The Queen attended a thanksgiving service today at St Paul’s Cathedral in London at the climax of her diamond jubilee celebrations, but without her husband who remains in hospital.
Royals, churchmen, politicians and the cream of British society were packed into the pews beneath the iconic dome of the 17th-century cathedral in central London for the pomp-filled hour-long service.
But Prince Philip, 90, who has been at the Queen’s side for almost every official event of her 60-year reign, was missing the service after being taken to hospital on Monday with a bladder infection.
Heir to the throne Prince Charles and his wife Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, sat beside the 86-year-old monarch in the front row of the cathedral nave, instead of Philip.
A lady-in-waiting accompanied the Queen as she was driven in a state Bentley from Buckingham Palace to St Paul’s, accompanied by a police motorcycle outrider and two security vehicles.
Flag-waving crowds lined the entire route and cheered as the car moved slowly down the Mall, the ceremonial avenue leading from Buckingham Palace, and through the city of London.
Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, the leader of the world’s Anglicans, will deliver the sermon during the service, while Prime Minister David Cameron will give a reading from the New Testament of the Bible.
The service, attended by 2,000 guests, will end with the singing of the national anthem.
The Queen wore a mint green outfit, designed by Angela Kelly, of fine silk tulle, embroidered with tiny mint green star-shaped flowers embellished with silver thread.
It featured a mint green chiffon drape, scattered with Swarovski crystals on the shoulders, while the crown of the hat was covered in the same material.
The male guests were dressed in morning coats or military uniforms where appropriate, while female guests sported a variety of colourful outfits.
The festivities conclude later today with a ceremonial carriage procession in London.
The Queen, Prince Charles, Prince Harry, Prince William and his wife Catherine will then appear on the Buckingham Palace balcony for a Royal Air Force flypast.