diamond close up

Red fires at night, Royal delight:  Queen to use huge crystal to trigger  last of 4,000 beacons lit to celebrate  Diamond Jubilee

The skies of Britain will turn red in just over a month's time as more than 4,000 beacons are lit across the land to celebrate the Queen's six decades on the throne.

In what is set to be a memorable moment her majesty will trigger the lighting of the final beacon by placing a huge crystal into a specially designed pod at a concert given in her honour.
Big name stars including Stevie Wonder, JLS and Sir Elton John will perform in the shadows of Buckingham Palace before the Queen steps on to the stage in front of a crowd of thousands to light the last beacon near the mall at 10.30pm on June 4.

Bruno Peek, Pageantmaster of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee beacons, said the number of communities who had registered to hold celebration bonfires was 'truly amazing' and easily surpassed the 2,012 they hoped to attract.

Mr Peek, who organised the Golden Jubilee beacons in 2002, delivered the crystal to the Tower of London last night during a lavish ceremony.

He said: 'Our aim was to light 2,012 beacons because 2,012 have never been lit before, but by the end of the night we will have over 4,000 - that's truly amazing.

'Last night was the closing date for the beacons and the number came to 3,986 but I've been emailed a spread sheet with 40 more.

'The beacons will be lit from around the world on Monday, June 4 from Tonga to the Falkland Island and Malta to Kenya.'

The network of beacons that will criss-cross the UK will be placed on historic landmarks, hill-top vantage points and famous mountains.

On Hadrian's Wall 60 beacons will be lit in sequence - one for each year of the Queen's reign.

The highest peaks of the UK's four nations will be lit up to mark the 60-year milestone by teams from four charities.

Forces charity Help for Heroes will conquer Ben Nevis in Scotland, Walking With The Wounded will climb Snowdon in Wales, Cancer Research UK plan to scale England's Scafell Pike, while Field of Life take on Northern Ireland's highest peak of Slieve Donard in the Mourne mountain range in County Down.

There will also be beacons on the battlements of the Tower of London, at St James's Palace, Lambeth Palace, on the parapet of Windsor Castle, on the Long Walk in Windsor Great Park, at Sandringham, as well as at Balmoral, Edinburgh's Palace of Holyroodhouse and at Killyleagh Castle in Northern Ireland.

The Treetops Hotel in the Aberdare national park in Kenya - where the Queen was told by the Duke of Edinburgh in 1952 her father George VI had died and she was now monarch - will also light a beacon.

Mr Peek delivered the diamond-shaped crystal to the Tower at the head of the massed bands of the Sea Cadets.

Two original works were performed in the grounds of the famous fortress - a bugle fanfare called Diamond Salute written by cadets from Portland and a march - Cadets on Parade - composed by 16-year-old Leading Cadet Holly Frazer-Morris, from Sutton Coldfield.

Four Yeoman Warders escorted him to the Broad Walk, where he handed the diamond to Lord Dannatt, the former head of the Army, now Constable of the Tower.

It was delivered on a tasselled cushion, surrounded by a crown gilded with 22-carat gold, both designed for the event.

The Pageantmaster told the peer: 'I bring you the Jubilee crystal diamond for safe keeping here at the Tower of London in readiness for Her Majesty to use it to light the national beacon.'

The crystal will go on public display in the 11th century white tower until it is taken to Buckingham Palace on June 4th.

Full article here.

Diamond Jubilee Beacons Ltd. registered address: 34 Melville St. Edinburgh EH3 7HA
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Queen's Diamond Jubilee Emblem