The first day of celebrations for the 70th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II’s accession ended Thursday evening, at nightfall, with thousands of traffic lights lit across the UK and in the Commonwealth of Nations.
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After tens of thousands of people cheered on the balcony of Buckingham Palace in London, the 96-year-old king ended his day by launching “Beacon Lighting” from Windsor Castle, a British tradition of light-up signs in the king’s honor.
A little after 9:30 pm (8:30 pm GMT), in a delicate ceremony, a small globe representing the Commonwealth of Nations touched with her gloved hand, which immediately lit up, at Buckingham Palace 40 kilometers away, a gigantic statue representing a tree 21 meters high. .
More than 3,000 candles, bonfires or other bonfires will also be lit across the country, including the four highest peaks of the four nations of the United Kingdom, as well as in the Channel Islands, Isle of Man and the British Overseas Territories.
The lights should also illuminate the 54 Commonwealth capitals on the five continents. It will illuminate nine bridges spanning the River Thames in London, as well as the capital’s famous BT Tower, as well as many cathedrals in England.
The main attraction at night was the statue entitled “The Tree of Trees” in front of Buckingham Palace in front of Prince William, the Queen’s grandson and second in the line of succession.
The statue is made of 350 trees grown in the UK, and is meant to serve as a reminder that the trees are the “superheroes” of cities, according to its architect Thomas Heatherwick.
The hugely popular Queen thus concludes the first of four days of celebrations for her platinum jubilee. Earlier on Thursday, she appeared on Buckingham’s balcony twice, first for the annual ‘Hail of Colors’ parade and then at an RAF airshow, where she was greeted by a dense crowd.
But the negative side, the palace announced on Thursday evening, that the Queen, who has suffered for months from health problems, will miss the thanksgiving prayer that was held at St. Paul’s Cathedral on Friday, after she felt “some discomfort” on the first day of the festivities.
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