London marks 10 years of marriage equality in New Year’s fireworks


London saw in the New Year by marking the 2013 legalisation of same-sex marriage in its huge fireworks show (Image: BBC)

The city of London celebrated the start of the New Year with a spectacular fireworks display that commemorated a decade of marriage equality.

More than 100,000 ticket holders gathered along the Thames near the London Eye while many millions watched across the world as London welcomed 2024 with a fireworks, lights and drone show.

The show, which is organised by the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, was said to be the capital’s biggest ever.

The spectacle featured more than 12,000 fireworks, 600 drones, 430 lights, voice-over clips and a soundtrack of songs from the likes of Beyoncé and Dua Lipa.

“This year’s illuminations delivered a message of unity to the world and showed that London is for everyone,” said the mayor’s office in a statement.

“The display was designed to unite Londoners and bring communities together to celebrate the capital’s diversity and promote mutual respect, as well as celebrate key milestones from 2023.”

Around 40 seconds in the 14-minute show were dedicated to commemorate the passage of legislation to allow same-sex marriage in England and Wales in July 2013.

This section’s fireworks were accompanied by a short voice-over explaining their significance along with the Spice Girls’ hit Spice Up Your Life.

“In London, you’re free to be who you want to be, and love who you want to love. Celebrating 10 years of equal marriage in the UK,” tweeted the mayor with a picture of the rainbow fireworks.

Other key moments that were commemorated in the display included the Coronation of King Charles III and 75 years of the National Health Service (NHS).

The event was broadcast around the world by the BBC on its various platforms.

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