A Last-Minute Call from Prince Charles Is What Spurred the Queen’s Final Platinum Jubilee Balcony Appearance

He told her the crowds were desperate to see her.

Queen Elizabeth
(Image credit: Getty Images)

More details are emerging about the Queen’s final Buckingham Palace balcony appearance to close the Platinum Jubilee last Sunday—and they are heartwarming.

After appearing on the balcony twice on Thursday for Trooping the Colour, Her Majesty was sidelined at Windsor Castle for most of the rest of the weekend due to ongoing physical mobility issues and discomfort. She missed Friday’s Service of Thanksgiving in her honor at St. Paul’s Cathedral, the Derby at Epsom Downs and the Platinum Party at the Palace on Saturday, and the Platinum Jubilee Pageant on Sunday—and we might not have seen her at all on Sunday were it not for eldest son Prince Charles, multiple outlets report.

“The Queen only decided that she would go to London about three hours before the balcony appearance,” an insider told the Mail on Sunday, via The Sun. “She was not feeling brilliant, but the Prince of Wales had called her and told her she really ought to come if she could. He told her there were so many people desperate to see her and he convinced her to come.”

After massive crowds turned out for Trooping the Colour Thursday, they were back in full force for her third and final balcony appearance Sunday, and Her Majesty is said to have had tears in her eyes moments before stepping out on the iconic balcony to close the Platinum Jubilee, as crowds below sang “God Save the Queen” to her.

“The Queen was totally overwhelmed by the number of people waiting to see her,” the outlet reports. “She had tears in her eyes before she stepped out on the balcony.”

The Daily Mail says Her Majesty was “tearful and overwhelmed with emotion” at the public’s reaction to her historic 70-year reign. Dressed in a bright green Stewart Parvin crepe wool dress and coat with a matching hat by Rachel Trevor-Morgan, Her Majesty poignantly stood beside her three heirs—Prince Charles, Prince William, and Prince George—and their families for this moment in history. The Daily Mail reports that “it may be the last time that all four generations are seen on such a high-profile occasion.”

The Queen is expected to spend a long summer break in Scotland, where Craigowan Lodge, a stone cottage on the Balmoral Estate, has been fitted out with mobility aides, including a stair lift, The Daily Mail reports. Tomorrow, she plans to be at the investiture for the Order of the Garter, though she will not join the procession or attend the service at St. George’s Chapel in Windsor.

And, for his part, says royal historian Robert Lacey, Charles’ future role as king was visible throughout the Platinum Jubilee, he told PEOPLE.

“[The Queen] sees this as a great opportunity for the transition to be visible,” he says.

Rachel Burchfield
Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor

Rachel Burchfield is a writer, editor, and podcaster whose primary interests are fashion and beauty, society and culture, and, most especially, the British Royal Family and other royal families around the world. She serves as Marie Claire’s Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor and has also contributed to publications like Allure, Cosmopolitan, Elle, Glamour, Harper’s Bazaar, InStyle, People, Vanity Fair, Vogue, and W, among others. Before taking on her current role with Marie Claire, Rachel served as its Weekend Editor and later Royals Editor. She is the cohost of Podcast Royal, a show that was named a top five royal podcast by The New York Times. A voracious reader and lover of books, Rachel also hosts I’d Rather Be Reading, which spotlights the best current nonfiction books hitting the market and interviews the authors of them. Rachel frequently appears as a media commentator, and she or her work has appeared on outlets like NBC’s Today Show, ABC’s Good Morning America, CNN, and more.