United Kingdom

Queen lights beacon at Windsor Castle to celebrate 70 years on throne

The ceremony marks the end of the first day of celebrations for Her Majesty’s 70 year reign (Picture: PA/Reuters)

The Queen has lit one of 3,500 beacons around the UK in honour of her Platinum Jubilee.

Her Majesty pressed an orb-like button – The Commonwealth of Nations Globe – placed on a cushion in the grounds of Windsor Castle.

The 96-year-old monarch set off a chain of lights linked to the Tree of Trees sculpture in Buckingham Palace.

Lights chased along the Quadrangle towards the famous Round Tower, before travelling up the 69ft living sculpture.

It marks the end to the first day of historic national commemorations celebrating Elizabeth II’s 70 year reign.

The Queen, 96, looked jubilant on the balcony of Buckingham Palace earlier today as watched the Trooping the Colour parade and a Red Arrows flyover.

But she felt ‘some discomfort’ during the ceremony and palace staff announced she has pulled out of a ceremony at London’s St Paul’s Cathedral tomorrow.

The Queen looked upbeat as the first day of Jubilee celebrations came to a close (Picture: PA)
Her Majesty set of a chain of lights along the Quadrangle linked to Buckingham Palace (Picture: Reuters)
The living Tree of Trees sculpture was lit up at Buckingham Palace this evening (Picture: AFP/Getty Images)

Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge was at Buckingham Palace this evening to play his part in the dual ceremony.

The principal beacon is the 69ft tall Tree of Trees sculpture, featuring 350 British-grown trees – towering over the palace and illuminated with 3,500 festoon lights.

Created by British designer Thomas Heatherwick, the living creation reflects a project to plant more than a million trees for the Jubilee.

The lighting of beacons is a tradition commemorating important royal occasions dating back over 100 years.

As well as in Britain, beacons were also lit across Commonwealth countries to mark Elizabeth II’s long reign.

Earlier in the day cheeky Prince Louis stole the show on the palace balcony by pulling an impressive array of funny faces.

The four-year-old heir to the throne stood next to the Queen, known affectionately as ‘Gan Gan’, as she leaned down to talk to her great-grandson, pointing out things of interest

Thousands of well-wishers packed on to The Mall in the June sunshine, erupting in cheers for the nation’s longest reigning monarch, with the smiling Queen delighted at the patriotic scenes.

It is understood the decision not to attend tomorrow’s service of thanksgiving ceremony at St Paul’s was considered regrettable but sensible due to the length of the journey and time involved and the physical demands the service would require.

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Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee 2022

Dust off your Union Jack bunting, Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee is finally here.

Taking place from Thursday, June 2, to Sunday, June 5, the celebrations mark Her Majesty’s record-breaking 70th year on the throne.

Across the UK, there will be street parties, concerts, and other special events attended by the Queen and senior members of the Royal Family.

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