A “Commonwealth of Nations Globe” featuring stones collected from the UK’s highest peaks has been unveiled at the Tower of London ahead of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations.
The blue globe, which sits inside a silver crown on a blue and gold cushion, will become a centrepiece in a beacon-lighting ceremony, a key event taking place over the long June weekend to mark the monarch’s 70-year reign.
The globe was accompanied by a 70-piece military band on Thursday as it was paraded through the grounds of the London landmark, where it will remain on public display for seven weeks.
The Queen’s pageantmaster Bruno Peek presented the globe to Tower of London Governor Brigadier Andrew Jackson.
Its design features platinum, diamond, gold and silver elements, representing the monarch’s four jubilees.
Stones were also collected from the top of the four highest British peaks – Mount Snowdon in Wales, Ben Nevis in Scotland, Slieve Donard in Northern Ireland and Scafell Pike in England.
These were attached to the base of the crown to symbolize the coming together of the four nations in celebration of the Jubilee.
The globe will be kept in the Tower of London’s White Tower in the run-up to the Jubilee weekend, before featuring in the lighting of the Principal Beacon at Buckingham Palace on June 2.
“It’s a unique piece of art made by British craftsmen for a unique Queen, made through a lot of love, dedication and skill,” Mr Peek, who designed the globe, said.
He added that he wanted the globe to serve as a tribute to the Queen’s 70 years as head of the 54 Commonwealth nations.
More than 1,500 Platinum Jubilee Beacons will be lit across the UK and Commonwealth on the first evening of the extended four-day Jubilee Bank Holiday weekend in June, building on a long tradition of lighting beacons to mark significant royal celebrations.
The specifics of how the globe will be used in the beacon ceremony have not yet been revealed, but it is understood it will be an important feature.
Mr Peek said: “We are thrilled that the Commonwealth Globe will go on display at the Tower of London, one of the UK’s iconic buildings. We are looking forward to it being used in the lighting of the Principal Beacon at Buckingham Palace.
“The Queen has been a light to the country and the participation of so many people in the beacons project will be a fitting tribute to her.”
Brig Jackson said: “We are delighted that the many visitors to the Tower of London from both the United Kingdom and overseas will have the opportunity to view the Commonwealth Globe and be part of the Platinum Jubilee Beacons.”