Queen honoured during formal Jubilee thanksgiving service at St Paul's Cathedral

 

It's usually one of the country's busiest roundabouts, where Sir Paul McCartney dazzled the crowds last night, outside Buckingham Palace. This morning it was creeping back to business as usual, as crowds of people sat and waited, and waited, not really sure what to do with themselves.

The 10,000 seats were already full when the front gates of Buckingham Palace drew open at a quarter past ten, giving rise to very minor excitement, duly quashed when a state Bentley containing Princess Beatrice, Princess Eugenie, but not Her Majesty, pulled out and sped off to St Paul's.

After the river pageants and the street parties of the weekend, the final day of the only Diamond Jubilee weekend we're likely to see for a little while has all been rather more sedate.

The Prime Minister and the Archbishop of Canterbury gave thanks to Her Majesty at a special service at St Paul's, relayed on big screens outside the palace to the few people not queuing up for breakfast at the few food stands that have reopened after last night's concert. Next to the pie and waffle stand, slightly to the south of the Palace, the make-up brushes began to whir in the ABC and CBS temporary studios, which will bring the expected balcony wave and fly-past to breakfasting Americans, who don't have the day off.

Dr Rowan Williams paid tribute to the Queen's selfless devotion, saying: "I don't think it's at all fanciful to say that, in all her public engagements, our Queen has shown a quality of joy in the happiness of others; she has responded with just the generosity St Paul speaks of in showing honour to countless local communities and individuals of every background and class and race.

"She has made her 'public' happy and all the signs are that she is herself happy, fulfilled and at home in these encounters.

"The same, of course, can manifestly be said of Prince Philip; and our prayers and thoughts are very much with him this morning.

"To declare a lifelong dedication is to take a huge risk, to embark on a costly venture. But it is also to respond to the promise of a vision that brings joy."

As the Queen, Prince Charles, The Duchess of Cornwall, Wills, Kate and Harry made their way to a reception at the Guildhall, Prince Philip remains sadly conspicuous in his absence. No new announcements about his condition have been made this morning. He remains in hospital with a bladder infection and is expected to be released in the next few days.

At 6pm a prerecorded message of thanks from the Queen will be played.

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