Queen's jubilee concert rocks Buckingham Palace

The Queen's Diamond Jubilee drew thousands to a special stage outside Buckingham Palace on Monday that featured rock royalty such as Elton John, Paul McCartney and Cliff Richard.

The Queen's Diamond Jubilee drew thousands to a special stage outside Buckingham Palace on Monday that featured rock royalty such as Elton John, Paul McCartney and Cliff Richard.

Queen Elizabeth was in attendance, but her husband, Prince Philip, missed the concert after being hospitalized with a bladder infection.

Palace officials said the prince, who will turn 91 on Saturday, was taken to the King Edward VII Hospital in London from Windsor Castle on Monday as a precaution and will remain in the hospital under observation for a few days.

On Sunday, Philip joined the Queen and senior royals on the River Thames in cold and blustery weather for a pageant in honor of Elizabeth's 60 years on the throne

Philip has cut back on official engagements in recent years but still maintains a busy schedule. He spent four nights in the hospital over Christmas after suffering chest pains and underwent a successful coronary stent procedure.

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, waves a Union Jack as she watches the Diamond Jubilee concert with princes William and Harry, right. (Dave Thompson/Reuters )

The Queen sat in the royal box beside Prince Charles, his sons Prince William and Prince Harry and other members of the Royal Family.

The Coldstream guards warmed up crowds on the Mall outside the palace to begin the event. Pop star Robbie Williams was the first singer with his hit Let Me Entertain You, followed by Black Eyed Peas star will.i.am, his fellow Voice judge Jessie J and boy band JLS.

Take That frontman Gary Barlow helped organize the concert which took place on a specially constructed stage around the Queen Victoria Memorial in London. It was watched by thousands on large screens and broadcast live on the BBC.

Barlow co-wrote Sing, the official song for the Diamond Jubilee celebrations, with Andrew Lloyd Webber. It was performed on stage by choral group the Military Wives and children from Nairobi.

Other performances at the star-studded concert:

  • Tom Jones singing Delilah.
  • Annie Lennox singing Must Be An Angel.
  • Kylie Minogue singing Spinning Around and Can't Get You Out Of My Head.
  • Grace Jones performing Slave to the Rhythm while spinning a hula hoop.
  • Cliff Richard singing Eurovision track Congratulations.
  • Lang Lang playing a piano medley.
  • Stevie Wonder performing Isn’t She Lovely.
  • Elton John, recovered from a respiratory infection, performing Crocodile Rock and Our Song.

McCartney ends concert

Veteran pop group Madness performed Our House on the top of Buckingham Palace.

Paul McCartney was the closing act with All My Loving, Let It Be and Live and Let Die, accompanied by a fireworks display.

Before the concert, 12,000 contest winners and charity workers enjoyed a jubilee concert in the palace grounds. Each received a hamper containing a meal — partly created by experimental chef Heston Blumenthal — of tea-smoked Scottish salmon, coronation chicken and strawberry crumble crunch made with fruit from the Queen's Sandringham estate.

Members of the public wearing Royal Family face masks pose while awaiting the start of a concert at Buckingham Palace to celebrate Queen's 60-year reign on Monday. (Tim Hales/Associated Press)

The jubilee was being marked around the world in members of the 54-nation Commonwealth of former British colonies.

The small Pacific island nation of Tonga claimed the honour of lighting the first of more than 4,200 commemorative beacons to be set alight in Britain and abroad. The Queen will light the final beacon following the concert.

One beacon will be lit in Kenya at the Treetops Hotel, where Elizabeth was informed of her father's death in 1952, making her the Queen.

"We set out to have 2,012 beacons, which would have been the most ever for this type of occasion," said Bruno Peek, pageant master of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee beacons. "To have reached double that figure reflects the national and worldwide respect and affection for the Queen and the desire to celebrate her 60-year reign."

Wet weather

After a drizzly, grey start, the weather looked up Monday, with a forecast of some sunshine by the time the concert started. Despite threatening weather that turned to heavy downpours, more than one million people are estimated to have turned out Sunday to watch the Queen's barge lead a 1,000-boat flotilla down the Thames.

Six participants in the pageant were treated in hospitals for exposure to the cold and wet, and medics attended to about 40 spectators along the river.

Margaret Watson, 73, in the crowd near Buckingham Palace on Monday, remembered watching the coronation on the television set her family bought especially to watch the event.

"I am here to say thank you to the Queen for all she has done," said Watson, who came to London from Yorkshire with family members. "I am just so pleased to have lived through her reign."

Others were less happy to have lived through the rain.

"I have run out of dry clothes and my sleeping bag is soaked through. My tent is ruined," said Chris Wittington, 46, from suburban Essex County, near London. "But apart from that, it has been excellent."

"Whether you believe in the monarchy or not, this is just fantastic," said Beverley Clements, 44, who was with 37-year-old sister Harriet Poppleton. "There may not be much to celebrate at the moment, but there is a great sense of Britishness here at the moment."

The 262 residents of the remote island of Tristan de Cunha, a British territory 2,400 kilometres from any other land, are combining their jubilee beacon with some environmentally conscious gardening. They are lighting their fire with invasive species including the New Zealand Christmas tree, loganberry and other alien plants.

"You don't get more patriotic than saving U.K. wildlife on the Queen's jubilee, so we decided to make the occasion by lighting a beacon made from all the plants we remove," chief islander Ian Laverollo said.