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Queen Elizabeth Celebrations Continue Despite Palace Fire - 2002-06-03


There has been a fire at Buckingham Palace in London, but officials say it will not interfere with a pop music concert in the palace gardens to mark Queen Elizabeth II's 50th year on the British throne.

A palace spokesman, Simon Walker, told British radio damage from the fire Sunday is minor, saying "the fire detection system worked very well and very quickly. The fire was controlled rapidly, and covered a small area within the palace. There's no damage to any works of art, any of the furniture. There is a bit of flood damage to some of the carpets, but it won't take all that long to put that right," he said.

Mr. Walker said investigators were still looking into the cause of the blaze, but he said it had nothing to do with the concert or the Jubilee celebrations.

Several musicians rehearsing for the concert had to be evacuated. Among them were Eric Clapton and Phil Collins. No members of the royal family were at the palace at the time.

Many thousands of people from throughout Britain have traveled to London for the final two days of the Golden Jubilee celebrations.

On Tuesday, Queen Elizabeth will ride in a golden coach from Buckingham Palace to Saint Paul's Cathedral for a special religious service.

Later Tuesday, there will be a large parade and a fly-over above Buckingham palace, with 23 aircraft, including the supersonic Concorde.