LONDON (AP) — Queen Elizabeth II, closing four days of celebrations of her 60 years on the throne without her husband at her side, will make a rare address to the nation on Tuesday.
The broadcast at 1700 GMT (1 p.m. EDT) in Britain and throughout the Commonwealth follows a service of thanksgiving at St. Paul's Cathedral, a lunch in a medieval hall and a carriage procession back to Buckingham Palace where the queen and her family will greet well-wishers from a balcony.
The two-minute address, recorded on Monday, will also be available on the Royal Channel on YouTube, the palace said. Other than the annual Christmas Day broadcasts, the 86-year-old monarch has rarely spoken directly to the nation.
The queen's husband, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, was hospitalized Monday for treatment of a bladder infection and will miss the final day's events.
With most of Tuesday's events indoors or under cover, there was less worry about the precarious weather, which has ranged from unseasonably cool to downright foul, as rain poured during Sunday's grand procession of boats down the Thames.
Among the early arrivals at the cathedral were four women from Jedburgh, a Scottish town near the English border, who displayed a large Union Jack flag.
"We've been saving for three years to come here," said Marion Kingswood, 69. "Apart from the royal wedding, there's been nothing like it. Sixty years is such an achievement."
Barry Dandy, 71, and his wife flew in from Sydney, Australia, to join in the celebrations.
"They showed a preview of the River Pageant on Australian television and my wife said, 'I'd love to be there,'" Dandy said. "It's been great to take part in the celebrations."
The Very Rev. David Ison, the dean of St. Paul's, said Philip would be remembered in the prayers.
"We were already going to say prayers for the Duke of Edinburgh and it will have an added poignancy as we hope he will make a swift recovery," Ison said.
A few anti-monarchist demonstrators were outside the cathedral with slogans including "9500 Nurses or 1 Queen?" and "Republic Now!" Royalists in the crowd responded noisily, chanting "God save the queen!"
Along the parade route, 70-year-old Margaret Barker said Philip's absence would put a damper on the queen's day.
"She's got the rest of her family around her but when you think of all the planning there's been for this and how long they've been together, it seems very sad that he can't be with her today," Barker said.
Tourist Cassandra Past, 20, from New York, said she expected the queen to keep her chin up despite worries about her 90-year-old husband. "She is the queen, and she sort of has to put on a good face for her country and her people," Past said.
AP's David MacDougall contributed to this report.
- Arts & Entertainment
- Prince Philip