Queen leads the celebrations from Windsor as a string of 3,000 bonfires blaze across Britain

A guiding light, a torchbearer, a trailblazer, a beacon. At 96, small and frail, our Queen has never embodied the metaphors so often used to describe her so strongly.

Her light has never dimmed in 70 years, and seldom has it shone as brightly as on Thursday, as she brushed aside concerns of age and mobility with a beaming smile as she lit up the two major events marking the advent of her platinum anniversary.

And so it was fitting that on Thursday evening a traditional procession of nearly 3,000 bonfires was lit for them across Britain, the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man, the British Overseas Territories and 54 Commonwealth capitals, marked with true British enthusiasm by criers at 2pm was announced and set in motion by Her Majesty herself, lighting Windsor Castle’s main beacon just after 9.30pm.

It was a late announcement. Perhaps even the queen initially decided that this event would be too much for her.

But perhaps buoyed by the nation’s party spirit and the pomp and family fun earlier in the day, despite the late hour, she seemed to revel in the poignancy of a ceremony that felt medieval in its roots – and a bit of Harry Potter, too…

Queen Elizabeth II symbolically leads the lighting of the most important jubilee fire



The tradition felt significant to the monarch



Dressed in a green coat and walking slowly and tentatively with her cane, obviously tired from her long day, she kept her smile. Accompanied by Bruno Peek, the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Pageant Master, she was greeted in the history-charged quadrangle of the Castle with a fanfare at the Sovereign’s entrance before touching the Commonwealth of Nations globe placed on a podium by Beefeaters.

A blue orb, seated in a silver crown on a blue and gold cushion, was specially created for this beacon train and was kept safe at the Tower of London.

Amidst its decoration glittered stones collected from some of Britain’s highest peaks, as well as platinum, diamonds, gold and silver, representing Her Majesty’s anniversaries.

When she excitedly pressed it, spectacular swirls of light raced down the quadrangle to the Castle’s historic Round Tower before magically illuminating a 21-foot living sculpture called The Tree of Trees, located 22 miles away in front of Buckingham Palace and being overseen by the Duke of Cambridge.

Prince William with Mike Bloomberg and designer Thomas Heatherwick during the lighting of the Principal Beacon at Buckingham Palace


(Getty Images)

Pomp aside, it was a moving moment when Her Majesty symbolically passed the torch to her grandson. A meaningful nod from a wise grandmother to the young man who must one day carry her flame into the future.

The trees glowing in the lamplight also embodied thoughts Her Majesty must have regularly now of a world that will live on far beyond her lifetime.

Designed by British designer Thomas Heatherwick, who designed the copper-leaf cauldron featured at the London 2012 Olympics, this central beacon included and lit her 350 UK-grown seedlings, including alder, field maple, hazelnut and silver birch to summarize the legacy.

While the lamps on their branches symbolized hope and longevity, so did the young trees. They represent the next 70+ years and the power of the tree to protect our future and they will long outlive our Queen.

While Oaks in her Great Park at Windsor dates back to the reign of William the Conqueror, our monarch has planted some 1,500 trees during her own reign and her Platinum Jubilee was marked by the Queen’s Green Canopy legacy project which aims to raise more than a million to plant.

Its Chair, Sir Nicholas Bacon, said: “The Tree of Trees offers a message of hope, renewal and celebration to people and communities around the world.”

Thousands of similar beacons were lit across the country


George Cracknell Wright/LNP)

As fireworks glittered in the sky over Windsor, fife bands playing Diu Regnare (Long to Reign) and a rousing bugle call entitled Majesty, written especially for the Jubilee, accompanied the royal beacon.

And then, like flaming trumpeters ushering in this weekend of celebration and thanksgiving, a fanfare of fires began to glow against the inky sky over the Queen’s lands, accompanied by the jubilant singing of A Life Lived with Grace from choirs such as The Military Wives – the Song for the Commonwealth, which won a competition to be chosen as the official beacon song.

In fact, the Commonwealth countries had already begun lighting their own beacons in unity, beginning with Nuku’alofa, the capital of Tonga, and Apia, the capital of Samoa. The train is scheduled to close with Belize in the Caribbean.

The domino trail of light took off as the song was performed at Buckingham Palace by the jubilee’s lead singer, Gregory Porter, along with the London Community Gospel Choir.

Some beacons were primitive bonfires or piled bales of straw reminiscent of ancient pagan torches of communication, warning, and navigation, others were braziers on long poles or gas-powered spherical burner heads.

Some were futuristic neon light displays that were beyond anything the Queen could have dreamed of as a girl.

The ‘Tree of Trees’ designed by designer Thomas Heatherwick at The Principal Beacon at Buckingham Palace


(Getty Images)

But all united the queen’s realm in a hopeful flame.

From the rural beaches of Shetland to Cornwall’s Neolithic chapel of Carn Brea, Britain’s westernmost hill, their flames danced.

In the capital, nine central London bridges across the River Thames have been illuminated to form the world’s longest public work of art entitled Illuminated River, a synchronized flow of moving LED lights.

The Shard and BT Tower joined the exhibition, while the Tower of London earlier lit a beacon over the center drawbridge in a ceremony that included a whistler’s lament and singing by a local Commonwealth youth choir.

Hillsborough Castle, Lambeth Palace and the Queen’s estates, Sandringham and Balmoral all joined the procession, with the Archbishop of Canterbury lighting the beacon at his official residence in Lambeth.

He said: “This will be a moment of remarkable celebration as we join forces across generations, denominations, faiths and communities around the world to pay tribute to Her Majesty The Queen.”

The torchbearers before lighting a Platinum Jubilee bonfire at the Queen’s Sandringham estate in Norfolk



For our pious monarch, these symbols of light must be closely linked to her Christian faith.

As Cardinal Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster, said: “You mark such a significant moment in the reign of Her Majesty the Queen, whose own life was so securely guided by the Light of Christ.”

Cathedrals in Durham, Ely, Lichfield, Peterborough and Rochester shone red, white and blue.

And with true determination, representatives of the Walking With The Wounded charity scaled the UK’s highest peaks – Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike, Mount Snowdon and Slieve Donard – to light beacons.

The Scouts lit 70 beacons from the Highlands to Cornwall including a special lighting at the Angel of the North.

In Wilton, Wiltshire, the same scout group that lit a bonfire on the night of the Queen’s coronation did so again at the same location.

While the guides lit another 70 for the monarch, who is also their patron and who herself joined the movement in 1937 as an 11-year-old, including a virtual beacon on Girlguiding’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages.

And from Skegness in Lincolnshire to Boscastle, Cornwall, coast stations that have long guarded our British Isles with their rays shone with special performances for the Queen last night.

Meanwhile, communities made their beacons their personal thank you.

Tameside and Glossop Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust’s sustainable beacon was assembled from broken hospital beds, fused into a crown-shaped beacon and illuminated in a distinctive NHS blue light display in Ashton-under-Lyne, Greater Manchester.

At 10pm, 30 locations along Hadrian’s Wall, celebrating its 1900th anniversary, were to ignite their beacons covering a distance of 120 miles, creating a spectacular chain of gold from Muncaster to South Shields.

A grand ceremony at Cawfield Quarry was to feature pipers, buglers, Ghanaian dancers and Roman archers.

Crowds gather as a Platinum Jubilee Beacon is lit on Blackheath in south-east London


George Cracknell Wright/LNP)

The tradition of the beacon for our monarchs is not new. In 1897 they were lit to celebrate Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee; Our own Queen’s Silver, Golder and Diamond milestones were also commemorated in this way in 1977, 2002 and 2012.

But for our 96-year-old monarch, tradition felt more important than ever.

Our Queen, then a Princess, helped lead our nation during the war when our home fires had to be stoked against all odds. Decades later, her presence during the pandemic still burned fiercely and offered hope, even in the face of the loss of her own role model, the Duke of Edinburgh.

As we watched the beacons burn, we hoped it would last a little longer.

Continue reading

Continue reading

https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/queen-leads-celebrations-windsor-string-27135673 Queen leads the celebrations from Windsor as a string of 3,000 bonfires blaze across Britain

Fry Electronics Team

Fry Electronics.com is an automatic aggregator of the all world’s media. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, all materials to their authors. If you are the owner of the content and do not want us to publish your materials, please contact us by email – admin@fry-electronics.com. The content will be deleted within 24 hours.

Related Articles

Back to top button