The Queen can certainly pull a crowd - especially among the world's royals.
She threw open the doors of Windsor Castle and Buckingham Palace drawing the largest gathering of crowned heads of state since her own coronation in 1953. The hotbed of royalty mingled in their glad-rags, celebrating the monarch's Diamond Jubilee with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
|A diadem, modelled on the one worn by the Queen at her coronation in 1953, is seen at Asprey jewellers ahead of her Diamond Jubilee.The work, entilted Equanimity, by Chris Levine is the first holographic portrait of Queen Elizabeth II. The hologram is illuminated by a strip of blue LEDs
Twelve queens, eight princesses, an Emir and a lone Empress arrived in an array of eye-catching outfits, along with 12 Kings, one Emperor, a Grand Duke and a Sultan.
The day of celebrations began with a lunch at Windsor Castle and ended with a dinner at Buckingham Palace, hosted by the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall.
Charles and Camilla greeted royals as they arrived in the palace's Music Room before a drinks and canape reception in the Blue Drawing Room, ahead of the three-course meal.
The Duchess curtsied to all of the kings and queens present, including King Mswati and his wife, Inkhosikati LaMahlangu of Swaziland, who wore an extravagant gold ballgown with a ruffled skirt teamed with a fur stole and large jewelled choker.
The two couples chatted for a few moments, with King Mswati, who is accused of having a lavish lifestyle while his people starve, telling Charles: 'It's been a long time.'
All senior members of the British Royal Family were present including the Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William, and brother-in-law, Prince Harry, as well as other younger royals including Prince Andrew's daughters, Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie.
© Daily Mail, London
Britain marks Queen's diamond jubilee
LONDON, June 2 (AFP) Saturday kicks off four days of celebrations to mark Queen Elizabeth II's diamond jubilee, including a 1,000-boat river pageant and a star-studded concert.
The queen starts the festivities by indulging in her love of horse racing at the Epsom Derby on Saturday before riding in a ceremonial barge on the Thames at the centre of the giant flotilla on Sunday.
One million people are expected to line the river to see the extravaganza of steam boats and tugs, speed boats and historic vessels.
A concert in the shadow of Buckingham Palace featuring Paul McCartney and other top names is the highlight on Monday before the four-day extravaganza culminates in the pomp and splendour of a ceremonial parade on Tuesday. Aside from the setpiece events in London, millions of people up and down the country are commemorating the jubilee by throwing a party at home. "It looks like the entirety of Britain is going to turn out," said historian Kate Williams, the author of "Young Elizabeth: The Making of our Queen".
They will be making the most of the two-day public holiday granted for an historic occasion -- the queen is only the second British monarch to celebrate a diamond jubilee, after queen Victoria, in 1897.
Union Jacks are fluttering in streets and shop windows and retailers report that red, white and blue bunting and even jubilee garden gnomes are selling fast.