For the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, Gary Barlow and Andrew Lloyd Webber are collaborating to create a special anthem. Chris Evans reported on his BBC2 radio show today, February 27, that the song is the latest in a series of tributes and special occasions planned for the Queen’s 60th year.
The anthem will be the “keynote” of the Diamond Jubilee concert that Take That singer Gary Barlow is already planning for June 4. Barlow met Prince Charles, the Duchess of Cornwall, and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge at a charity show last December. (Story continues below.)
According to “The Daily Record,” Barlow will travel around the Commonwealth to find out first-hand what people think of the Queen. The trip will be turned into a BBC1 documentary and will serve as inspiration for the song.
Prince William and Prince Harry were reportedly part of the team who picked invitees for the Jubilee Concert. Already, more than a million ticket applications have been received for a mere 10,000 spots; those who don’t win will have to be content with a live broadcast or “selected highlights” the next day. The concert will feature both classical and rock musicians from 60 years of the Queen’s reign.
The lineup for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee concert was unveiled on February 9, 2012. Pall Mall, outside Buckingham Palace, will be transformed into a stage for the occasion; acts cover the gamut from classical to boy bands and venerable, knighted singers like Paul McCartney, who will headline the event.
Acts so far confirmed include:
- Ed Sheeran
- Sir Paul McCartney
- Elton John
- Annie Lennox
- Jessie J
- Jools Holland
- Sir Tom Jones
- Sir Cliff Richard
- Dame Shirley Bassey
- Alfie Boe (tenor opera singer)
- Lang Lang (classical pianist)
The lineup is reportedly not complete yet; it’s possible that Robbie Williams, Jason Orange, Mark Owen and Howard Donald will be on board, too.
More importantly, the Queen has approved the list. According to Sally Bedell Smith in “Elizabeth the Queen,” the Queen did not show up at her Golden Jubilee concert until the last half-hour, by design. Gary Barlow suggested that the Queen would wander “in and out” of the 2 1/2-hour concert, depending on which act was on. “The Telegraph,” however, reported that she would be there, along with senior members of the Royal Family.
Gary Barlow said that he wanted the concert to move off the grounds of the Palace this time, since it’s expected that there’ll be half a million spectators and it would “probably be one of the biggest concerts ever.” Architect Mark Fisher is designing the stage to take full advantage of its historic backdrop, including the Queen Victoria monument.
On June 4, the BBC will broadcast the concert live on BBC One, BBC One HD, and Radio Two; via simulcast, it will be available throughout the world. ABC will broadcast highlights on June 5. A public lottery has opened for 10,000 free tickets to the concert and a picnic in the Palace gardens; members of charities involved with the Queen will also be invited.
Sources: The Telegraph; Telegraph (earlier); Digital Spy; Daily Record; “Elizabeth the Queen”
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Get British Royal Family news by subscribing to this column or using the RSS feed. Linda Gentile is the British Royal Family Examiner and you can also follow on Twitter and Facebook. And, for yet more British life and culture, check out Linda’s British Life column.