Party At The Palace • Monday, June 3, 2002

ConcertBy Paul McCartney

See all concerts in United Kingdom on the map
United Kingdom
Buckingham Palace Gardens


It was a new millennium the next time [Queen Elizabeth II and I] were together again and what an occasion it was! Celebrating her Golden Jubilee, we got to rock out in her garden. As Her Majesty was on stage receiving applause at the end of the show I joked, ‘Well I suppose this will be happening next year then?’ to which she replied, ‘Not in my garden it won’t!’

Paul McCartney – From, September 8, 2022

From Wikipedia:

The Party at the Palace was a British pop/rock music concert held at Buckingham Palace Garden in London on 3 June 2002. The event was in commemoration of the Golden Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II held over the Golden Jubilee Weekend. It was the pop/rock equivalent of the Prom at the Palace, that showcased classical music. 10 years later the Diamond Jubilee Concert for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee was held in 2012, followed by the Platinum Party at the Palace for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee in 2022.

Event and venue

The concert was held at the gardens of Buckingham Palace as part of the Golden Jubilee. Sir George Martin and Phil Ramone served as consultants for organising the show. Sir Michael Peat, Keeper of the Privy Purse, was one of the main organisers. 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 and 3,000 telephones lines were set up to deal with the calls from applicants. Around two million applications were submitted to attend either the Party or the Prom at the Palace. 12,000 people attended the pop concert. They were provided by the palace with hampers packed with food and champagne. An estimated 1 million people watched outside the Palace in The Mall and around the Queen Victoria Memorial, and 200 million on television. The police arrested one person during the event. 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

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 (performed by Steve Whitmire), and Barry Humphries (in characters as Dame Edna Everage and Sir Les Patterson). […]

Aspects of concert

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. This sequence was 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. Ozzy Osbourne 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.

Royal family commemoration

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.

Following this the Queen and Prince Philip went to light the National Beacon on the Mall using the Millennium flame, which she had previously used to light a beacon on the River Thames on Millennium Eve in 1999. After the lighting of the beacon a massive 15-minute firework show 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“.

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

From – Paul on stage during the Party at the Palace concert in commemoration of the Golden Jubilee of Elizabeth II – 3rd June 2002
From (l/r) Rod Stewart, Ozzy Osborne, Sir Cliff Richard and Sir Paul McCartney on stage during the finale in the gardens of Buckingham Palace, after the second concert to commemorate the Golden Jubilee of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II. * Some 12,000 tickets were distributed by ballot for the Party at the Palace, and ten of thousands more gathered outside to enjoy the music. Later The Queen lit a beacon and watched a firework display. On Tuesday she will travel to the St Paul’s for a service of thanksgiving Stock Photo – Alamy

From London Evening Standard – June 6, 2002
From The Daily Telegraph – June 10, 2002
From The Daily Telegraph – June 6, 2002

Last updated on September 17, 2022

Setlist for the concert


Her Majesty

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Does not appear on the "Party At The Palace" DVD

Album Available on Driving Rain... In The New Century

Album Available on Live Archives Vol. 4 (2001-2006)

Album Available on For Freedom, Peace And Her Majesty

Album Available on Searching for Him Everywhere 2001-2014



Written by Lennon - McCartney

Does not appear on the "Party At The Palace" DVD

Album Available on Driving Rain... In The New Century

Album Available on Live Archives Vol. 4 (2001-2006)

Album Available on For Freedom, Peace And Her Majesty


Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise)

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Does not appear on the "Party At The Palace" DVD


The End

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Does not appear on the "Party At The Palace" DVD


All You Need Is Love

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Vocals by Rod Stewart, Joe Cocker & Paul McCartney on each verse respectively. Joined by the rest of the performers part way through the song.

Album Available on Party At The Palace : The Queen's Concerts, Buckingham Palace

Album Available on For Freedom, Peace And Her Majesty

Album Available on Live Archives Vol. 4 (2001-2006)

Album Available on Driving Rain - Ultimate Archive Collection

Album Available on Driving Rain... In The New Century

Exit mobile version