The Queen was honored with a standing ovation as her platinum jubilee celebrations kicked off with a star-studded horse show featuring some of the world’s greatest performers.
Hollywood actors Tom Cruise and Dame Helen Mirren – again playing a Queen of England – led the cast of entertainers who appeared in the first major event to mark the monarch’s 70-year reign.
The audience rose to their feet, applauding and cheering, as the Queen arrived at an arena near Windsor Castle for the musical and theatrical spectacle through the centuries called A Gallop Through History.
The event was organized by the Royal Windsor Horse Show, which has been welcoming spectators for three days, including the monarch who spent part of her Friday touring the show grounds after missing the official opening of Parliament.
Despite continuing mobility problems, the Queen walked to her seat in the royal box after being led into the castle arena escorted by mounted divisions of the Household Cavalry.
She was joined by her son, the Earl of Wessex, for the show, which reflected her lifelong passion for horses.
A tri-service honor guard comprising the Coldstream Guards, the RAF Regiment and the Royal Navy was in place for the Queen’s arrival which was signaled by the national anthem played by military musicians.
Among the celebrities taking part were Damian Lewis, Omid Djalili and Katherine Jenkins, an all-star cast of British and international talent for Sunday’s performance, which was broadcast live by ITV.
Prior to the event, the PA News Agency asked Cruise if he was looking forward to the show, where he was to announce a performance element, and replied, “Absolutely.”
Dame Helen, who won an Oscar for her portrayal of the Queen in the film of the same name, played Queen Elizabeth I as the show opened by chronicling the events of the early Elizabethan era, from the attempted invasion of the ‘Spanish armada with leading personalities. of the day as William Shakespeare.
TV presenter Alan Titchmarsh said “our identity, heart and soul are embodied in Her Majesty The Queen”.
The gardening guru and writer told presenters Phillip Schofield and Julie Etchingham: “This is a remarkable year, 70 years for a remarkable woman who I have met so much and who has been bowled over because she is so fiercely good company .
“She has a huge quiet charisma, like Nelson Mandela. He had a kind of grace and the queen is the same. It’s important in our lives, especially in the last two years, that we have something special.
“If we don’t know our own family history, we know hers, and she kind of shares her lineage with us and her story is our story, and that matters to us. Whether we realize it or not.”
Cruise, best known for action movie franchises Top Gun and Mission Impossible, told Schofield and Etchingham that the Queen “is a woman I look up to very much.”
He said: “What she has accomplished is historic. She has met presidents, world leaders, people from all walks of life. Not just Americans, but the world knows the dignity, dedication and kindness that is what I always felt for her. .
“Someone who understands his position and has held it throughout a history that has been extraordinary over the past 70 years.”
The Queen has attended every Royal Windsor Horse Show since its inception 79 years ago, reflecting her keen interest in horse racing and breeding. In a photo marking her 96th birthday in April, she was pictured with two fallen ponies.