Cambridgeshire's beacons lit up for The Queen's Platinum Jubilee

A beacon for The Queen's Platinum Jubilee in March, Cambridgeshire

A beacon for The Queen's Platinum Jubilee in March, Cambridgeshire - Credit: Jem Bulbrook Photography

Cities, towns and villages in Cambridgeshire joined an international beacon celebration to mark The Queen's Platinum Jubilee.

Around 3,500 beacons were lit throughout the country - and further afield - were lit after dark on Thursday, June 2, to mark Queen Elizabeth II's 70th year on the throne.

Ely's beacon alight for The Queen's Platinum Jubilee

Ely's beacon alight for The Queen's Platinum Jubilee - Credit: Ellee Seymour

In Ely, Huntingdon, Cambridge, March, Haddenham and dozens more towns and villages in Cambridgeshire, spectators turned out to community parks and gardens to watch the display.

And in Windsor Castle, The Queen symbolically lit the principal Jubilee beacon - the "Tree of Trees" sculpture at Buckingham Palace in London.

The sculpture, which is 21m-high and features 350 British grown saplings, was designed by Thomas Heatherwick's studio.

Heatherwick designed the London 2012 Olympic Cauldron and the New Routemaster bus in London.

Queen Elizabeth II lights the principal beacon at Windsor Castle as part of a 3,500-strong chain of flaming beacons

Queen Elizabeth II lights the principal beacon at Windsor Castle as part of a 3,500-strong chain of flaming beacons - Credit: Steve Parsons/PA

The Duke of Cambridge with Sir Nicholas Bacon during the lighting of the principal beacon at Buckingham Palace

The Duke of Cambridge with Sir Nicholas Bacon during the lighting of the principal beacon - the "Tree of Trees" sculpture at Buckingham Palace - Credit: Chris Jackson/PA

He said: "The Tree of Trees is here to highlight an incredible community campaign that’s already planted more than a million saplings and celebrate a moment of national togetherness. We all know we need more trees and nature in Britain’s towns and cities.

"Our job as designers and all the other people who make and manage cities is to apply our creative energy and imagination to the task of making that happen."

Huntingdon town dignitaries, among them Mayor David Cole, prepare to light The Queen's Platinum Jubilee beacon

Huntingdon town dignitaries, among them Mayor David Cole, prepare to light The Queen's Platinum Jubilee beacon - Credit: Ken Challenger

Lighting the beacon in Huntingdon for The Queen's Platinum Jubilee

Lighting the beacon in Huntingdon for The Queen's Platinum Jubilee - Credit: Ken Challenger

Flags flown in front of the beacon in Huntingdon for The Queen's Platinum Jubilee

Flags flown in front of the beacon in Huntingdon for The Queen's Platinum Jubilee - Credit: Ken Challenger

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Throughout Cambridgeshire, community leaders have offered their thanks to Queen Elizabeth II for her 70 years on the throne.

The Rt Rev Dr Dagmar Winter, Bishop of Huntingdon, said: "Her Majesty the Queen is now the first British Monarch to celebrate a Platinum Jubilee in the 70th anniversary of her accession.

"This is a historic achievement and testament to Her Majesty’s tireless dedication throughout her many years of service, inspired by her faith in Jesus Christ and her sense of vocation."

Lighting The Queen's Platinum Jubilee beacon in March, Cambridgeshire

Lighting The Queen's Platinum Jubilee beacon in March, Cambridgeshire - Credit: Jem Bulbrook Photography

One of 3,500 beacons of hope - in March, Cambridgeshire - to mark Queen Elizabeth II's 70th year on the throne

One of 3,500 beacons of hope - in March, Cambridgeshire - to mark Queen Elizabeth II's 70th year on the throne - Credit: Jem Bulbrook Photography

Crowds gather in March, Cambridgeshire on the evening of Thursday, June 2 - the first out of four dates to mark the Jubilee

Crowds gather in March, Cambridgeshire on the evening of Thursday, June 2 - the first out of four weekend dates to mark The Queen's Platinum Jubilee - Credit: Jem Bulbrook Photography

Julie Spence, Lord-Lieutenant of Cambridgeshire, said: "Cambridgeshire, along with the rest of the country, applauds Her Majesty's selfless commitment to the nation over the last 70 years - through good times and bad."

She added: "On the anniversary of her wonderful achievement of 70 years on the throne, I have sent her our congratulations, thanks and very best wishes."

Ely Cathedral lit up in red, white and blue for The Queen's Platinum Jubilee

Ely Cathedral lit up in red, white and blue for The Queen's Platinum Jubilee - Credit: Luke Edgley

Ely Cathedral lit up for The Queen's Platinum Jubilee, 2022

Ely Cathedral lit up for The Queen's Platinum Jubilee, 2022 - Credit: Luke Edgley

Ely's beacon lit up for The Queen's Platinum Jubilee

Ely's beacon lit up for The Queen's Platinum Jubilee - Credit: Visit Ely

As part of the celebrations, The Octagon at Ely Cathedral was lit up in red, white and blue after dark.

Around 350 people are thought to have observed the beacon ceremony.

Councillor Richard Morgan, Mayor of Ely, said: "We are delighted to help celebrate Her Majesty's marvellous achievement.

"The people of Ely have been very supportive and have contributed to the celebrations.

"I have been out with colleagues to judge the shop windows, and I was struck by how many people were taking part to celebrate The Queen's 70 years on the throne.

"It's been a long time since I've seen so many people out in the town."

A beacon for The Queen's Platinum Jubilee alight in Sutton

A beacon for The Queen's Platinum Jubilee alight in Sutton - Credit: Lorna Dupré

Ely Cathedral from above on Thursday, June 2 - the first day of The Queen's Platinum Jubilee bank holiday weekend

Ely Cathedral from above on Thursday, June 2 - the first day of The Queen's Platinum Jubilee bank holiday weekend - Credit: Luke Edgley

Cllr Morgan added: "Over her 70 years on the throne, Queen Elizabeth II and her family have been great supporters of the city of Ely.

"Her Majesty has always said she must be seen to be believed, and we are grateful for the royal family's support."

The beacon tradition began as a way to pass messages quickly across swathes of land.

They have been symbolically lit for previous Jubilee celebrations - in 1977, 2002 and 2012 for The Queen's Silver, Golden and Diamond Jubilees.

One of 3,500 beacons of hope - in Haddenham - for The Queen's Platinum Jubilee

One of 3,500 beacons of hope - in Haddenham - for The Queen's Platinum Jubilee - Credit: Denis J Calvert/Inter-Air Press

The Queen's Platinum Jubilee beacon of hope at the Sandringham Estate, Norfolk, near the Cambridgeshire border

The Queen's Platinum Jubilee beacon of hope at the Sandringham Estate, Norfolk, near the Cambridgeshire border - Credit: Joe Giddens/PA