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Edward and Sophie join giant picnic to mark Queen’s Platinum Jubilee

The Countess of Wessex during the Big Jubilee Lunch (Daniel Leal/PA)
The Countess of Wessex during the Big Jubilee Lunch (Daniel Leal/PA)

The Earl and Countess of Wessex laughed, joked and chatted about the Queen as they joined thousands at a picnic near Windsor Castle.

A sea of red, white and blue stretched down 800 metres of the Long Walk as around 3,000 people, young and old, converged on almost 500 tables on Sunday afternoon.

Edward and Sophie joined the “Big Picnic” shortly after 2pm, greeting every table for almost two hours.

The couple were asked several times how the Queen was doing, to which the pair responded with positive updates about her condition.

Edward could be heard talking with one elderly lady who said she remembered the monarch’s coronation in 1953.

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Members of the local community participate in the Big Jubilee Lunch (Steve Parsons/PA)

Sophie was also asked about her daughter Lady Louise Windsor, who she said was “really well”.

Another attendee spoke fondly about the couple’s wedding, with Edward joking “don’t remind me of that one!”

They then watched a group of children perform a Jubilee-themed song, with the couple seen clapping their hands.

Those at the picnic, many of whom were dressed in Union flag-themed clothes, brought with them big baskets of food despite the grey weather.

Tables were decorated with red, white and blue bunting and balloons, along with Union flag tablecloths and plates.

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The Earl of Wessex during the Big Jubilee Lunch with members of the local community (Daniel Leal/PA)

On top sat sandwiches, pies, Scotch eggs, sausage rolls, and chicken drumsticks, while some people were drinking Prosecco and champagne.

Many more people set their picnics up on grass to the side of the tables, with organisers estimating 10,000 were there in total.

Big screens blurring images of the Queen were dotted around the area, along with food vans and a stage where a musician played.

People could be seen walking around in crowns and masks of members of the royal family.

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A dog wearing a crown during the Big Jubilee Lunch (Daniel Leal/PA)

Some were seen in their own tents which they had brought along.

Sarah Niles, 56, from Langley, in Berkshire, told the PA news agency: “It’s such a lovely atmosphere in spite of the bland weather.

“I got here around 7am to set up, I just wanted to be around people at a time like this.

“We’ll only see this kind of thing once in a lifetime I suppose, to have a Queen for this long is very rare so it’s right we celebrate her in this way.”

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The Countess of Wessex chats with young children (Daniel Leal/PA)

Another named Susan, said: “It was pretty exciting to meet Edward and Sophie, they were so nice and it was a great touch for them to take the time out of their day.”

A nearby pub was seen gearing up to serve takeaway beers.

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