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Wednesday, 5 June, 2002, 11:32 GMT 12:32 UK
Empire State dons Jubilee colours

Empire State Building
New York's tallest building lit up for the Queen
New York paid its own special tribute to the Queen on Tuesday evening when the landmark Empire State Building was lit up for several hours in special jubilee royal purple and gold.

The building was lit following a service of thanksgiving and a celebration dinner.

Since the collapse of the World Trade Centre, the landmark Empire State Building has regained the title of the tallest skyscraper in New York.

Gesture of friendship

It has never before been illuminated in royal purple and gold and indeed it is a rare honour for it to be lit up in tribute to any non-American.

The last time was 12 years ago when Nelson Mandela visited New York shortly after his release from prison.

Nelson Mandela
Statesman: Mandela was previously honoured

But New Yorkers have not forgotten the Queen's decision two days after their city was attacked on 11 September to have the American national anthem played at the Changing of the Guard.

It was a gesture which moved many people.

The Queen has said she is delighted by the tribute in lights, while a spokesman for the Empire State said the honour was theirs.

He said it demonstrated the on-going friendship between Britain and the United States.


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