In Britain and beyond, communities light beacons to honor the queen.

From its smallest villages to the sprawl of London, Britain lit beacons on Thursday night in honor of its queen’s 70-year reign.

The queen led the lighting of the principal beacon at Windsor Castle, and her grandson Prince William lit the beacon outside Buckingham Palace as towns, villages and cities renewed a tradition that traces its history to the chains of signal fires once used as tools of communication.

Organizers estimated that more than 1,500 beacons were being lit throughout Britain, in all 54 Commonwealth nations and in overseas territories.

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