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July 23, 2002
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The Golden Jubilee celebrations continued in fine style on Tuesday with some of the biggest names in the ballet world performing for the monarch at a gala event at the Royal Opera House in London. As Queen Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh looked on, international stars such as Sylvie Guillem and Roberto Bolle joined the principal dancers at the ballet – including Darcey Bussell, Alina Cojocaru and Zenaida Yanowsky – in a set of performances from throughout the Queen’s 50-year reign.

The evening included excerpts from ballets such as Don Quixote, Carmen, and Romeo And Juliet. Plus there was a new work by Christopher Weeldon entitled Tryst, which has been dedicated to Queen Elizabeth.

The audience for the performance numbered 4,000, with many watching outside on a big screen in neighbouring Covent Garden piazza. The Royal Opera House said it had erected the screen – letting the public watch the proceedings for free – because the Queen wanted as many people as possible to have access to the Jubilee celebrations. Although a number of operas have been relayed in the same way, it was the first time a ballet performance had been beamed to fans outside.

The proceeds from the evening will go towards the Jubilee fund, which has been set up to help the Royal Ballet’s young dancers and choreographers.

On Thursday, the monarch will be in Manchester to open the Commonwealth Games. Millions of people around the world will tune in to see Kirsty Howard, the terminally ill six-year-old girl who captured the heart of David Beckham and the nation, present the Jubilee baton to Queen Elizabeth in the opening ceremony of the games. Kirsty was the England team’s lucky charm for the crunch World Cup qualifier against Greece last year and David was so fond of her that he dedicated the vital goal that ensured England’s passage to the finals to her. The Jubilee baton holds a message from the Queen and began a round-the-world journey from Buckingham Palace in March.

Photo: ©

Queen Elizabeth chats with one of the Royal Ballet's principal dancers, Darcey Bussell, after attending the company's tribute to Her Majesty at the Royal Opera House in London's Covent Garden

Photo: © PA

Photo: ©

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh were among an audience of 4,000 for the performance, with many watching on a big outdoor screen in the neighbouring Covent Garden piazza

Photo: © PA

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