HM The Queen got the biggest welcome of the night when she took her seat for the concert in front of Buckingham Palace celebrating her Diamond Jubilee.
The monarch arrived 90 minutes into the evening’s entertainment, although organisers confirmed that this had always been the plan, which was unchanged because HRH The Duke of Edinburgh had been taken to hospital to be treated for an infection.
And the very loudest cheer of the night came as HRH the Prince of Wales mentioned the Duke in his thank-you speech at the end of the night, when the Queen looked visibly moved by both his absence and the roar of support for her husband from the crowd.
Prince Charles got the 100,000-strong crowd laughing, as he called the Queen "Your Majesty... Mummy", and cheering in sympathy as he told her, "The only sad thing about tonight is that my father cannot be here with us because, unfortunately, he's been taken unwell."
And he added, "If we shout loud enough he might just be able to hear us in hospital." Which the crowd duly did.
He finally paid tribute to his parents' length of service, thanking the Queen "for inspiring us with your selfless duty and service and for making us proud to be British".
Royal guests included HRH Prince Charles and HRH The Duchess of Cornwall, seen happily bopping away in the front row of the royal box, along with Princes William and Harry behind them.
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HRH The Princess Royal and her husband Vice-Admiral Tim Laurence were also in the front row for the evening’s entertainment, along with Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie.
The Queen’s other grand-daughter Zara Tindall, along with her rugby player husband Mike, was spotted laughing loudly when Peter Kay wandered on towards the end of the night dressed in an understated Beefeater’s outfit.
Other presenters on the night included Rob Brydon, Rolf Harris, Jimmy Carr, Lee Mack and Miranda Hart.
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