Party at the Palace

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Party at the Palace
concert and commemoration concert by various artists
Party at the Palace.jpg
VenueBuckingham Palace Garden, London, England
Date(s)3 June 2002 (2002-06-03)

The Party at the Palace was a British pop/rock music concert held in London in 2002. The event was in commemoration of the Golden Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II held over the Golden Jubilee Weekend 1–4 June 2002. The event itself was held at Buckingham Palace Garden on 3 June 2002. It was the pop/rock equivalent of the Prom at the Palace, that showcased classical music.

Event and venue[edit]

The concert was held at the gardens of Buckingham Palace as part of the Golden Jubilee. The event was touted as the greatest concert in Britain since Live Aid or possibly ever. Tickets to the event were determined by a lottery. 12,000 people attended the concert.[1] An estimated 1 million people watched outside the Palace in The Mall and around the Queen Victoria Memorial,[2] and 200 million on television.[3] The concert included performances of many hit songs from the reign of Queen Elizabeth II. The event was the culmination of a national day of partying. The BBC Music Live Festival also occurred on the day. At 13:00 towns across the United Kingdom had bands play The Beatles hit "All You Need Is Love" before church bells were rung around the country.

House band[edit]

The house band for the performance consisted of Phil Palmer (guitar), Pino Palladino (bass), Paul "Wix" Wickens (keyboards), Phil Collins (drums), Ray Cooper (percussion), Eric Robinson (saxophone), Sam Brown, Margo Buchanan and Claudia Fontaine (backing vocals) and the Royal Academy of Music Symphony Orchestra conducted by Michael Kamen. The house band performed with many of the guest artists that were featured, however some performers brought their own musicians to the concert.


The concert was hosted by Lenny Henry and Ben Elton. Between some acts were short comedy segments featuring Meera Syal, Nina Wadia, Ruby Wax, Kermit the Frog (voiced by Steve Whitmire), and Barry Humphries (in characters as Dame Edna Everage and Sir Les Patterson).


Song Artists Notes
"God Save the Queen" Queen (Brian May, Roger Taylor) with house orchestra, Brian on the roof of Buckingham Palace and Roger played with the orchestra on the stage
"The Cup of Life" Ricky Martin
"B with Me"/"Livin' La Vida Loca" Ricky Martin and Mis-Teeq
"Don't Stop Movin" S Club 7
"Sisters Are Doin' It for Themselves" Annie Lennox
"You Can't Hurry Love" Phil Collins Phil Collins performed the main vocals for this song and Roger Taylor played the drums on his behalf.
"Dancing In The Street" Atomic Kitten
"I Heard It Through The Grapevine" Will Young
"Get Ready" Blue
"Baby Love" Emma Bunton
"Stop! In The Name Of Love" Mis-Teeq
"Sex Bomb" Tom Jones
"The Long And Winding Road" The Corrs
"Dancing In The Moonlight" Toploader
"Goldfinger" Shirley Bassey
"(Everything I Do) I Do It For You" Bryan Adams
"You Can Leave Your Hat On" Tom Jones and Blue
"Radio Ga Ga" Queen (Brian May, Roger Taylor) Phil Collins took Roger Taylor's place on drums for this song, while Roger Taylor did lead vocal.
"We Will Rock You" Queen (Brian May, Roger Taylor) and London cast of We Will Rock You Brian May did lead vocal.
"We Are The Champions" Queen (Brian May, Roger Taylor), Will Young and London cast of We Will Rock You Will Young did lead vocal.
"Bohemian Rhapsody" Queen (Brian May, Roger Taylor), and London cast of We Will Rock You Tony Vincent (Galileo) principal vocalist, Hannah Jane Fox (Scaramouche) second vocalist, Sharon D. Clarke (Killer Queen) third vocalist.
"If I Ruled The World" Tony Bennett
"Why" Annie Lennox
"Living Doll" Cliff Richard
"Move It" Cliff Richard, S Club 7 and Brian May
"Paranoid" Ozzy Osbourne and Tony Iommi
"I Want Love" Elton John Pre-recorded in the Music Room inside Buckingham Palace.
"California Girls" Brian Wilson
"The Warmth Of The Sun" Brian Wilson and Eric Clapton
"God Only Knows" Brian Wilson and The Corrs
"Good Vibrations" Brian Wilson with Emma Bunton, Atomic Kitten and Cliff Richard
"Layla" Eric Clapton
"Gimme Some Lovin'" Steve Winwood
"With A Little Help From My Friends" Joe Cocker, Steve Winwood and Brian May
"Lola" Ray Davies
"Handbags & Gladrags" Rod Stewart
"Her Majesty"/"Blackbird" Paul McCartney Does not appear on the DVD.
"While My Guitar Gently Weeps" Paul McCartney and Eric Clapton
"Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise)"/"The End" Paul McCartney Does not appear on the DVD.
"All You Need Is Love" Paul McCartney, Rod Stewart, Joe Cocker, Brian Wilson, Queen (Brian May, Roger Taylor), Eric Clapton, Cliff Richard, Ozzy Osbourne and Ladysmith Black Mambazo Joined by the rest of the cast part way through the song.
"Hey Jude" Paul McCartney and the entire cast
"I Saw Her Standing There" Paul McCartney Not broadcast to television, only radio.

Aspects of concert[edit]

The concert began with Brian May performing "God Save the Queen" on the roof of Buckingham Palace as a guitar solo with support from the orchestra onstage in the Garden far below.[4] This sequence was spectacularly filmed, including some upward photography of May in full "rock god" mode and shots of the crowd in the Garden below. It has become an iconic moment and Brian May himself has said in interview that he hoped that he would strike the last chord at the same time as the orchestra in the gardens far below. Once it was finished, said May, the arm and fist went up, and the guitar was free, for it had done its work.[5] Ozzy Osbourne recently said in the same interview that this was the greatest moment of his career and pronounced the Queen to be "a beautiful woman."

Phil Collins played drums for many of the artists, as well as singing his 1983 UK number one single "You Can't Hurry Love", with Queen's Roger Taylor playing drums. Taylor took late singer Freddie Mercury's place by singing lead vocals for the band's 1984 number two hit "Radio Ga Ga" (which Taylor had also written), with Collins playing drums in place of Taylor.

S Club 7's performance of "Don't Stop Movin'" was announced as the last time the group would be performing as a septet, as Paul Cattermole had announced his departure from the group prior to the event. Some performances shown on TV are missing on the DVD release, including Atomic Kitten with "Right Now!"

Royal family commemoration[edit]

The event ended with the Royal Family joining the stars onstage. Prince Charles thanked his mother for her fifty years on the throne, famously beginning his speech with the words, "Your Majesty.....MUMMY!" to the delight of the crowd and bemusement of the Queen.[6]

Following this the Queen and Prince Philip went to light the National Beacon on the Mall. After the lighting of the beacon the largest fireworks show in the history of London took place. During this time different symbols were projected onto the palace including a Union Flag.


A condensed version of the concert was released on DVD. Some portions have been cut, e.g. Ruby Wax's monologue, Dame Edna's introduction of Paul McCartney performing "Blackbird" and Paul McCartney's spontaneous performance of "Her Majesty".[7]

A live CD recording of the performance was also released in 2002.[8]


  1. ^ "Picture Gallery". BBC News. Retrieved 2017-07-09.
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-06-26. Retrieved 2015-06-25.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-02-16. Retrieved 2009-11-28.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ "Picture Gallery". BBC News. Retrieved 2017-07-09.
  5. ^ The Queen at 80 - BBC TV documentary, 2006. Note: DVD only available in the UK at present; British ISBN B000IFS05Y
  6. ^ "UK | Charles tribute speech in full". BBC News. 2002-06-04. Retrieved 2017-07-09.
  7. ^ DVD recording ISBN B0000687F4
  8. ^ CD recording ISBN B000069003

External links[edit]