Pageant Master Bruno Peek who masterminded worldwide beacon tributes for the Queen’s Golden, Diamond and Platinum Jubilees has been recognised for his service to the late monarch in the New Year Honours.
Mr Peek dedicated becoming a Commander of the Royal Victoria Order (RVO) to the thousands of people he has worked with over the decades and thanked Queen Elizabeth and her family for the “trust” they placed in him.
He is among more than a dozen senior figures who have received honours under the RVO for helping stage celebrations in June marking the Platinum Jubilee, including Adrian Evans, who helped stage the Pageant held on the final day of an extended Bank Holiday weekend.
“It’s an enormous honour and I’m so grateful to His Majesty the King,” Mr Peek said. “But I’ve got to pay tribute to so many people, all the hundreds of thousands of people and communities, not just throughout the UK but throughout the world, who have supported me over the years.”
Beacons have marked all of the Queen’s jubilees, an ancient tradition used to recognise significant royal events, and the Platinum Jubilee saw more than 1,500 lit across the UK and the Commonwealth.
The Queen lit the first of her beacons by touching a globe in the quadrangle of Windsor Castle which sent a river of light to Buckingham Palace where her grandson the Prince of Wales watched as the Tree of Trees sculpture was bathed in light.
Mr Peek said: “The trust I’ve had from the members of the royal family – they trusted me when I said I was going to do something and that meant a lot.
“To have your monarch to put her trust in you for three decades – from a boy who started as a baker and confectioner, I still pinch myself.”
The Pageant Master, who staged the Millennium Beacon project, was made an OBE in 2000, became a Member of the RVO for organising the 2002 Golden Jubilee beacons and a Lieutenant for repeating the feat for the Diamond Jubilee in 2012. He also staged the Queen’s 90th birthday beacons in 2016.
Awards under the RVO are in the King’s gift and are bestowed independently of Downing Street to people who have served the monarch or the royal family in a personal way.
Before her death, the Queen approved the honours recognising those who worked on her Platinum Jubilee celebrations and they were later confirmed by the King, who also approved the rest of the RVO recipients, many of whom are royal household staff.
Also recognised was Adrian Evans, Pageant Master of the Platinum Jubilee Pageant, who was made a Commander of the RVO and Rosanna Machado, the Pageant’s chief executive, was made a Lieutenant.
They spent 18 months planning the £15 million extravaganza featuring some 10,000 people including a cast of 6,000 performers.
Senior figures from local and central government, the military and other organisations were also honoured by the King for helping to stage jubilee events.
There was extensive coverage of the four days of national celebrations on the BBC, from the Platinum Party at the Palace, featuring stars like Rod Stewart, George Ezra and Diana Ross, to Trooping the Colour and Peter Taylor, the corporation’s head of outside broadcast operations for the Platinum Jubilee weekend was made a lieutenant of the RVO.
Claire Popplewell, BBC creative director, Platinum Jubilee weekend, was made a Commander, Lindsey Brummitt, programme director of The Big Jubilee Lunch staged during the celebration weekend, was made a Member, and Sara Latham a senior adviser, Platinum Jubilee and Special Projects with the Royal Household, was made a Lieutenant.
Members of the royal household were also recognised for their service to the monarchy, with the Princess Royal’s hairdresser Dawn Murphy awarded a silver Royal Victorian Medal and her lady-in-waiting Margaret Hammond made a Commander.