England’s longest-reigning monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, is being celebrated in her Platinum Jubilee. Today kicks off four days of pageantry and events held in the 96-year-old Queen’s honor.
However, the Queen’s presence at the ceremonies is not a given. According to the BBC, the Palace has said the Queen “hopes” to attend. But with her mobility problems, she has not been seen in public much over the last six months. Following seven decades of loyal service, perhaps she is simply worn out.
Someone new is front and center this year: Prince Charles, the Queen’s son and heir. The Prince of Wales is now the most senior member of the Royal Family and over the last six months, he has led three important ceremonies on his own.
What does this mean? Well, it signifies that the transition has begun. This weekend’s Platinum Jubilee Celebration will also serve as the Queen’s metaphorical farewell to many years of public service to the nation.
Queen Elizabeth II did make an appearance today, watching the Trooping the Colour parade in London from the balcony of Buckingham Palace. But it’s unlikely we’ll see her at many more state ceremonies — and so for her subjects, these celebrations may be tinged with an air of sorrow and nostalgia. It’s the end of an era.