Despite earlier concerts by pop stars, appearances of celebrities, and speeches by royalty, it was UK drone performance specialist SKYMAGIC that stole the show Saturday night with its aerial salute to Queen Elizabeth II during the Platinum Jubilee celebration of her reign.
SKYMAGIC’s drone show feting the monarch’s 70 years on the throne became the topic of immediate and widespread raves on social media, with some commentators hailing it as the best aerial spectacle they’d ever witnessed. The most popular formation of the night was, hands down, a replica of one of the Queen’s beloved corgis – this one a happy-looking hound watching an illuminated bone as it floated by.
The official account of Prince William and his wife tweeted a video of the sky dog, with the comment, “How amazing was this!”
The smash performance helped cement the London- and Singapore-based SKYMAGIC’s reputation as being among, if not the top drone show performance companies in the world. As it did in staging UAV configurations during London’s astonishing New Year’s Eve extravaganza, SKYMAGIC worked with broadcaster BBC, as well as city, government, and palace officials to pull off Saturday’s stunning aerial event in one of the most controlled airspaces in the nation.
Indeed, given the sensitivity of the operation – and determination of Jubilee organizers not to tip their hand about the sensational closing act they had planned – SKYMAGIC had to be more than discreet about its participation. In fact, it didn’t acknowledge its involvement until the last UAV had already landed, tweeting shortly after, “What an absolute honour to wrap up the Platinum Jubilee Party with a spectacular, one-of-a-kind drone show.”
Yet even a day later, as online praise of the performance continued to pile higher, the company remained discreet, apparently preferring for attention to remain focused on the Queen and her Jubilee.
It was only later in the day Sunday that SKYMAGIC officials spoke about the drone show, telling the Mail Online it had been staged using 400 UAVs, and had been nearly half a year in preparation. Due to the desire of planners to keep the performance a secret, meanwhile, rehearsals took place in an under-the-radar location in the north of England, with Saturday’s show being a hit-or-miss first-time flight live in the aerial stage above Buckingham Palace.
As crowd reaction attests, it was all hit, no miss.
“Congratulations, it was fantastic, aesthetically and technically jaw dropping!” tweeted one fan, accompanied by a GIF of three dogs paw-applauding.
In addition to the popular corgi, other shapes created by drones in the SKYMAGIC show included a pair of bearskin-hatted palace guards, a signature Queen Elizabeth handbag, a postage stamp with her likeness, a pot of tea pouring streams of light into a cup, and a final message shared by the Queen’s celebrating subjects.
Last month, after the company performed a record-setting show using 600 drones in Sydney, many spectators took to social media to ask how SKYMAGIC would ever top its act Down Under. Saturday night, they got their answer.