Thousands of euphoric revellers cheered and sang the national anthem as the Queen appeared on the balcony of Buckingham Palace at the climax of her Diamond Jubilee celebrations.
Well-wishers packed the Mall to catch the glimpse of the Queen and many had camped overnight to secure a prime spot.
The Queen smiled as she appeared on the balcony to watch a flypast from the Red Arrows alongside the Prince of Wales, the Duchess of Cornwall, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry.
The Queen waved to the crowds of 1.5m on the palace balcony
The Duke of Edinburgh was absent from the balcony and the earlier carriage procession along the Mall as he remains in hospital with a bladder infection.
He had been due to sit next to the Queen in the 1902 State Landau but in the end Camilla took his spot, with Charles sitting opposite as the carriage made its way from Westminster, along Whitehall, through Trafalgar Square and Admiralty Arch and then down The Mall to the Palace.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry travelled behind in another state landau
Cheers rang out in front of Buckingham Palace as the procession swept in and people caught a glimpse of the Queen, with applause continuing for the younger royals.
A 60-gun salute by the King's Troop could be heard in front of Buckingham Palace, and the Queen's Guard awaited her arrival in the palace forecourt.
As the carriage swept in to rapturous applause, the band of the Irish Guards played the national anthem.
The Queen arrived back at the palace through the centre arch. The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall exited the carriage before the Queen.
Queen Elizabeth II travels along The Mall with the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall on route to Buckingham Palace
Coachman Philippa Jackson, who would have driven a third coach had the Duke of Edinburgh been able to attend, presented the Queen with a posy of flowers from the palace gardens.
Crowds on the Mall were led up to the gates of Buckingham Palace, flooding the whole area with a sea of flag-waving supporters.
The forecast light rain made its appearance just before the Queen's own on the balcony of Buckingham Palace, without the Duke of Edinburgh by her side, but did not seem to dampen anyone's spirits, as choruses of Singing In The Rain and shouts of "We want the Queen" rang out.
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After visiting the Duke of Edinburgh in hospital on Tuesday, his youngest son the Earl of Wessex said: “He’s getting better.” The Countess of Wessex added: “He’s in good spirits, he’s on good form.”
Prime Minister David Cameron said on Tuesday that everyone was "very concerned" about Prince Philip's welfare.
"It was a most extraordinary spectacle and obviously everyone is very concerned and worried and wants to know that (the Duke) is going to be OK," he told Sky News.
"The thing about our Royal Family is that they are incredibly dedicated to what they do and they are incredibly dedicated to doing it, no matter what the circumstances.
"I don't know all the conversations that took place but I would be pretty certain that Her Majesty and the Duke of Edinburgh would have wanted to do what they did and would have carried on doing it."
The Queen was joined on the balcony by the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry, who also waved to the crowds.
The Queen smiled - visibly pleased - and waved as the thousands of people roared with applause, some breaking into impromptu renditions of the National Anthem.