History will be made on September 9 when the Queen becomes the longest-reigning British monarch, but the day is likely to pass with little fanfare after a privately-funded concert to mark the occasion raised just £15 in donations.
With no official celebrations taking place, the British Monarchist Society decided to take the initiative by organising the show at the 02 Arena in London, and launched a crowd-funding appeal to raise £65,000 to cover costs.
So far, however, just two people have made donations, and with the full £65,000 needed by July 22, the chances of the concert going ahead look slim.
The only other event planned to mark the occasion is a Queen-themed message which will be projected onto the Tower of London, though its main purpose is to promote a forces charity.
An artist’s impression of how the Tower of London will look in September (Seadesign.co.uk)
Buckingham Palace said it was focusing on the Queen’s 90th birthday next year as the main time for reflection on her reign, though she will carry out a low-key engagement in Scotland on September 9 so that the public will, at least, see her on the day she overtakes Queen Victoria’s record of 63 years and seven months.
The British Monarchist Society had hoped its Concert For The Queen would “show Her Majesty how much she is loved”. Acts including Elaine Paige, Rick Wakeman, Patti Boulaye and S Club 7 have been lined up, but with no backing from the Government or private sponsors, the BMS was relying on individual donors giving small amounts.
Thomas Mace-Archer-Mills, the chairman of the BMS, said: “It is unconscionable that no one person, organisation, or the government has given an thought to properly celebrating the most historic milestone in this nation’s history, let alone honouring Her Majesty for the life long service she has given the people of this world. A proper show of appreciation is only appropriate.