Diamond Jubilee: Beacons light up the U.K. and abroad

CANBERRA, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 04: Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard and opposition Leader Tony Abbott jointly light a ceremonial beacon to mark the Queen's Diamond Jubilee at Parliament House on June 4, 2012 in Canberra, Australia. Around 4,200 beacons will be lit across the UK and commonwealth nations to mark the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, with the final national beacon being lit by the Queen on the Mall at the Jubilee Concert at Buckingham Palace. For only the second time in its history the UK celebrates the Diamond Jubilee of a monarch. Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II celebrates the 60th anniversary of her ascension to the throne. Thousands of well-wishers from around the world have flocked to London to witness the spectacle of the weekend's celebrations. Yesterday the Queen along with all members of the royal family participated in a River Pageant with a flotilla of a 1,000 boats accompanying them down the Thames. (Photo by Andrew Taylor/Getty Images) Andrew Taylor

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard and opposition Leader Tony Abbott jointly light a ceremonial beacon to mark the Queen's Diamond Jubilee at Parliament House on June 4, 2012, in Canberra, Australia.
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(CBS/AP) Beacons will light up the U.K. on Monday to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee.

The jubilee was being marked around the world in members of the 54-nation Commonwealth of former British colonies.

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The small Pacific island nation of Tonga claimed the honor of lighting the first of more than 4,200 commemorative beacons to be set alight in Britain and abroad. The queen will light the final beacon following the concert.

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard lit a beacon on Monday to mark the Diamond Jubilee of Britain's Queen Elizabeth.

Joined by opposition leader Tony Abbott at the Parliament House in the capital Canberra, Gillard praised the Queen for her service over the last 60 years.

"Tonight we are reflecting not just the past, on the passing of six decades," Gillard told the crowd. "We are reflecting on a life well lived, a life of sacrifice, a life of service. And to the young people who are here with us this evening, I hope one thing you'll always remember about tonight is that example of the Queen spending her life in the service of others."

One beacon will be lit in Kenya at the Treetops Hotel, where the queen was informed of her father's death in 1952, making her the queen.

"We set out to have 2,012 beacons, which would have been the most ever for this type of occasion," said Bruno Peek, pageant master of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee beacons. "To have reached double that figure reflects the national and worldwide respect and affection for the queen and the desire to celebrate her 60-year reign."

Beacons will also appear on historic landmarks, hill-top vantage points and famous mountains.

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