Thousands of people gathered over the weekend to watch a huge model replica of Buckingham Palace burn to the ground after it was set alight – by Edward Heath.
Mr Heath, 63, torched the 96 ft (29m) wide scale model of the palace after spending five months painstakingly crafting the impressive structure from 1,000 wooden pallets.
And although he might share his name with the former Prime Minister – Mr Heath insisted there was no political motive to burning down his intricate creation.
The replica palace featured the famous front gates, a Union Flag and even a copy of the balcony where Prince William and Kate Middleton shared their first kiss as a married couple.
Mr Heath -who has previously burned replicas of Wembley Stadium and the White House to raise money for charity – even wrote to the Queen to ask for her approval to burn the model.
He received a reply from the Queen’s secretary to say that Her Majesty was ‘interested to learn’ about his charity bonfire but it was not a ‘matter she could give or withhold her permission’ to.
And on Sunday evening the 26 ft (8m) tall creation was reduced to embers in an hour and a half after it was set on fire at the Royal Oak pub, in Dilhorne, Staffs.
Around 2,000 spectators crammed into the pub car park to watch the spectacle.
Mr Heath said: “The Queen wished me all the best for the future and my adventures raising funds for charity. I read this as a seal of approval.
“It wasn’t anything like ‘we think this is a horrible disgrace, you can’t do this’ – it was very nice.
“It was absolutely brilliant, the crowd was just massive, the nice weather must have brought them all out.
“Everything went perfectly.
“The main building took about an hour and a half to burn down but some people stayed for an hour or so afterwards just watching the gates burn.
“They were enthralled by it.
“This may be my last one though, as the wife’s threatened that if I do build another one she’ll leave me.”
He said that he and his army of helpers would count the proceeds from the event on Wednesday before dividing up the takings between the Air Ambulance and a local primary school.
Mr Heath has raised over £80,000 in the last 20 years by designing and burning effigies of iconic landmarks.
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