Clitheroe Castle beacon to mark Queen’s 90th birthday

Preparations are well underway in the Ribble Valley to celebrate HM The Queen's 90th birthday. (s)
Preparations are well underway in the Ribble Valley to celebrate HM The Queen's 90th birthday. (s)

Ribble Valley residents are invited to celebrate the 90th birthday of Her Majesty the Queen at Clitheroe Castle on Thursday, April 21st.

Ribble Valley Mayor Bridget Hilton will light a huge beacon on the castle ramparts as the 65-strong Clitheroe Pop Choir leads a rousing rendition of Happy Birthday.

Clitheroe poet Maureen Fenton will also read a poem specially composed for the occasion.

The beacon is one of 600 being lit across the country, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man marking the Queen’s birthday.

The beacons will be lit in a chain starting in London, with the Clitheroe Castle beacon scheduled to be lit at 7-30 pm.

Coun. Hilton said: “There is a long and unbroken tradition in our country of celebrating landmark events with the lighting of beacons on top of mountains, hills, churches and castle ramparts.

“The last major beacon lighting marking the Queen’s diamond jubilee in 2012 attracted thousands of well-wishers to Clitheroe Castle and we are looking forward to a similar turnout on April 21st.

“Her Majesty has strong links with Ribble Valley and I invite residents to join us for what promises to be a wonderful celebration.”

The castle’s Atrium Café and Restaurant, now under new ownership, will also open for light refreshments and discount vouchers will be up for grabs for future visits.

The Queen came to the throne on February 6th, 1952, upon the death of her father George V1, which was followed by her coronation on June 2nd, 1953.

On her actual birthday, April 21st, Her Majesty will unveil a plaque marking the start of a four-mile Queen’s Walkway at the foot of Castle Hill in Windsor.

It connects 63 points of interest in the town, commemorating the Queen’s achievement in becoming our longest-reigning monarch after more than 63 years in 2015.

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh will then go on a walkabout to greet members of the public, but you’ll need to turn up early to bag the best places. Serious royal fans may well camp out overnight.

Then in the evening the Queen, accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh, the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall, will light the first in a chain of beacons across the country and worldwide that will celebrate her birthday.

She will be joined by members of the Royal family including the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge for a private celebration at Windsor Castle.

Other celebratory events will take place throughout May and June.