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Beacons to be lit at sunset across UK to mark VE Day

More than 100 beacons will be lit across the United Kingdom at 9:32pm this evening to mark the 70th anniversary of the announcement of the end of war in Europe.

Three days of VE Day memorials and celebrations began earlier with a ceremony at the Cenotaph in London.

Henry Shackleton, who served as a RAF Pathfinder pilot during World War II, posed with a lit beacon at Dover Castle in Kent ahead of the anniversary. Credit: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire

A total 107 beacons will be lit across the country, led by the Queen at Windsor Castle at 9.30pm.

The rest of the country will follow two minutes later to mark the exact moment peace was publicly declared seven decades ago.

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Queen and Prince Harry attend remembrance events

Both the Queen and Prince Harry attended remembrance events today marking one hundred years since the start of the First World War.

The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh opened a new memorial garden in London dedicated to those killed at Flanders.

Prince Harry was at Westminster Abbey where he laid a cross in memory of the thousands killed in both world wars.

ITV News' Royal Correspondent Tim Ewart reports:

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Three day royal visit to Northern Ireland begins

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh will begin a three day official visit to Northern Ireland later today.

The Queen first met Northern Ireland's Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness in 2012. Credit: PA

The Royal Couple will land at George Best Belfast City Airport before making their way to their official residence at Hillsborough Castle.

At the castle her Majesty is due to meet Stormont's First Minister Peter Robinson and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness.

The Queen and Duke last visited Northern Ireland in 2012 as part of her Majesty's Diamond Jubilee celebrations.

That occasion proved highly symbolic in terms of the peace process as it marked the first occasion the Queen met Mr McGuinness.

The Queen hosts Chinese Premier at Windsor Castle

The Queen has met the Chinese Premier Li Keqiang this morning, only two months after a human rights row between China and the UK.

Mr Li and his wife traveled to Windsor Castle as part of their three-day official visit to the UK.

The Queen greets Chinese Premier Li Keqiang. Credit: Steve Parsons/PA Wire

Mr Li is in Britain for the return leg of a trade boosting link-up begun by David Cameron last year.

He will meet the Prime Minister in Downing Street later today.

The Queen receives Chinese premier Li Keqiang and his wife Cheng Hong at Windsor Castle Credit: Steve Parsons/PA Wire

But only two months ago, the two countries found themselves in a diplomatic row over human rights.

China was angered by a British Foreign Office document criticising its rights record and called off an official meeting in London at short notice.

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