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Pop tribute to Britain's queen

Firework display lights up London

LONDON, England -- Britain's Queen Elizabeth II joined 12,000 revellers at Buckingham Palace for a star-studded pop concert as her Golden Jubilee celebrations reached their climax Monday night.

Legendary names including Sir Paul McCartney, ex-Beach Boys star Brian Wilson, Sir Elton John, Joe Cocker and Eric Clapton performed at "Party in the Palace."

Earlier in the day, thousands lined the streets of Windsor, west of London, to catch a glimpse of the monarch, celebrating 50 years on the UK throne. (Special report)

Police said around 150,000 people were gathered in the vicinity of Buckingham Palace on Monday evening, and barriers were erected as a safety precaution.

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Those visiting the area were asked to fill the remaining spaces in public parks where the concert was broadcast on large screens. Only the changeable weather threatened to dampen spirits.

Younger royals, including Prince William, 19, Prince Harry, 17, Princess Beatrice, 13, Princess Eugenie 12, Zara Phillips, 21, and Peter Phillips, 24, attended the show.

When the concert ended, Queen Elizabeth II led the royal family on stage to thank the performers. Her son, Prince Charles, gave a speech thanking everyone for their participation and praised his mother's fifty years on the British thrown.

The audience for the evening was chosen by a lottery.

Also on the bill were Sir Cliff Richard, Dame Shirley Bassey, Will Young, Atomic Kitten, Mis-teeq, Phil Collins, Blue, Emma Bunton, Tom Jones, S Club 7, Aretha Franklin, Annie Lennox, Steve Winwood, Rod Stewart, Ricky Martin and The Corrs.

Guitarist Brian May opened the concert by playing "God Save the Queen" from the palace roof.

The night ended with supporters around the world lighting a chain of nearly 2,000 beacons and a display of fireworks launched from the roof of the palace.

The concert went ahead despite Sunday night's fire at the palace when the roof above the East Gallery was badly damaged. (Full story)

Workmen have erected safety scaffolding at the scene of the blaze and the area affected was partitioned off. Firefighters were still investigating the cause of the blaze on Monday evening.

Earlier, the queen and Prince Philip watched a Golden Jubilee parade in Windsor and started a nationwide jubilee music party during a visit to Slough.

Opera singer Dame Kiri Te Kanawa and 13-year-old Amir Sarooq presented the queen with a metronome which she used to start a 250-strong choir singing the Beatles' classic, "All You Need Is Love."

Giant screens then showed the song being taken up by choirs across the country in places including Leeds, Birmingham, Bristol and Plymouth.

Hundreds of street parties were also held across the country.

The queen and duke braved the rain, sheltering under umbrellas, to talk to members of the crowd gathered along the High Street, who waved flags and cheered as they passed.

Royal fans spontaneously burst into song with "We wish you a merry welcome and a happy jubilee."

On Tuesday, a service of thanksgiving for the queen's Golden Jubilee will be held at London's St Paul's Cathedral.


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