Diamond Jubilee Concert

The Diamond Jubilee Concert was a British music concert and celebration held outside Buckingham Palace on The Mall in London on 4 June 2012. The concert was organised by Take That singer-songwriter Gary Barlow and was part of Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee celebrations.[1][2][3]

The Diamond Jubilee Concert
Concert and commemoration concert by Various artists
VenueThe Mall, London, England
Date(s)4 June 2012 (2012-06-04)

The Diamond Jubilee Concert followed two concerts held at the palace for the Queen's Golden Jubilee a decade earlier – the classical themed Prom at the Palace and the pop/rock themed Party at the Palace.

The concert was partially attended by the Queen, who arrived at 9pm, but not by Prince Philip who had been taken to hospital with a bladder infection earlier in the day.[4] Prince Charles and other members of the royal family attended the whole concert.

Organisation and ticketing

Gary Barlow and the BBC spent six months planning the concert and 10,000 free tickets for the concert were made available to the public, with applications possible, by post or online, between 7 February and 2 March 2012. After the application period closed, successful applicants were then drawn by random ballot.[5] A total of 1.2 million applications were eventually received, 240 for every available pair.[6] Non-ticketed attendees could watch the concert on giant TV screens in the Mall and local Parks. Estimates of these free attendees range from 250,000[7] to 500,000[8] people.

Date, venue and stage

The concert took place on bank holiday Monday 4 June as part of the extended weekend celebrations for the Diamond Jubilee, which ran from 2 to 5 June.[5] The acts performed on a specially constructed stage, with a canopy, around the Queen Victoria Memorial,[9] in front of the palace.[6] The stage was designed by Mark Fisher.

House band

The house band, led by Mike Stevens, who was also the Musical Director of the concert, consisted largely of the Take That/Gary Barlow band, a few additional musicians and the BBC Concert Orchestra. The house band performed with many of the guest artists that were featured, however Tom Jones, Elton John, Stevie Wonder and Paul McCartney[5] brought their own bands to the concert.

Jubilee song

Gary Barlow and Andrew Lloyd Webber wrote a song for the jubilee entitled Sing which was performed for the first time at the concert by a choir from many Commonwealth countries. The song draws inspiration from the music and people of the Commonwealth. Its creation was the subject of a one-hour BBC documentary broadcast on 3 June 2012 by BBC One.[10]

Jubilee picnic

Concert ticket holders were given access to the palace gardens for an afternoon picnic before the main event. They were served cold hampers with a British themed menu specially designed by Heston Blumenthal and the royal chef Mark Flanagan.[11]


The running order was:

...as a nation this is our opportunity to thank you and my father for always being there for us. For inspiring us with your selfless duty and service and for making us proud to be British.

Prince Charles' tribute to the Queen.[17]


The concert was broadcast live on BBC One, BBC One HD and BBC Radio 2. American broadcaster ABC showed highlights the following day after as Concert For The Queen: A Diamond Jubilee Celebration With Katie Couric as well as an encore airing on 9 June.[5] Broadcasting unions announced in April 2012 that they would ballot their members over taking strike action due to an ongoing pay dispute with the BBC, leading to media speculation that the BBC coverage of the concert could be affected.[18] It was later confirmed that the BBC's coverage wouldn't be affected by any strikes.[19] It aired on 5 June on CBC television in Canada. BBC Entertainment showed the concert on 8 June in Latin America.

The concert aired from 19:30 until approximately 23:00 UK time. In the UK the programme was seen by an average of 15.32 million viewers on BBC One,[20] making it the 6th highest UK TV audience of 2012, but peaking near 17 million.[21]

For the ABC broadcast the following aired:

  • will.i.am and Jessie J – "I Gotta Feeling" / "This Is Love"
  • Jessie J – "Domino"
  • Tom Jones – "Mama Told Me (Not To Come)" and "Delilah"
  • Kylie Minogue – medley "Spinning Around", "Can't Get You Out Of My Head", "Step Back In Time" and "All The Lovers"
  • Elton John – "I'm Still Standing", "Your Song" and "Crocodile Rock"
  • Stevie Wonder – "Sir Duke", "Isn't She Lovely", "Happy Birthday" (with will.i.am) and "Superstition"
  • Madness – "Our House" and "It Must Be Love"
  • Paul McCartney – "All My Loving", "Let It Be", "Live and Let Die" and "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da"
  • Finish – Prince Charles made a speech at the end of the concert
  • The National Anthem was played, which majority sang.
  • Grand Finale – The Queen lit the National Beacon followed by a display of fireworks, during which the melodies of several national hymns were played.
    • Annie Lennox's participation was listed in the program description yet her appearance did not air.

The show of 5 June on ABC opened to 6.4 million (4.1/6) before rising in the second hour to 7.2 million (4.7/8) for an average of 6.8 million viewers for the evening.[22]

The broadcast was aired on Channel 9 in Australia on 5 June – and was broadcast in its entirety apart from:

  • Interlude – Jimmy Carr
  • Lang Lang – "Hungarian Rhapsody" / "Rhapsody In Blue"
  • Interlude – Miranda Hart
  • Interlude – Lenny Henry
  • Jools Holland and Ruby Turner – "You Are So Beautiful"
  • Interlude – Jimmy Carr [23]


  1. "Radio Times Feb 7, 2012". Radiotimes.com. 7 February 2012. Archived from the original on 4 January 2013. Retrieved 8 April 2012.
  2. "Digital Spy Elton John, Paul McCartney, Jessie J for Diamond Jubilee Concert". Digitalspy.co.uk. 7 February 2012. Retrieved 8 April 2012.
  3. "Telegraph, Take That's Gary Barlow promises night to remember at Queen's Diamond Jubilee concert". Telegraph.co.uk. 7 February 2012. Retrieved 8 April 2012.
  4. "Prince Philip in hospital and missing Diamond Jubilee concert". BBC News. BBC. 4 June 2012. Retrieved 4 June 2012.
  5. "Sir Paul McCartney to play Queen Diamond Jubilee gig". BBC News. BBC. 7 February 2012. Retrieved 20 April 2012.
  6. "Jubilee concert had 240 applicants for every ticket". BBC News. BBC. 17 April 2012. Retrieved 20 April 2012.
  7. "Diamond Jubilee Concert Buckingham Palace". The Guardian. The Guardian. Retrieved 17 April 2017.
  8. Wynne Jones, Ros (4 June 2012). ""How will that be topped at the Platinum Jubilee?" The view among the revellers at the Queen's glittering gig". The Mirror. Retrieved 17 April 2017.
  9. "Diamond Jubilee Concert Preview: Gary Barlow & Cheryl Cole To Duet – Who Else Will Perform?". The Huffington Post. huffingtonpost. 1 June 2012. Retrieved 1 June 2012.
  10. "Andrew Lloyd Webber and Gary Barlow write Jubilee song". BBC News. BBC. 24 February 2012. Retrieved 20 April 2012.
  11. "Heston Blumenthal plans 'best of British' Jubilee picnic". BBC News. BBC. 18 April 2012. Retrieved 20 April 2012.
  12. "Robbie Williams kicks off The Queen's Diamond Jubilee gig" at orange.co.uk
  13. "Stars shine on The Queen at Jubilee concert". BBC Online. 4 June 2012. Retrieved 5 June 2012.
  14. "Robbie Williams joins Queen's Jubilee concert". BBC News. BBC. 30 April 2012. Retrieved 30 April 2012.
  15. "Jessie J will perform at Diamond Jubilee Concert" at jessiej.ru Archived 18 June 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  16. "'Our house, in the middle of One's street': Madness transform Buckingham Palace into terraced housing with amazing light show", dailymail.co.uk., Retrieved 5 June 2012
  17. 'Thanks for making us all so proud to be British': Prince Charles pays moving and personal tribute to 'Mummy' the Queen at spectacular Buckingham Palace Diamond Jubilee Concert". Daily Mail. Retrieved 5 June 2012
  18. "BBC unions threaten diamond jubilee strike". The Guardian. 19 April 2012. Retrieved 20 April 2012.
  19. "Diamond Jubilee strike by BBC staff averted after agreement over new pay deal". Daily Mail. Retrieved 5 June 2012
  20. "Olympics and Euro 2012 coverage lead list of most-watched TV shows of 2012". guardian.co.uk. 13 December 2012. Retrieved 17 April 2017.
  21. "60 Facts about the Diamond Jubilee Celebrations UK". Royal. Royal Household. Retrieved 17 April 2017.
  22. "ABC's 'Concert for the Queen' Tops Premieres on NBC and FOX". tvbythenumbers. 6 June 2012. Retrieved 26 June 2012.
  23. "Diamond Jubilee Concert". Channelnine. Archived from the original on 31 December 2012. Retrieved 8 June 2012.
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