Ed Sheeran helped bring the U.K.’s Platinum Jubilee celebration to a close on Sunday by performing his hit “Perfect” at the Platinum Jubilee Pageant, the final big event of the four-day celebration marking Queen Elizabeth II‘s 70 years on the throne.
Wearing a blue suit and armed with just his acoustic guitar, Ed sang his ballad “Perfect” in front of Buckingham Palace, as video clips of the Queen and her late husband, Prince Phillip, were shown: The romantic song was chosen to reflect the couple’s relationship. Her Majesty herself then appeared briefly on the balcony of the Palace.
The low-key performance was a far cry from the flash and spectacle of the Platinum Party at the Palace, the star-studded concert that took place Saturday night in the same location. The event was viewed by 13.3 million on TV, while thousands and thousands of flag-waving spectators crammed the Mall leading to the Palace to watch in person.
The concert kicked off with an adorable video showing the Queen having tea with a CGI version of Paddington Bear, in which both shared their love of marmalade sandwiches. Then, Her Majesty began striking her teacup in a familiar rhythm: the unmistakable drumbeat that starts “We Will Rock You” by the other Queen. Cut to Buckingham Palace, where Queen + Adam Lambert got the crowd going with that song, plus “Don’t Stop Me Now” and, of course, “We Are the Champions.”
Rod Stewart sang his hit “Baby Jane” and then led a massive singalong as he belted out, of all things, Neil Diamond‘s “Sweet Caroline,” which is a soccer anthem in the U.K. Duran Duran performed “Notorious” and “Girls on Film,” joined by Nile Rodgers of Chic on guitar, while Alicia Keys sang “Superwoman,” “Girl on Fire” and “Empire State of Mind,” changing the lyrics of the latter song to “Let’s hear it for London” at the end.
In a performance taped in the Red Drawing Room at Windsor Castle that was projected onto the Palace, Elton John sang “Your Song” and, addressing the Queen, said, “Long may you reign.” Diana Ross closed out the festivities with performances of “Chain Reaction,” “Thank You” and “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough.”
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