Beacons will be lit across the country and the Commonwealth to mark the Jubilee (Picture: Getty/Google Maps)
Flaming beacons will be lit across the UK and the Commonwealth today to mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.
The lighting of beacons is a tradition commemorating important royal occasions dating back over 100 years.
It is when a torch is lit in a visible place such as a mountaintop, church tower or beach to serve as a symbol of unity.
In the past, before phones and the internet were invented, chains of beacons were used as a tool to communicate.
Now, they are often a point of focus for celebrations – such as royal weddings, jubilees and coronations.
In 1897, beacons were lit to celebrate Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee.
More recently, in 1977, 2002 and 2012, beacons commemorated the Silver,
Golden and Diamond Jubilees of The Queen, and in 2016 her 90th birthday.
Many of the lighting ceremonies will take place this evening, and you may be wondering where you can go to take part.
An official website for the jubilee includes a map showing where the beacons will be lit around the UK. You can type in your postcode or zoom in on the map to see events near you, and filter the map for if you want to see only beacon lighting events or things like street parties as well.
The map shows events including street parties and beacon lighting (Picture: PlatinumJubilee.gov.uk)
The Girl Guides, who have arranged some beacon ceremonies, have also created a map using Google, however this only shows the events they have organised and not every ceremony.
Some of the sites for beacons are the highest peaks of each UK nation, the Tower of London, Hillsborough Castle and the Queen’s estates of Sandringham and Balmoral.
The Queen herself will symbolically lead the ceremony to light the principle beacon at Windsor Castle tonight.
After this, Prince William will light the Tree of Trees sculpture outside Buckingham Palace.
Around the UK, most beacons will be lit at 9.45pm although those on Hadrian’s Wall will be lit at 10pm.
Some countries have already lit their jubilee beacons at 9.15pm local time, such as Tonga in Samoa in the south Pacific. The final beacon to be lit will be in Belize in south America.
In all, over 3,000 beacons will be lit around the world.
If you can’t make it out to watch in person, you can watch on BBC One as Platinum Beacons: Lighting up the Jubilee will screen from 8pm to 10pm.
Beacons lit around the Commonwealth
International beacons are being lit at 9.15pm local time, with some already alight.
St John’s, Antigua and Barbuda
Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei
Mbabane , Ewatini
Banjul, The Gambia
St George’s, Grenada
New Delhi, India
South Tarawa, Kiribati
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Port Louis, Mauritius
Wellington, New Zealand
Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea
Basseterre, St Kitts and Nevis
Castries, St Lucia
Kingstown, St Vincent and the Grenadines
Freetown, Sierra Leone
Honiara, Solomon Islands
Pretoria, South Africa
Cape Town, South Africa
Bloemfontein, South Africa
Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte, Sri Lanka
Colombo, Sri Lanka
Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago
Port Vila, Vanuatu
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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.
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