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Photos: Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee

For the first time in history, a British monarch is celebrating 70 years on the throne.

Queen Elizabeth II was 25 years old when her reign began on February 6, 1952.

To mark the unprecedented anniversary, there are Platinum Jubilee celebrations taking place across the country. This four-day holiday weekend will include a variety of public events and community activities.

The festivities began Thursday with the Queen’s birthday parade, also known as Trooping the Colour. The Queen and members of the royal family made their customary balcony appearance at Buckingham Palace before the event ended with a flypast by the Royal Air Force.

On Friday, members of the royal family attended a thanksgiving service for the Queen at the famed St. Paul’s Cathedral in London. But the Queen stayed home after experiencing “discomfort” on Thursday. Buckingham Palace said in a statement Thursday night that the Queen had made the decision to miss Friday’s service “with great reluctance” after “taking into account the journey and activity required to participate.”

This is the Queen’s first jubilee without her husband, Prince Philip, who died last year. The festivities will include a concert at the palace on Saturday and a pageant on Sunday.

People pack The Mall in London for Thursday’s Trooping the Colour parade. Aaron Chown/AP
The Queen walks out onto the Buckingham Palace balcony during the Trooping the Colour parade. Bernadette Tuazon/CNN
Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, waves during a carriage procession on Thursday. Joining her on the carriage were her three children — Prince George, Prince Louis and Princess Charlotte — as well as Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall. Toby Hancock/CNN
The Queen’s great-grandson Prince Louis holds his hands over his ears during the six-minute flypast staged by the Royal Air Force. From left are Prince Charles; the Queen; Prince Louis; Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge; and Princess Charlotte. Hannah McKay/Reuters
A 124-gun salute is fired at the Tower of London as part of the Trooping the Colour parade. Glyn Kirk/AFP/Getty Images
The Trooping the Colour event involved 1,500 soldiers and officers, 400 musicians, 250 horses and 70 aircraft, according to the UK Ministry of Defence. Paul Ellis/AFP/Getty Images
Three of the Queen’s great-grandchildren— from left, Prince George, Prince Louis and Princess Charlotte — ride in the carriage procession on Thursday. Karwai Tang/WireImage/Getty Images
Prince William, left, rides on horseback next to his father, Prince Charles, during the Trooping the Colour parade. Adrian Dennis/AFP/Getty Images
The Queen’s Guard marches during the Trooping the Colour parade Thursday. Matt Dunham/AP
The Queen is joined by members of the royal family on the Buckingham Palace balcony on Thursday. Aaron Chown/AP
Thousands of people flocked to central London for the celebrations Thursday. Abbie Trayler-Smith for CNN
A military band performs on Thursday.Dan Kitwood/Getty Images
A member of the Coldstream Guards holds souvenir programs ahead of the start of Thursday’s parade. Toby Melville/AFP/Getty Images
Prince Edward, right, rides in a carriage along with his wife Sophie, the Countess of Wessex, and their children, James and Louise. Bernadette Tuazon/CNN
The Mounted Band of the Household Cavalry takes part in the parade Thursday. Paul Ellis/AFP/Getty Images
A man wears a Union Jack suit as people gather on The Mall for Jubilee celebrations on Thursday. Henry Nicholls/Reuters
Police officers line up on The Mall ahead of the Trooping the Colour parade on Thursday. Dominic Lipinski/PA Images/Getty Images
Crowds gather in London for the parade. Toby Hancock/CNN
Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese lights the Commonwealth Beacon for a Jubilee celebration in Canberra, Australia, on Thursday. Tracey Nearmy/Getty Images
People sing the national anthem as they gather along The Mall on Thursday. David Cliff/AP
Anita Atkinson, who has collected more than 12,000 items of royal memorabilia, makes her way to a tea party in Durham on Thursday. Owen Humphreys/PA Images/Getty Images
Some royal fans had Union flags applied to their faces as they gathered along The Mall in London on Thursday. David Cliff/AP

This article was first published on CNN

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