This mark this year’s Diamond Jubilee, several of the art world’s most prominent icons were seen rubbing shoulders with none other than the Queen of England.
Celebrations for the Diamond Jubilee recently kicked off as hundreds of leading cultural figures were introduced to the Queen at the event hosted at London’s Royal Academy.
Out of the 850 names who were introduced to the Queen, well-known attendees included Sir Derek Jacobi, Dame Judi Dench, Sir Paul McCartney, David Hockney, Bono, Alan Bennett, Kenneth Branagh, Emma Thompson, Sir Tom Stoppard, Mike Leigh, Julian Barnes, and Phillip Pullman.
Irish musician Bono received cheers after praising the Queen for visiting Ireland last year.
‘And the Queen spoke Gaelic, I can't even speak Gaelic,’ he joked
The Queen also met Dame Shirley Bassey and actress Joan Collins, who was particularly praiseful of Her Majesty.
‘I'm such a great admirer of her," Collins said
. ‘I always want to know what she keeps in the handbag.’
In addition to meeting stars, the Queen also presented five special Diamond Jubilee Awards to young ‘artists of the future’ at the event.
Undoubtedly, all attendees were proud to be a part of the event, many of them speaking out about the importance of preserving and honouring British arts and culture.
‘I think Britain continually improves itself and redefines itself,’ Dame Diana Rigg said
‘This year happens to be particularly special, with the Queen's Jubilee and the Olympics at the same time. I think an entirely new, brilliant Britain is going to emerge.’
Similarly, actress Maureen Lipman cited the occasion as a particularly important one for the British arts scene.
‘There'll be a bit of lobbying, there'll be a lot of networking, there'll be a lot of chat and we all love the Queen. And we hope it benefits the arts,’ she said
And some even explained their change of heart towards Britain’s reining monarchy.
‘At one time I thought the Queen represented all the political hypocrisy of England,’ Dame Vivienne Westwood said
. "I realised they're above politics. I think they are a social cement and the job she does is incredible.’
The event marks the start of the Diamond Jubilee, an event which celebrates 60 years of a monarch’s reign, and which will proceed with several other events from June 2nd-5th.
The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Concert is one of the planned events, and will be taking place on June 4th. Amongst those who will be performing at the concert is Indigenous Australian performer Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu, who will be joining other Commonwealth artists such as Sir Paul McCartney, Sir Tom Jones, Sir Elton John and Sir Cliff Richard to perform ‘Sing’, a song written by Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber and Gary Barlow.