Monday, 6 February 2012

On this date: Diamond jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II of Britain

In the early hours of today, sixty years had passed since King George VI of Britain died in his sleep at Sandringham House in Norfolk, leaving the thrones of Britain and a number of other countries to his then 25-year-old daughter. Thus Queen Elizabeth II today marks her sixty years as monarch, although the main celebrations will take place in early June.
However, to mark accession day Buckingham Palace today released the following message from Queen Elizabeth:

Today, as I mark 60 years as your Queen, I am writing to thank you for the wonderful support and encouragement that you have given to me and Prince Philip over these years and to tell you how deeply moved we have been to receive so many kind messages about the Diamond Jubilee.

In this special year, as I dedicate myself anew to your service, I hope we will all be reminded of the power of togetherness and the convening strength of family, friendship and good neighbourliness, examples of which I have been fortunate to see throughout my reign and which my family and I look forward to seeing in many forms as we travel throughout the United Kingdom and the wider Commonwealth.

I hope also that this Jubilee year will be a time to give thanks for the great advances that have been made since 1952 and to look forward to the future with clear head and warm heart as we join together in our celebrations.

I send my sincere good wishes to you all.


To mark the occasion the British court has also released the two official photos seen above, taken at Buckingham Palace in December by John Swannell. The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh do not perhaps look exactly thrilled to be there, but the choice of background for the photo of Queen Elizabeth is interesting as one sees the monument to her great-great-grandmother Queen Victoria, the only other British monarch to reach her diamond jubilee on the throne.
On the occasion of the jubilee an official diamond jubilee website was also launched today: (external link).

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