Leicester’s Shri Swaminarayan Mandir temple was one of hundreds of monuments lit up across the country yesterday, as part of her Majesty Queen Elizabeth’s Plaitinum Jubilee celebrations.
Yesterday evening (June 2), more than 1,500 beacons were lit throughout the UK, to mark 70 years of the reign of Queen Elizabeth II.
A total of 70 were lit throughout Leicestershire, at prominent locations including, Old John at Bradgate Park, Leicester’s National Space Centre, and the city’s BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir temple, to mark the historic event.
The lighting of beacons follows a tradition started in 1897 when beacons were lit to celebrate Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee.
Since then, beacons were lit for Queen Elizabeth II in 1977 for her Silver Jubilee, 2002 for her Golden Jubilee and 2012 for her Diamond Jubilee, as well as in 2016 for the Queen’s 90th birthday.
Col Richard Hurwood, Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Leicester was on hand to light a beacon at BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir temple.
“I was delighted to be asked to light a beacon in Leicestershire, and lighting the beacon to celebrate 70 years of the Queen’s reign was a real honour”, he said of the task.
“To be asked to do it at the temple here, has added the most enormous extra dimension to my enjoyment of the evening, and watching our communities come together, celebrating this wonderful, unique event together has been truly, truly awesome”.
“It’s a tremendous feeling to know that we’ve been able to light a beacon as part of that chain of unity around the country, in celebration of the platinum jubilee,” added Sanjiv Patel, spokesman for temple, which sits on Gipsy Lane.
“You can see everybody in the community is excited. Her life has been one of service, and that resonates with everything we believe in in our community”.
Queen Elizabeth herself began the illumination of beacons up and down the country, by lighting the Principal Beacon outside of Buckingham Palace in London.
Beacons were also lit in each of the capital cities of Commonwealth countries in recognition of her long and selfless service to the Crown