Queen Elizabeth's Final Balcony Appearance Almost Didn't Happen (Until Charles Took Charge)

Looking back at Queen Elizabeth's Platinum Jubilee, in June 2022, the four-day festivities can be seen as both a celebration of her 70 years on the throne and a farewell to a beloved monarch. On the first day, the queen made three appearances: Two forays onto the royal balcony as well as participating in a nighttime beacon-lighting ceremony. However, Her Majesty felt the need to step back from some Jubilee events, due to her struggles with mobility and a need to rest after the rigors of the day.

As Buckingham Palace confirmed at the time, "The queen greatly enjoyed today's Birthday Parade and Flypast but did experience some discomfort," (via Reuters). The longest reigning monarch in British history was absent from the following day's Thanksgiving Service, Platinum Party concert, and Platinum Pageant too. Despite her enthusiasm for horse racing, she also opted to miss that weekend's Epsom Derby. While the world expressed concern for the monarch, Catherine, Princess of Wales provided assurances of her wellbeing. 

"She [Kate] said 'yes, she was fine, it was just very tiring yesterday, and she [the queen] had had a lovely, lovely time,'" a fan told PA News. To conclude the celebrations, Her Majesty made a surprise appearance on the royal balcony, wearing a vibrant green ensemble to honor Prince Philip. Given that she wasn't feeling well, the queen was seriously considering skipping this event. Thanks to the persuasive efforts of King Charles III, delighted fans were treated to a three-minute balcony appearance that was the final one of her reign.

Her Majesty was surprised by the adulation of the crowd

On the final day of her Platinum Jubilee, Queen Elizabeth II was reluctant to leave Windsor Castle and travel to London for a balcony appearance. Crowds were gathering in anticipation that the queen might be there since they knew that the palace had adopted a protocol to decide her participation very close to the wire. Seeing the large swathes of fans catalyzed King Charles III to pick up the phone. 

"She was not feeling brilliant but the Prince of Wales had called her and told her she really ought to come if she could," a source informed the Daily Mail. "He told her there were so many people desperate to see her and he convinced her to come." As depicted in Robert Jobson's "Our King," Charles showed empathy for his mother, while also cheering her on to join him. Her Majesty traveled via helicopter and used a wheelchair to arrive at the doors. 

Then, she picked up her walking stick and made her triumphant entrance. Photographer Chris Jackson was in the crowd and recalled the moment the queen appeared on the balcony. "She came out dressed in green, and it was just incredibly emotional," he said on the "Hello! A Right Royal" podcast (via People). The queen also showed rare emotion when she saw everybody cheering and waving flags. "She had tears in her eyes before she stepped out on the balcony," a source shared with the Daily Mail.