Smiling Queen Elizabeth celebrates Platinum Jubilee

STORY: Four days of pomp, parties and parades kicked off on Thursday (June 2)…

in honor of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth’s record-breaking 70 years on the British throne.

The beaming 96-year-old monarch appeared briefly on the balcony of Buckingham Palace, alongside senior royals,

from where she waved at the crowds and watched a fly-past by modern and historic Royal Air Force planes.

Tens of thousands of royal supporters waving flags lined the streets of London to watch a military parade that marked the start of the Platinum Jubilee events.

Also known as the Queen's Birthday Parade, "Trooping the Colour" has more than 1,200 soldiers taking part along with military bands.

It has been held for more than 260 years.

''We've come from Manchester, Devon, Birmingham, all over. One girl from Paris all to be together. We arrived here just after 6 AM (0500GMT) to get front row, best view. So we're here to have a good day.

''Well the chance of getting another 70 year reign is well pretty much non-existent, certainly in the near future, certainly we're not going to see another one.'''

Prince Charles, and his eldest son William, 39, were spotted riding down the Mall on horseback..

while the Duchess of Cambridge was seen alongside her three children and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, in a horse-drawn carriage as they left Buckingham Palace.

Prince Andrew, Prince Harry and his wife Meghan were not present on the balcony.

There were artillery gun salutes in London, across Britain and from Royal Navy ships at sea.

In the evening, beacons will be lit across the country and the Commonwealth,

with the queen leading the lighting of the Principal Platinum Jubilee Beacon at her Windsor Castle home.

Elizabeth has been on the throne for longer than any of her predecessors, and is the third-longest reigning monarch ever of a sovereign state.

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