LONDON — Queen Elizabeth II’s face was full of smiles during the Royal Air Force flypast, the centerpiece of Thursday’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations, but it was one of her great-grandsons who stole the show.
Prince Louis, the youngest child of Prince William and his wife, Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, had no problem showing his emotions while standing next to the queen, and was seen fidgeting, covering his eyes, holding his head in his hands and resting his chin throughout the ceremony on Buckingham Palace’s balcony.
But it was an image of the 4-year-old holding his ears, with his mouth wide open, that took off on social media, quickly achieving meme-status.
Louis, who was dressed in a blue sailor suit similar to one worn by his father at the 1985 Trooping the Color, chatted with his famous relative to the seeming amusement of his mother. Pictures show William wearing the same style of top and being carried in his father’s arms on the balcony of Buckingham Palace.
Louis’ older brother, George, 8, was dressed in a navy blue suit, a white shirt and a blue tie, while his sister, Charlotte, 7, wore a blue cornflower dress.
The trio had earlier waved at the crowds from their carriage on the way back from the Trooping the Color, where their father joined their grandfather Prince Charles as he took the salute at a parade of Britain’s armed forces.
They had earlier been spotted watching the ceremony from a window overlooking London’s Horse Guards Parade.
It marked the start of a long weekend and public holiday starting Thursday. Over the next few days, the country will be abuzz with concerts, parades and historic church services, all adorned by festoons of Union Jack flags and with giant television screens set up in major city centers.
Sunday is the centerpiece: A four-act Jubilee Pageant at Buckingham Palace, including a military parade, a celebrity-packed carnival celebrating British cultural and technological innovation during the queen’s reign, and a pack of puppet corgis created in the image of the queen’s famous pets.
Meanwhile, an estimated 16,000 street parties will kick off all over the country, with people popping commemorative sparkling wine and eating sandwiches from special imprinted jubilee plates.