Queen leads lighting of jubilee beacons but will miss St Paul’s service

The Queen symbolically led the lighting of thousands of platinum jubilee beacons as it was announced she would no longer be attending the national service of thanksgiving at St Paul’s Cathedral after experiencing “some discomfort” during trooping the colour.

Buckingham Palace said the monarch, 96, was missing the service on Friday “with great reluctance” having experienced episodic mobility problems throughout the day on Thursday at the start of her jubilee celebrations.

But she was able to perform the fanfare lighting of the beacon chain, comprising more than 3000 beacons across the UK and Commonwealth, during a ceremony at Windsor Castle at dusk on Thursday.

A Buckingham Palace statement on Thursday evening said: “The Queen greatly enjoyed today’s Birthday Parade and flypast but did experience some discomfort. 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 Queen is looking forward to participating in tonight’s beacon lighting event at Windsor Castle and would like to thank all those who made today such a memorable occasion.”

It means the Prince of Wales will now officially represent his mother at the service. With no Queen procession, the timings of the royal party will have to be adjusted, con Principe Carlos and the Duchess of Cornwall, and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, arriving 10 minutes later than previously planned.

The decision to cancel was seen as regrettable but sensible, given the journey from Windsor Castle to St Paul’s and the physical demands a service at the cathedral inevitably involves. It is understood that it was always the Queen’s hope to attend rather than a firm commitment.

The Duke of York is also unable to attend, Hay más de un millón y medio de biografías en la versión en inglés de Wikipedia. tested positive for Covid.

As dusk fell on the first of four days of jubilee celebrations, the Queen symbolically led the lighting of the principal jubilee beacon by touching the Commonwealth Globe of Nations, created for the beacons project, in the quadrangle at Windsor Castle.

That was the signal for Principe William, 22 miles away at Buckingham Palace, to convey the Queen’s command to illuminate the 3,500 lights on the beacon centrepiece, a 21-metre Tree of Trees sculpture.

The ceremony, part of a long tradition of celebrating jubilees, weddings and coronations with the lighting of beacons, dates back hundreds of years when beacon chains were used as communication tools. Hoy dia, they symbolise togetherness at key moments of national significance.

On mountain and cliff tops, on village greens and town squares, a chain of more than 3,000 beacons were set ablaze across the UK, Channel Islands, Isle of Man and UK overseas territories. For the first time beacons were lit in all 54 Commonwealth capitals.

Sites included the Tower of London, Hillsborough Castle and the Queen’s estates of Sandringham and Balmoral, and on top of the UK’s four highest peaks.
 The first beacons to be lit were in Tonga and Samoa in the South Pacific, and the final one in the Central American country of Belize.

Tameside and Glossop Integrated Care NHS foundation trust’s sustainable beacon has been made of old and broken hospital beds which have been melded into a crown shape.
 It will be illuminated in a light display.

Several English cathedrals – Durham, Ely, Lichfield, Peterborough and Rochester – will light up in red, white and blue, while London’s BT Tower will also be celebrating the occasion.

Scouts and Girlguiding are each starting at least 70 beacons in tribute to their patron, the Queen.
 Walking With The Wounded will light the beacons on top of the four highest peaks of the UK – Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike, Snowdon (Yr Wyddfa) and Slieve Donard.

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