Phillip Schofield: The loyalty the monarchy provides to the nation is remarkable
Phillip Schofield has shared his admiration for the Queen and the royal family ahead of a special theatrical Platinum Jubilee celebration airing on Sunday.
Schofield, 60, and journalist and newsreader Julie Etchingham will host the theatrical area event which will be broadcast live on ITV from the grounds of Windsor Castle on May 15.
Speaking ahead of the celebration, the TV presenter described the Queen as a “figurehead for Great Britain”.
He said: “The Queen is the figurehead for Great Britain, she’s our British symbol – anyone worldwide when asked about Britain will immediately think of The Queen, and of course tea.
“The duty and loyalty the monarchy provides to the nation is remarkable.”
The event will be made up of six acts, each act will be overseen by a different event host – Damian Lewis, Adjoa Andoh, Martin Clunes, Keala Settle, Tom Cruise and Alan Titchmarsh – and will look back through history from the reign of Queen Elizabeth I to the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II.
Schofield, who previously hosted the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee with Etchingham, described the monarchy as “the epitome of British culture”, and revealed he is honoured to be a part of the historic Jubilee celebrations.
“What a milestone – it’s an honour to be involved and to be asked back following the Diamond Jubilee,” he said.
He added: “Celebrating the 70-year reign of a British monarch has never happened before, so it feels incredible that we are involved in a key part of history that the British public will look back on for years to come.”
Etchingham also shared her excitement ahead of the celebration, saying: “It’s a huge privilege to host these events – Phil and I have done two royal weddings and the Diamond Jubilee together. They are enormous fun – a little ringside seat on history.”
She added: “Her Majesty the Queen has been a constant presence on the national and international stage – seven decades of dedicated and unswerving service to the United Kingdom.
“In hard times and in good times, she has been the figurehead.”
As part of the all-star performance, Dame Helen Mirren, 76, will take on the role of Queen Elizabeth I, whilst a cast of Queen’s Players will be introduced by a character called The Herald played by Omid Djalili.
The Herald will whisk viewers through time linking the acts together, narrating and anchoring the stories and making light of some of the absurdities history presents us with.
The theatrical event will also include 1300 performers and 500 horses, with a number of military and equestrian displays from Commonwealth countries interspersed with the celebrations.
Ahead of his performance, Djalili, 56, said: “When a woman says 70 years ago that she’s going to dedicate her life in service of her country and has stuck to her word, to the letter, on a very human level to pay tribute to her in such a public way can only be seen as a privilege.”
He also revealed he has “tremendous empathy” for the British Monarchy.
Other guests involved in the show will include Andrew Lloyd Webber, Ant and Dec, Dame Joan Collins and Sir David Jason.
The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Celebration airs on May 15 at 8pm on ITV and ITV Hub.