Knighted musician Sir Paul McCartney will celebrate the 60-year-reign of Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace with Sir Elton John, Dame Shirley Bassey, Sir Cliff Richard and Sir Tom Jones, along with several younger artists.
The queen’s musical tastes are a mystery, and the Press Association news agency reported that she brought a pair of earplugs with her to a similar concert a decade ago.
According to The Guardian newspaper, the only song the queen has ever been known to request is “Some Enchanted Evening” from the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical “South Pacific.”
“It may not be that pop or rock is her favorite music, but she has certainly supported us over the years and in return of course we have supported her,” said Cliff Richard, who had his first hit in 1959. “I think she’d probably rather go and see an opera.”
The small Pacific island nation of Tonga claimed the honor of lighting the first of more than 4,200 beacons to be set alight in Britain and abroad to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee. The queen will light the final beacon following the concert.
One beacon will be lit in Kenya at the Treetops Hotel, where Elizabeth was informed of her father’s death in 1952, making her the queen.
“We set out to have 2,012 beacons, which would have been the most ever for this type of occasion,” said Bruno Peek, pageant master of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee beacons. “To have reached double that figure reflects the national and worldwide respect and affection for the queen and the desire to celebrate her 60-year reign.”
Elton John is set to perform “Your Song,” ”I’m Still Standing” and “Crocodile Rock.” Tom Jones will pose the question, “Why? Why? Why?” in the song “Delilah,” while Annie Lennox will sing “There Must Be An Angel.”