British Queen celebrates


London has sent a message of love and unity to the world as its globally-renowned New Year’s Eve fireworks celebrations returned to the banks of the River Thames in spectacular fashion, with

a surprise drone display above Horse Guards Parade for the first time ever. 
The capital welcomed 2023 with a unique fireworks and drone celebration that highlighted the Lionesses’ history-making Euro 2022 win at Wembley, marked 50 years of London's Pride with a powerful message from Peter Tatchell from the Gay Liberation Front, and sent a message of support to Ukraine. The display also paid tribute to the late Queen Elizabeth II, featuring a voice recording from Her Majesty and words from Dame Judi Dench, and honoured King Charles III, together with a message from His Majesty about the need to preserve our planet’s future.

The capital's biggest ever show, organised by Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, saw more than 100,000 ticket holders usher in the New Year on the banks of the Thames, opposite the London Eye, for the first time in three years due to the impact of the pandemic.

This year’s display formed part of the Mayor’s “Love London” tourism campaign, taking a ‘with love from London’ theme. The show was produced by Identity and included 12,000 fireworks from Titanium Fireworks and 400 drones from Celestial, with lighting designed by Tim Routledge and music directed by Kojo Samuel, both responsible for Stormzy’s iconic Glastonbury headline set. The musical feast included Neil Diamond’s ‘Sweet Caroline’, Ukrainian Eurovision winner Kalush Orchestra, and hits from Stormzy, Dua Lipa, Cher, Dave, Rihanna and Calvin Harris, concluding with the traditional Auld Lang Syne.

Millions of people watched on BBC One and BBC iPlayer and around the world, reinforcing the city’s position as a global capital of tourism and culture. Drones helped count down to the new year before Big Ben’s famous bongs rang out to begin the 12-minute celebration.

City Hall worked closely with a wide range of partner agencies including the Met Police, TfL, local authorities and the emergency services to deliver the event. 
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “I’m delighted that Londoners and visitors to the capital were once again able to join together on the banks of the River Thames to welcome in the new year with our best ever celebration. Millions from around the world also watched our unique show, which brought together fireworks, drones, lighting and music to remember key moments in 2022 and look ahead to 2023. I’m proud that we have sent a message of love, hope and unity and I am excited for 2023 as we continue to build a better, greener and more prosperous city for everyone.” 
Imran Tauqir, General Manager of The London Eye, said: “We’re honoured to have joined with thousands of people here in the capital and around the world in welcoming in 2023 in true London style. As a world-famous part of the capital’s skyline The London Eye was once again at the heart of this iconic global event, putting on one of the greatest shows in the world. This is a city-wide event and London truly joined together to make this night one to remember!”

Hannah Clark, Identity’s Project Director said: “We were honoured and proud to support the GLA in the delivery of London’s biggest New Year’s Eve show, the first time Identity has had the privilege of delivering this important event. We worked in close collaboration with the GLA to develop our “with love from London” theme, creating a spectacular show that sent a message of love and unity to the world. Identity would like to thank the many stakeholders involved in supporting us on the delivery of this major event and the general public for their amazing response to the show as a global spotlight fell on the capital, sharing “with love from London” with the world.” Photo by SIMarsden, Wikimedia commons.