“The Jubilee exceeded the queen’s expectations and more,” the insider says, noting that while the 96-year-old royal is a public figure, “in real life she’s modest and understated so was blown away by the nation uniting together to share their love, appreciation and support.”
Elizabeth was honored for her 70 years on the British throne with a four-day party that kicked off on Thursday, June 2. The United Kingdom, the Realms and the Commonwealth all toasted its longest-reigning monarch through Sunday, June 5, with a variety of festivities, some of which the sovereign attended in person.
“The queen was disappointed that she couldn’t attend all the events,” the source tells Us, explaining that Elizabeth is “still as sharp as a whip” but her “episodic mobility” has been holding her back.
The royal matriarch finds her physical ailments “incredibly frustrating,” per the insider, but despite some missed moments, the queen “enjoyed every second of the show” she was able to witness.
Elizabeth stood front and center during Thursday’s Trooping the Colour, which took place outside of Buckingham Palace. She was later joined by some of her family, including Prince Charles and Prince William after they rode alongside the British troops who saluted Her Majesty from the parade route.
Us later confirmed that the queen would not attend the Service of Thanksgiving at St Paul’s Cathedral on Friday, June 3, after she experienced some “discomfort” at the Trooping the Colour event.
Her presence, however, was felt as Duchess Kate paid a subtle tribute to her grandmother-in-law at the church. The Duchess of Cambridge, 40, wore the queen’s Bahrain Pearl Drop earrings while sitting beside her husband, 39, on Friday.
The couple were joined by Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, marking the first time the royals were reunited for a public event since the Duke, 37, and Duchess of Sussex, 40, stepped back as senior royals in early 2020.
Her Majesty opted out of the annual Epsom Derby on Saturday, June 4, and the Platinum Party at the Palace later that evening amid her health ups and downs. However, Elizabeth appeared in a pre-taped video alongside Paddington Bear to start the concert and was honored by the Prince of Wales, 73, and William in two separate speeches during the night.
The queen later surprised fans on Sunday when she stepped out on the palace balcony in a neon green coat, dress and matching hat to watch the Jubilee Parade and close out the special event.
The sovereign, who has been slowing down with her public appearances and duties over the past year, marked another first during the long weekend. She met her great-granddaughter Lilibet, who was in town for the queen’s milestone celebration.
Harry and Meghan’s 12-month-old daughter was named after Elizabeth, who was fondly referred to as “Lilibet” by her late husband, Prince Philip. The former military pilot and the Bench author also share 3-year-old son Archie.
For more information on the queen’s Platinum Jubilee, watch the exclusive video above — and pick up the latest issue of Us Weekly, on newsstands now.