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Big Ben turns red, white and blue as impressive display starts tonight to mark Coronation

NewsBig Ben turns red, white and blue as impressive display starts tonight to mark Coronation

Big Ben is to turn red, white and blue as an impressive light display to mark King Charles’s Coronation begins on Thursday night. 

The nation’s most famous landmark will be lit up in a colourful tribute to the King as final preparations and last-minute rehearsals for the historic occasion on Saturday are underway.

The 96-metre clock tower was decorated with a series of poignant messages and bright colours with a rehearsal for the projection display taking place on Wednesday evening, providing a teaser for the impressive light show. 

Passers-by stopped to photograph and film the display, with many taking to social media to share their footage. 

Starting from around 8.30pm tonight until 11pm, the Elizabeth Tower will be covered with symbolic wording and colours for the next three days to celebrate the historic crowning of King Charles and Queen Camilla. 

READ MORE: Royals attend last-minute Coronation rehearsals and Princess Charlotte takes centre stage

The Department of Culture, Media and Sport showed off the impressive transformation on Twitter, writing: “Big Ben looking spectacular as it gets ready for the weekend’s Coronation celebrations with projections set for sunset tomorrow, Saturday and Sunday.”

During the rehearsal on Wednesday, images of the national flowers of all four home nations – a rose, thistle, daffofil and shamrock – were projected on the London landmark in red, white and blue, the colours of the Union Flag.

Another frame revealed the words of the national anthem, God Save the King, which appeared across the 180-year-old clock tower in a cascade of poetry. 

A third design showed the flowers surrounding the lyric “Happy and Glorious”, while another showed “Long may he reign”, before the projection culminated with the Coronation emblem. 

The emblem was designed by Sir Jony Ive, a British product designer and chancellor of the Royal College of Art.

As rehearsals for the projection were underway last night, some were lucky to catch a glimpse of the tests for the impressive light display. 

Taking to Twitter, @londonviewpts shared a video of the series of designs which were spotted flashing over the tower in the test, giving passers-by a teaser for what is to come over the next few days. 

With just three days to go, final preparations are well underway for the historic crowning event, with King Charles holding the first of his three garden parties at Buckingham Palace to celebrate the occasion. 

Charles and Camilla greeted their 8,000 guests in Buckingham Palace on Wednesday in the glorious sunshine, marking the first of three celebratory garden parties. 

The second will be held on May 9, three days after the Coronation at Buckingham Palace, and the third will take place at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh on July 4 during Holyrood Week.

The King and Queen Consort were in good spirits as they shook hands and chatted with invited guests and charity representatives.

Camilla wore a navy and white Bruce Oldfield dress and Philip Treacy hat, while Charles wore a morning suit with a top hat.

The monarchs also greeted Lionel Richie, who will be performing at the Coronation Concert at Windsor Castle on Sunday, May 7. 

While the 73-year-old singer did not give anything away about his upcomging performance, he said he was “excited” about the event, saying: “I have to pinch myself. We’re walking in history.”

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