The Queen lights the Tree of Trees Beacon from Windsor Castle

After appearing on the balcony of Buckingham Palace following Trooping the Colour, The Queen made her second appearance of the day on Thursday by triggering the lighting of the Principal Beacon at Buckingham Palace.

The Duke of Cambridge was representing Her Majesty in central London.

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The Queen emerged from the Sovereign’s Entrance of Windsor Castle into the Quadrangle of Windsor Castle, greeted by a fanfare of trumpeters and presented with the Commonwealth of Nations Globe – a blue globe that sat on a purple cushion inside a crown.

Once the Globe had been placed on the stand, Her Majesty moved over to it to start the lighting of the beacon.

As The Duke of Cambridge stood at Buckingham Palace, some commented he looked emotional, seeing the symbol of his grandmother’s reign lit up in front of him.

After the lighting, William watched the London Community Gospel Choir and singer Gregory Porter perform ‘A Life Lived with Grace’. Photographs of The Queen throughout her royal life were then projected onto Buckingham Palace.

Embed from Getty Images

Embed from Getty Images

The Principal Beacon is the 69ft tall ‘Tree of Trees’ sculpture, featuring 350 British-grown trees, which towers over Buckingham Palace. It represents the planting of more than a million jubilee trees as part of The Queen’s Green Canopy initiative to mark 70 years of The Queen’s reign, and is illuminated with 3,500 festoon lights.

The ceremony came as thousands of beacons were lit across the UK, including one in each of the capital cities of Commonwealth countries. Beacons were also lit at attractions such as the Tower of London, Windsor Great Park, Hillsborough Castle, The Queen’s estates of Sandringham and Balmoral, and on top of the UK’s four highest peaks.

The Queen lights a Platinum Jubilee Beacon at Windsor Castle, on the first day of the Platinum Jubilee celebrations

For the occasion, The Queen wore a turquoise dress with her signature pearl accessories as she was presented with the Commonwealth Nations Globe. She also wore a new brooch, called the Platinum Jubilee Brooch.

Just hours prior to the lighting, Buckingham Palace announced the Queen would miss the thanksgiving service on Friday ‘with great reluctance’ after experiencing ‘some discomfort’ during her birthday Parade.

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