As Queen Elizabeth II has reached her 70th year as Queen of England, Britain began a massive four-day ceremony in her honor, the Platinum Jubilee, Thursday morning. It’s a historic day as she is the first British monarch to rule that long.

Thousands gathered in London for the Jubilee’s first event: an annual military parade known as Trouping The Colour that typically occurs for the Queen’s birthday.

Protestors representing the animal rights group Extinction Rebellion briefly interrupted the military procession but were dragged off by police with several arrests taking place.  The group released a statement saying the disruption aimed to highlight, “the crown’s inaction on the climate emergency and their continued support for meat, fishing and dairy.”

The Queen has been limiting her usual appearances recently due to health issues, but she appeared with several members of the Royal Family for a photoshoot on the Buckingham Palace balcony. Those who appeared with her included Prince Charles and Camila, Duchess of Cornwall, along with Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William and Kate Middleton.


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Other royals on the balcony were The Queen’s youngest son Prince Edward and his wife Sophie, Countess of WessexPrincess Anne and husband Timothy Laurence, the Duke of Kent. As they are no longer working royals, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were not included in the balcony photo op, but they viewed the parade from the Major General’s Office with other royals.

Prince Andrew was also not present at the jubilee, a sensible move given the recent settlement of his sexual assault lawsuit.

Before the jubilee began, The Queen said, “I continue to be inspired by the goodwill shown to me, and hope that the coming days will provide an opportunity to reflect on all that has been achieved during the last 70 years, as we look to the future with confidence and enthusiasm.

Other displays planned for the Platinum Jubilee include a coordinated lighting of 1,500 beacons around the country, beginning when The Queen lights an intricate “Tree of Trees” display remotely.

The lighting will reportedly be triggered when she is presented with the “Commonwealth Globe of Nations,” which is an ornate globe with gold, diamonds and jewels native to the U.K. There will also be a Service of Thanksgiving taking place tomorrow at St. Paul’s Cathedral.

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