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Queen lights jubilee beacon to celebrate 70 years on throne

Queen lights jubilee beacon to celebrate 70 years on throne

The Queen has lit the principal jubilee beacon at Windsor Castle to celebrate 70 years on the throne.

At the end of the first day of celebrations, the Queen pressed the Commonwealth of Nations Globe which sent a river of light from her Windsor Castle home to Buckingham Palace.

Back in London, her grandson the Duke of Cambridge watched as the Tree of Trees sculpture was bathed in light.

The special ceremony came as more than 2,000 beacons were lit across the UK, including one in each of the capital cities of Commonwealth countries.

The event marked the Queen’s second appearance of the day, after she appeared on the balcony at Buckingham Palace for the Trooping the Colour parade.

Just hours before the beacon-lighting ceremony, Buckingham Palace announced the Queen will miss a thanksgiving service on Friday “with great reluctance” after experiencing “some discomfort” during celebrations on Thursday.

In a statement, the palace said that while the Queen “greatly enjoyed” her birthday parade, she will not be at the event at St Paul’s Cathedral in London on 3 June.

“Taking into account the journey and activity required to participate in tomorrow’s National Service of Thanksgiving at St Paul’s Cathedral, Her Majesty, with great reluctance, has concluded that she will not attend,” the statement said.

(POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Her son, Prince Andrew, will also be absent from the service after testing positive for Covid-19.

It is believed that the Queen experienced episodic mobility issues during the daytime events on Thursday. It is also understood that skipping Friday’s service was a sensible decision, due to the physical demands that would be required at the service.

The announcement came after she took the centre stage at the Trooping the Colour parade, where she was surrounded by her family on the Buckingham Palace balcony and waved at the crowd.

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Thousands of people at The Mall in central London cheered for the monarch as she watched a six-minute flypast of more than 70 aircraft.

For the occasion, the Queen wore a dove blue coat, which she posed in for her official Jubilee portrait, and a matching hat. She was also seen holding a walking stick.

More than 30 royals attended her birthday parade, including the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their children.

Prince Harry and his wife Meghan watched the event from the Major General’s Office instead of the balcony. This week marks the Duchess of Sussex’s first royal appearance in two years, after she and her husband stepped down from their royal duties in 2020.

The Duke of Sussex last visited London in July 2021 for the unveiling of a statue of his late mother, Princess Diana, at Kensington Palace.

Follow our live coverage of the Queen’s platinum jubilee celebrations here.

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