's husband, Prince Philip, was hospitalized with a bladder infection.

Palace officials said the prince, who will turn 91 on Saturday, was taken to the King Edward VII Hospital in London from Windsor Castle on Monday as a precaution and will remain under observation for a few days.

""We all send our best wishes for a speedy recovery," said McCartney.

Despite Philip's illness, members of the royal family including Prince Charles, his wife Camilla, and Princes William and Harry sat in a royal box to watch the show.

The queen was cheered as she arrived partway through the show, wearing a gold lamé cocktail dress under a dark cape. It was decided before Philip's illness that she would only watch part of the concert.

About 18,000 contest winners watched the show from an enclosed area, while a huge crowd stretched down the Mall, the wide boulevard leading up to the palace.

The lineup featured a full hand of knights - McCartney, John, Cliff Richard, and Tom Jones, all "Sirs" - along with Dame Shirley Bassey, Stevie Wonder, and younger artists including JLS and Kylie Minogue.

The show opened in a blaze of sound and color, as a scarlet-clad military band joined Robbie Williams onstage for his hit "Let Me Entertain You." Black Eyed Peas star Will.i.am performed "I Gotta Feeling" with songstress Jessie J.

In true something-for-everyone mode, performances ranged from pianist Lang Lang playing Gershwin to American soprano Renee Fleming to 64-year-old Grace Jones hula-hooping her way through "Slave to the Rhythm."

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