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Spectacular fireworks finale as monarch lights national beacon

June 4, 2012
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The Queen officially brought Monday night's Jubilee celebrations to a close. She placed a crystal glass diamond into a special pod that was to trigger the lighting of the last of 4,500 beacons across the globe in celebration of her 60-year reign, then stepped back to wait for it to burst into life. 

It did, mere seconds later, bathing Windsor Palace in bright light. A spectacular fireworks display comprising of 5,000 rockets followed, turning the night sky into fountains of sparkling explosions.

It was only a shame that the Duke of Edinburgh was not by her side to witness the impressive display. He was no doubt watching from his hospital bed, after being admitted to London's King Edward VII hospital with a bladder infection. The fireworks followed the concert organised by Gary Barlow which featured show-stopping performances from the likes of Sirs Paul McCartney, Tom Jones and Elton John.

beacon night

Half an hour earlier, flames had been lit in Britain and a number of Commonwealth realms, including Canada, Australia and Barbados. The first was lit in Tonga, by scouts, and other notable beacons included ones in Treetops in Kenya, where Princess Elizabeth woke up as Queen, the Cape of Good Hope, Falklands Islands and Gibraltar.

In addition there were four in America, and following the monarch's state visit in May, there was one in Ireland. On home ground, torches were ignited in towns and cities across the UK, and there were 60 lit along Hadrian's Wall.

The four highest mountains in Britain were lit for different charities. Ben Nevis in Scotland was for Help for Heroes, The beacon on Mount Snowdon in Wales represented Walking with the Wounded, Scafell Pike in England was lit up for Cancer Research UK and Slieve Donard in Northern Ireland had a torch for Fields of Life.

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