Lighting of the beacons to mark Queen’s birthday

Villages Jubilee

Villages Jubilee - Credit: Archant

To celebrate a lifetime of service to the nation, thousands of beacons will be lit across the realm to mark the Queen’s 90th birthday.

Across Norfolk, north Suffolk and the Fens, dozens of towering beacons are expected to be lit, with the full list to be announced next week.

The Queen, accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall, will light the Principal Beacon at Windsor Castle setting off a chain all around the country on Thursday, April 21, her actual birthday.

Her Majesty’s pageantmaster, Bruno Peek, who lives in Gorleston, said: “It has been a enormous privilege to be able to organise this amazing community event to celebrate the 90th Birthday of Her Majesty The Queen. I am delighted to see so many different organisations playing their part.”

Beacons will be lit at churches, on farms, country parks, village greens and on country estates. Lighthouses, National Trust and English Heritage properties are also taking part.

The Army Cadet Force are taking special gas fuelled Beacons to the top of the four highest peaks in the UK – Ben Nevis in Scotland, Mount Snowdon in Wales, Scafell Pike in England and Slieve Donard in Northern Ireland.

The Queen has lit the Principal Beacon on seven occasions during her reign: In 1977 for the Silver Jubilee, in 1995 for the 50th Anniversary of VE Day, in 1999 for the Millennium, in 2002 for the Golden Jubilee, in 2005 for the Trafalgar Weekend Beacons, in 2012 for the Diamond Jubilee, and in 2015 for the 70th anniversary of VE Day.

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Nic Acland, the manager of the Porterhouse Bar and Grill in Lower Marine Parade, is running a competition for a child who shares their birthday with the Queen to light one of the beacons.

Entries should be emailed to with a short write up of why you think your child should be picked to light the beacon.

The deadline is Thursday, April 14 with winner being announced on Monday, April 18.