Magician Richard Jones, the first illusionist to win Britain's Got Talent, has described his win as "unbelievable".
The army bandsman of The Household Cavalry was the bookies' favourite to take the crown.
He will perform on stage at the Royal Variety Performance and take home the £250,000 prize.
An overwhelmed Jones was asked how he felt by hosts Ant and Dec.
"It's unbelievable. Thank you so much.
"It's an incredible feeling. I want to thank everyone here and everyone at home watching," he said.
Wayne Woodward, the Danny Dyer sound-alike from Sutton, was runner-up, and dancing Stormtroopers Boogie Storm took third place.
Jones, who won a standing ovation from the judging panel and audience, thanked his family and everyone who had given him their support.
The act that won the Essex magician the backing of the public was one steeped in patriotism.
Appearing in uniform, he told a story with cards about Fergus Anckorn, a prisoner of war in Japan for almost four years during the Second World War.
Anckorn is also the longest-serving member of the Magic Circle. He performed magic tricks for the guards as a way of getting food.
To the strains of I Vow To Thee My Country, Jones enlisted judge Amanda Holden to sign a playing card which he tore and burnt.
The card was later revealed to be intact.
Jones then unveiled his surprise guest - 97-year-old Mr Anckorn.
"What a respectful, appropriate time to do something like that. Amazing. I salute you Fergus, thank you for everything you've done," said Simon Cowell.
Woodward, whose vocal performance is reminiscent of famous crooner Frank Sinatra, sang Nina Simone's Feeling Good in the final.
The Force was not with dancing Stormtroopers Boogie Storm.
However, they lit up the final with a fun-filled dance routine to a medley that included Dirty Dancing's (I've Had) The Time Of My Life by Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes.
Amanda Holden jokingly threw water at David Walliams as the show neared its climax.
The incident happened as the panel were discussing the performance of schoolgirl singer Beau Dermott.
The 12-year-old from Widnes, who ended the night in fifth place, wowed with another rendition of Defying Gravity from the musical Wicked.
Walliams told Beau that the audience should vote for her because it is Holden's last year on the hit ITV show.
In response, the 45-year-old Wild At Heart star picked up her glass of water and aimed it in his direction.
100 Voices Of Gospel were strongly backed by judge Alesha Dixon.
But the choir with members from countries including the UK, the US and France, finished eighth.
For safety reasons, the death-defying stunt by ninth-placed swordsman Alex Magala was recorded before transmission of the live final.
The Moldovan slid head-first down a pole, landing inches away from a power saw.
Mel and Jamie, the mother and son singing duo from Wales, came 12th.
Married couple Shannon and Peter Parker's moving ballet routine to Adele's All I Ask earned them 11th place.
Schoolgirl singer Jasmine Elcock, 14, ended up fourth with her rendition of True Colours by Cyndi Lauper.
Canine act Lucy and Trip Hazard landed in seventh place with their superhero-themed sketch.
It was not all right on the night for impressionist Craig Ball.
The visibly flustered maintenance worker from Hertfordshire lost his place during his act and was placed sixth.
Dancer Balance Unity (real name Taylor Goodridge), the first act to perform in the final, came 10th.
On the night, more than 2.5 million votes were cast.
A special performance featuring popular former contestants was a highlight marking the 10th anniversary of the series.
Choreographed by Diversity's Ashley Banjo, the likes of George Sampson, Stavros Flatley, Old Men Grooving and magician Jamie Raven took to the stage for an exuberant celebration.
X Factor winner Louisa Johnson performed her new song Tears with Clean Bandit and mezzo-soprano Katherine Jenkins kicked off the final on a patriotic note with Rule Britannia.
Simon Cowell thanked everyone, including hosts Ant and Dec, for contributing to the show's success over the last 10 years.