OTs Honour the Queen
This weekend, the UK's Overseas Territories, like many other countries around the world, will be marking the Queen's Diamond Jubilee by lighting Beacons. They will join the Beacon lighting across the UK, continuing a tradition, first started to communicate but now carried out as a symbol of unity. The Queen will light the last Beacon of the day at the end of the BBC concert which will take place at the front of Buckingham Palace.
The island of Tristan da Cunha in the South Atlantic Ocean, with only 262 inhabitants, will have the world's most remote Beacon, and Saint Helena will be lighting five Beacons to form a diamond shape. Montserrat, whose capital, Plymouth, was destroyed by the Soufriere Hills Volcano eruption in 1995 will be lighting their Beacon in the new capital, Little Bay. This will be a double celebration, both of the Jubilee and also of the progress made on the island since the volcano.
The celebrations will light up the world, with Beacons lit in the Overseas Territories in the Pacific, Atlantic, Southern and Indian Oceans and the Caribbean Sea.
As well as the beacons, several Overseas Territories' leaders are travelling to the UK to take part in the London Diamond Jubilee celebrations this weekend. This includes the Thames River Pageant where the 'Sapele' will fly all the flags of the Overseas Territories and a dinghy will be sailed by Sea Cadets from Bermuda. Leaders will also attend the BBC concert at Buckingham Palace, where they will be able to sample British food from hampers designed by Heston Blumenthal and listen to live music from British and Commonwealth artists, and the Thanksgiving Service at St Paul's Cathedral.
Foreign Office Minister, Henry Bellingham, said of the Overseas Territories' involvement: "We are delighted that so many of the Overseas Territories are celebrating the Diamond Jubilee with events both in London and the Territories. The fact that the Overseas Territories are playing such a full role is recognition of their close relationship with the Queen and the UK. Involving them in the Diamond Jubilee celebrations is part of our strategy of reinvigorating our relationship with the Overseas Territories".