What are the Platinum Jubilee beacons and where can they be found?

Over 2,000 beacons across the UK will be lit in honour of the Queen's 70-year reign

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Queen Elizabeth II's Platinum Jubilee celebrations begin today, with proceedings at Buckingham Palace beginning at 10am this morning.

Revellers will welcome the four day bank holiday weekend by partaking in street parties and tea parties to celebrate and commemorate the occasion.

Historically, beacons are lit across the UK to mark Royal Jubilees, weddings and coronations.

Beacons were lit in 1879 to celebrate Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee.

They were also used in 1977, 2002 and 2012 to celebrate Elizabeth II’s Silver, Golden and Diamond Jubilees, as well as in 2016 for her 90th birthday.

The official Platinum Jubilee website states: "A beacon chain, once used as a tool for communication, has now become a symbol of unity across towns, borders, countries and continents and is often the central point of focus for any outdoor gathering or celebration.”

The beacons are lit to mark the Queen's Platinum Jubilee celebrations
The beacons are lit to mark the Queen's Platinum Jubilee celebrations

Over 2,800 beacons will be lit across the UK including on the top of mountains, churches, cathedral towers, castle battlements, on town and village greens, country estates, parks and farms, along beaches, and on cliff tops.

The beacons will be lit in at three differing types of ceremony; Community Beacons, Commonwealth Beacons, and the Principal Beacon.

Communities, charities and cultural and religous groups will gather to light the Community Beacons.

Commonwealth Beacons will be lit in each capital of the 54 Commonwealth countries.

The Principle Beacon will be lit at Buckingham Palace by a senior royal.

The beacons will be lit this evening to mark the Queen's 70-year reign on the throne.

Across the UK, the Scouts and Girlguides will assemble and light beacons to mark the occasion.

The Queen's Sandringham estate and Balmoral Estates will light beacons to celebrate her Majesty's Platinum Jubilee.

The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors Anchor Chain will begin the ceremonies in the UK at 9.30pm.

More than 1,500 beacons will be lit, with many starting just after 9.45pm.