(LONDON) — After four days of celebrations, Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee ended with a surprise appearance by the queen on the balcony of Buckingham Palace.
The 96-year-old queen, dressed in a green coat and hat, white gloves and her signature pearls, stood on the balcony alongside her oldest son and heir to the throne, Prince Charles, and his wife Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall.
Directly to their left were the future heirs, Prince William and his son, Prince George, 8, and the rest of the Cambridge family, including Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, and Princess Charlotte, 7, and Prince Louis, 4.
The queen was absent from many of her Platinum Jubilee celebrations but traveled from Windsor Castle to Buckingham Palace Sunday to be there for the finale.
As members of her family and the thousands of people gathered outside of the palace sang “God Save the Queen,” Elizabeth stood and watched, appearing to take it all in.
Before she and her family left the balcony, the queen gave her famous royal wave.
It was the same wave she gave 70 years ago at her coronation on June 2, 1953.
On that day, the newly-crowned Queen Elizabeth II stood on the palace balcony alongside her husband, Prince Philip, who died last year at age 99, and their two children at the time, Prince Charles and Princess Anne.
The queen was 27-years-old when she became queen following the death of her father, King George VI, on Feb. 6, 1952.
Elizabeth — who now has four children, eight grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren — is the first British monarch in history to reach a Platinum Jubilee.
On Sunday, the queen shared a written thank you message to mark the end of her jubilee celebrations.
“When it comes to how to mark seventy years as your Queen, there is no guidebook to follow. It really is a first. But I have been humbled and deeply touched that so many people have taken to the streets to celebrate my Platinum Jubilee,” she wrote. “While I may not have attended every event in person, my heart has been with you all; and I remain committed to serving you to the best of my ability, supported by my family.”
“I have been inspired by the kindness, joy and kinship that has been so evident in recent days, and I hope this renewed sense of togetherness will be felt for many years to come,” the queen continued. “I thank you most sincerely for your good wishes and for the part you have all played in these happy celebrations.”
The queen signed her message with her first name, Elizabeth, followed by the letter R, which stands for Regina, the Latin word for queen.
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