MORE than 40 beacons were lit across Wiltshire last night for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee to mark the 70th year of her reign.

The network of 44 flaming tributes to the Queen stretched throughout the county and the country to mark the extraordinary achievement of Britain’s longest-ever serving monarch.

More than 1,500 Beacons were lit at the same time across the UK, Channel Islands and in UK overseas territories.

In Westbury, civic dignitaries from across Wiltshire, Westbury town councillors and hundreds of locals gathered before 9.45pm to witness the historic ceremony of the beacon being lit at the White Horse Hill.

Dave Harle played a special bugle rendition of ‘Majesty’ at the historic White Horse site in commemoration of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

William Wyldbore-Smith, the Vice Lord-Lieutenant of Wiltshire, said: “It is a huge privilege and honour for me as the Vice Lord-Lieutenant of the county representing The Queen, to be able to take part in the lighting of this beacon.

“What a glorious event we are celebrating,unique – no monarch has reigned for 70 years in our history and is unlikely to do so again.

“We celebrate not only the length but the dedication and unswerving adherence by Her Majesty to that oath she made on her 21st Birthday back in 1947 whereby she dedicated her life to our service.”

The event took place on the same day as the Jubilee tea party being held in the High Street, Westbury, and events elsewhere.

Elsewhere, beacons marking the Platinum Jubilee were lit at sites including the Tower of London, Windsor Great Park, Hillsborough Castle and the Queen’s estates of Sandringham and Balmoral, along with the tops of the UK’s four highest peaks, Scafell Pike in England, Ben Nevis in Scotland, Mount Snowdon in Wales and Slieve Donard in Northern Ireland.

The first beacons were lit in Tonga and Samoa in the South Pacific, and the final one in the central American country of Belize.

The principal beacon outside the Palace – a 21-metre-tall Tree of Trees sculpture for the Queen’s Green Canopy initiative – was illuminated by a senior member of the royal family and images projected on to the Palace.

The beacon event kicked off at 2pm with the "proclamation" from town criers, including Trevor Heek in Trowbridge, announcing the lighting of beacons later that day.

At 9.35pm communities were encouraged to get local bands or pipers to perform Diu Regnare - Stuart Liddell's new tune in tribute to Her Majesty for the Platinum Jubilee - from a location of their choice.

Organisers behind the Queen’s Jubilee beacons had asking bugle and cornet players to rally together to perform a unique bugle call five minutes before they are lit.

In Westwood, former Scots Guards captain Will Lawrie, 48, played Diu Regnare on his bagpipes, while his daughter Jemima, 15, played ‘Majesty’ on her bugle just before the beacon was lit on the top of St Mary the Virgin Church tower.

Jonathan Azis, who lives at Westwood Manor, said: “It took a bit of effort to get the beacon and gas cannisters up to the church tower but it was worth it.

“The beacon was lit by my granddaughter Esther Flavin, aged three. Her mother, Matilda Flavin, 36, had lit the beacon for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee ten years ago.”

From the top of the tower, flames from the beacon on the White Horse Hill at Westbury could be seen in the distance.

Lighting beacons to celebrate Royal Jubilees, Weddings and Coronations is a long-held tradition.

In 1897, beacons were lit to celebrate Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee. In 1977, 2002 and 2012, beacons commemorated the Silver, Golden and Diamond Jubilees of The Queen, and in 2016 Her Majesty’s 90th birthday.

Here’s the list of locations:

  • Old Sarum
  • Maiden Bradley with Yarnfield
  • Amesbury Town Council
  • Netheravon Parish Council
  • Little Somerford Parish Council
  • Latton Parish Council - Playing Field, Latton
  • Melksham Town Council
  • Devizes Town Council – Roundway Hill, The Plantation, Devizes
  • Winterslow Parish Council – Winterslow Recreation Ground, Winterslow
  • All Cannings Parish Council – Cliffords Hill, All Cannings
  • Steeple Langdord Parish Council, Steeple Langford
  • West Tisbury Parish Council - Newtown, West Tisbury
  • Burbage Parish Council – Far Lash Open Space, Farlash, Burbage
  • Ham Parish Council – Ham, Marlborough
  • Milton Lilbourne Parish Council – Martinsell Hill
  • The Fonthill Estate – edge of Great Ridge Woods, above village of Chicklade
  • East Knoyle Parish Council – The Windmill, The Green, East Knoyle
  • Westbury Town Council – White Horse Beacon, Westbury
  • Highworth Town Council – Market Square, Highworth
  • Cherhill Parish Council – Cherhill Down, Cherhill, near Marlborough
  • Parish of Marden
  • Enford Parish Council – Between Enford and Netheravon, Salisbury Plain
  • Colerne Parish Council – Church of St John the Baptist, Colerne
  • Colerne Parish Council – Colerne Airfield, Colerne
  • Tidworth Town Council – Tidworth
  • Marlborough Town Council – The Common, Marlborough
  • West Dean Parish Council, Salisbury
  • Lydiard Millicent Parish Council
  • Neston Park, Corsham
  • Sherston Parish Council – Tower of Holy Cross Church, Sherston
  • Woodborough Parish Council – Woodborough Hill, woodborough, Pewsey
  • West Knoyle Parish Council – The Warren at Broadoak, Game Farm, West Knoyle
  • National Trust – Stourhead, Stourton
  • Keevil Parish Council, Keevil
  • Pitton & Farley Parish Council – Pitton Village Hall, Playing Field, White Hill, Pitton, Salisbury
  • Mere Town Council – Castle Hill, Mere
  • National Trust – Avebury, High Street, Avebury
  • Malmesbury Town Council – Lower High Street, Malmesbury
  • Stourton with Gasper Parish Council and Kilmington Parish Council in partnership with the National Trust – Whitesheet Hill
  • Tollard Royal Parish Council
  • Stanton St Bernard Parish Council – Milk Hill, Stanton St Bernard, Marlborough
  • Sutton Mandeville Parish Council – Manor Farm, Sutton Mendeville, Salisbury
  • Wiltshire Army Cadet Force & Devizes Town Council – Roundway Hill, Devizes
  • Westwood – St Mary the Virgin Church tower