The small Pacific island of Tonga claimed the honour of lighting the first of more than 4,200 beacons to be set alight across the world to celebrate the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.
Using traditional coconut sheath torches a group Tongan Scouts and Girl Guides took part in a ceremony to light their country's beacon.
More top news
Blessings are church services acknowledging the commitment made in a marriage or civil partnership, in which God's blessing is sought.
Dozens of organisations have filed statements slamming the Zimbabwean president's appointment due to his alleged human rights violations.
Storm Brian will bring strong or very strong winds across southern and western parts of the UK with gales or severe gales in exposed areas.