UK & World News
Queen Lights Last Of 4,250 Jubilee Beacons
The Queen closed the jubilee concert at Buckingham Palace by lighting the last of several thousand beacons marking her Diamond Jubilee across Britain and the Commonwealth.
Her Majesty placed a symbolic, large diamond in a cradle as a jubilee-themed firework display was launched.
A total of 4,250 beacons have been lit around the world, including 26 overseas and 4,224 in the UK.
The British beacons were lit between 10pm and 10.30pm - and the Queen lit the last one just before 11pm.
The Prince of Wales accompanied the Queen on stage after last night's concert, and he paid a heartfelt tribute to both "Your Majesty" and "Mummy".
Standing with his mother just a few feet away, Prince Charles told the thousands who had gathered near the palace they were "celebrating the life and service of a very special person".
The heir to the throne also remembered his father, the Duke of Edinburgh, who was unable to attend the event after he was taken to hospital with a bladder infection.
Charles said: "The only sad thing about this evening is that my father cannot be here with us because unfortunately he's been taken unwell.
"Ladies and gentleman, if you shout loud enough he might just hear us in hospital".
Earlier, beacons in New Zealand and Tonga were the first to be set ablaze, followed by Australia, where Prime Minister Julia Gillard lit the torch, and other Commonwealth nations, including South Africa.
Bruno Peek, Pageantmaster of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee beacons, hailed the number of communities across Britain registered to hold celebration bonfires as "truly amazing" and easily surpassed the 2,012 they hoped to attract.
:: Beacon celebrations across Britain from Sky News correspondents:
Isabel Webster, west of England correspondent:Some 1,500 people gathered on Bath's Solsbury Hill to watch a beacon lighting.Six hot air balloons glowed in the night sky to form the only beacon of its kind anywhere in the world.Each tethered balloon lit its burner in time to the song, Solsbury Hill, by Peter Gabrielle.The site inspired the former frontman from Genesis because of its spectacular views over the city of Bath.The beacons blazed in clear skies and could be seen across 1,000 square kilometres into the counties of Wiltshire and Somerset.
:: Emma Birchley, east of England correspondent:In the field behind the tiny Moon and Mushroom pub in the Suffolk village of Swilland, a crowd of around 200 watched as a giant beacon was set alight.The five-metre high structure of scaffolding, straw and pallets went up in roaring flames within seconds as the spectators sang God Save the Queen.It was the finale of two days of celebration at the pub, which was built in 1640 and was a stop-off point for convicts on their way to Felixstowe to be deported to the colonies for their crimes.
:: David Crabtree, Midlands correspondent:Among the locations for beacons was the highest school in England, Flash primary in the Peak District.The school with only seven pupils was the first to receive permission to put up a beacon as part of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee celebrations.The youngsters in a community which is 1,518ft above sea level wrote to the Queen to thank her and invite her along.She wrote back expressing her gratitude and her regrets that she could not make it. So they made their own version of Her Majesty instead - out of cardboard boxes.The pupils were joined by youngsters from an associate school nearby and had special permission to stay up late to ignite their gas-fired beacon.Deputy head Anne Collins said: "Everyone has loved this experience so much. The children have been told why it is so important. Even they will probably never experience anything like this again in their lives."We might only be a tiny little school in a tiny little village but we have a big role to play in these celebrations."We will never forget this and we are making the most of the whole event."
:: Gerard Tubb, north of England correspondent:Communities around the Humber Bridge came together to mark the jubilee with street parties, a flotilla of boats and beacons.The river was lit up shortly after 10pm with fireworks, beacons on the north and south banks of the river and floodlights on the bridge.Thousands of pounds have been raised for charity by events over the past three days and organisers said locals are already asking for some of the community events to be repeated next summer.