Bruno Peek, a Pageant Master, is the man responsible for planning the Queen’s upcoming international beacon-lighting ceremony across the Commonwealth, in celebration of her 70-year rule. This is the third Platinum Jubilee the beacon pageant master has participated in — and he admires the Queen now more than ever.
For those who don’t know, June 2 kicks off the Platinum Jubilee celebrations. Peek, 70, was also on duty at Queen Elizabeth’s Golden and Diamond Jubilees in 2002 and 2012, respectively. This jack of all trades has worked as a welder, baker, and butcher in his past — and now he’s putting together the party from his home in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk.
But what does that entail? The Platinum Jubilee will include a Derby horse race, community lunches across the UK, and a pop concert. Torches are lit across time zones, starting with the Pacific nation of Tonga and New Zealand and ending in the UK, where everything from bonfires to enclosed blazes will be set alight.
Peek recognizes the event’s grand significance, and believes the Queen does, too. “She’s just got that humility,” Peek told PEOPLE of Queen Elizabeth. “She knows it’s not about her. She knows it’s about — this is my humble opinion — about her position and the responsibility she’s got. I mean, responsibility, even now at her age must be phenomenal.”
Peek also acknowledges that it’ll be difficult for him when the week is over, as it’s unlikely there will be another Jubilee for generations. Although she recently recovered from COVID-19, Queen Elizabeth II also turned 96 on her last birthday, and there is a sense of her reign winding down.
“I don’t mind admitting, I’m gonna shed a few tears that night,” Peek says, clearly still in awe of the woman he serves. “She’s very caring, very understanding, very polite. And she makes you feel very welcome when you’re in her presence. And I just feel that, sadly, when she leaves this earth, there’s gonna be a big hole.”
It’s obvious that the Queen means a lot to Peek — and one could argue that this event will honor not only the royal family, but also the long-standing devotion of the Pageant Master himself.