- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 5, 2002

LONDON Hundreds of thousands of people cheered wildly and waved flags in a massive display of love and loyalty yesterday as Queen Elizabeth II rode through London in a golden carriage to celebrate the 50th anniversary of her reign.
Smiling and waving, the queen was escorted by her royal guards as she and Prince Philip journeyed in the massive, ornate Gold State Coach, an elaborate 18th-century carriage drawn by eight white horses and used by British monarchs for generations.
Throngs of ecstatic onlookers cheered and applauded, many of them lined up 10 deep along the route, as the queen went to St. Paul's Cathedral for a service of thanks. A sea of red, white and blue British flags waved overhead as the roars of the crowds echoed through the narrow streets.
Police estimated at least 700,000 people watched the procession in a massive show of support for the monarch, who has weathered 50 years of enormous change and occasional family scandal.
The queen thanked the nation for its support and affirmed her determination to continue to serve. In an unusual, if subtle, response to persistent criticism, the queen praised her family, which has battled with a chain of divorces and scandals.
"Gratitude, respect and pride these words sum up how I feel about the people of this country and the Commonwealth, and what this Golden Jubilee means to me," she told a luncheon.
Britain's celebration of the Golden Jubilee showed no sign of flagging as it entered its fourth and final day. On Monday night, in one of the largest crowds ever seen in London, an estimated 1 million people gathered around the palace to watch mostly British rock stars on video screens.
Prince Charles and Princess Anne in uniform rode behind the queen on horseback as other members of the royal family rode ahead in open carriages. Amid all the splendor and elaborate uniforms, the queen was dressed simply in a pale blue coat and dress with matching hat.
A massed choir of some 1,000 singers and musicians greeted the monarch with a chorus from Handel composed for the coronation of George II in 1727 as she set off for St. Paul's. Military bands saluted her with bugle fanfares along the route.
"God save the queen!" a choir thundered as she arrived at St. Paul's.

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