Beacons to be lit across the UK and around the Commonwealth to mark The Queen’s 70 year reign

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Written for Royal Central by Jess Ilse

Buckingham Palace announced the first major plans for The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee next year, running over an extra-long bank holiday weekend in June.

On Thursday 2 June, one of the first major events of the Platinum Jubilee weekend will be the lighting of Platinum Jubilee Beacons.

These beacons will be lit throughout the United Kingdom, the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man, other UK Overseas Territories, and, for the first time, in the major capital cities of the Commonwealth nations.

The Royal Family has a long tradition of using beacons to celebrate their major milestones, such as weddings, coronations, and jubilees.

The most recent beacons lit around the UK coincided with The Queen’s 90th birthday in 2016, with Her Majesty lighting the first of 900 beacons throughout the UK and around the world to mark the historic event. The Queen’s three most recent jubilees—the Silver Jubilee in 1977, the Golden Jubilee in 2002 and the Diamond Jubilee in 2012—were celebrated with beacons, as well.

Over the course of The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee year, over 4,000 beacons were lit. Their initial goal had been 2,012, to mark the year. The total number of beacons anticipated for the Platinum Jubilee has not been announced.

The practise dates back centuries—Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee in 1897 featured lit beacons around the country—and has also been used to celebrate other milestones, like the millennium in 2000 and to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Victory in Europe Day in 1995.

The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, the first celebration of this nature by a monarch of the United Kingdom, will also feature a special Trooping the Colour, a Service of Thanksgiving at St Paul’s Cathedral, the Derby at Epsom Downs, a Platinum Party outside Buckingham Palace, a Big Jubilee Lunch, and a Platinum Jubilee Pageant.

The Queen and members of the Royal Family will travel around the United Kingdom in 2022 in celebration of this milestone, and other events are being planned to commemorate the event year-round, all of which will be announced at a later date.

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