Four days of celebrations of Queen Elizabeth II’s monumental 70 years on the throne got under way in the UK on Thursday as rapturous crowds greeted her presence on the Buckingham Palace balcony. Cartooning for Peace dedicated this week’s drawing to Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee.
Honouring the 70-year reign of this beacon of constancy at the head of the British state, this extravaganza kicked off on Thursday with the Trooping of the Colour, an annual military review that has marked the sovereign’s official birthday since 1760.
The Queen appeared twice on the Buckingham Palace balcony – firstly with her cousin, Prince Edward, Duke of Kent, for the Trooping of the Colour; secondly with all working royals for a Royal Air Forces flyover featuring iconic planes from World War II, including the Spitfire.
Yet Her Majesty will be absent from Friday’s Thanksgiving service at St Paul’s Cathedral after experiencing some “discomfort” during the first day’s festivities. The 96-year-old monarch has become more frail over the past year, experiencing what the palace terms “episodic mobility issues”.
For the millions of people in Britain and around the world following the events of her Platinum Jubilee, the elderly monarch’s recent health issues underline how difficult it is to imagine her no longer being there, after seven decades as a perennial presence on the world stage and as an immutable incarnation of the British state.
The Cartooning for Peace drawing presents the Queen alongside another icon of British culture, The Rolling Stones. The rock ‘n’ roll legends also mark a landmark anniversary this week, opening a European tour on Wednesday in honour of the 60th anniversary of the band’s formation.
Cartooning for Peace is an international network of cartoonists committed to promoting freedom of expression, human rights and mutual respect between people of different cultures and beliefs through the universality of press cartoons.
Rayma Suprani is an award-winning Venezuelan cartoonist.