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Portsmouth is part of the national beacon lighting programme

Beacons will be lit at Fort Widley and Southsea Castle at 9.45pm on Thursday 2 June as Portsmouth takes part in the national beacon lighting programme to mark the start of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee weekend.

Residents and visitors are invited to attend Southsea Castle from 9.30pm – 10pm to watch. Fort Widley will not be open to the public, but the lit beacon will be seen across the city.

The official beacon lighting marks the start of celebrations for the Platinum Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II in Portsmouth.

Portsmouth is looking to compliment the national programme with a number of opportunities for people to get involved through the June Bank Holiday weekend, including:

  • Free Jubilee Big Lunch events from 10am -5pm on Sunday 5 June at Southsea Common and Cosham’s King George V playing field
  • Funding for environmentally focused community legacy projects across the city through the council’s Queen’s Jubilee Neighbourhood Grants
  • Street party events being encouraged across the weekend with online applications opening soon
  • A glittering exhibition of civic silver at Portsmouth Museum and Art Gallery

Councillor Chris Attwell, Portsmouth City Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Central Services, said: “This is a historic event as it is the first time any British monarch has celebrated a platinum jubilee. We want everyone to have the opportunity to get involved in the celebrations whether through a traditional street party, joining one of our Big Lunch events or enjoying the longer-term benefits of one of our environmentally focused community legacy projects which support our City Vision of being a green city”.

Please walk, scoot, cycle or use public transport where possible. Sparklers are not allowed at the beacon lighting event.

Remember, if you’re meeting up with friends and family or celebrating at a community event, there are simple measures you can take to help yourself and others stay safe and well. These include:

  • Letting in fresh air when you meet others indoors
  • Washing your hands regularly and covering your nose if you cough or sneeze
  • Wearing a face covering in crowded and enclosed spaces
  • If you feel unwell and have flu-like or COVID-19 symptoms and a high temperature, avoiding close contact with others and staying at home if you can.

To find out more about jubilee activities visit