Diamond Jubilee: Queen 'humbled' by celebrations

 

Queen Elizabeth II: ''It has touched me deeply to see so many thousands of families, neighbours and friends celebrating together''

The Queen has called her Diamond Jubilee "a humbling experience", saying she had been "touched deeply" by seeing so many people celebrating together.

In a message to the nation, she thanked all those who organised the events.

Festivities culminated in an appearance by the senior royals on the Buckingham Palace balcony in front of huge crowds to watch an RAF flypast.

But the Queen's consort, Prince Philip, was absent from her side as he remains in hospital with a bladder infection.

The Earl and Countess of Wessex visited the Duke of Edinburgh on Tuesday afternoon.

Afterwards, Prince Edward said: "He's feeling better." The countess added: "He's in good spirits; he's on good form."

'Happy atmosphere'

The Queen's message was broadcast on television and radio across the UK and Commonwealth.

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As one who knows the Queen put it to me once - you don't want a monarch who fizzes like a Catherine wheel ”

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"The events that I have attended to mark my Diamond Jubilee have been a humbling experience," she said.

"It has touched me deeply to see so many thousands of families, neighbours and friends celebrating together in such a happy atmosphere.

"But Prince Philip and I want to take this opportunity to offer our special thanks and appreciation to all those who have had a hand in organising these Jubilee celebrations.

"It has been a massive challenge, and I am sure that everyone who has enjoyed these festive occasions realises how much work has been involved."

She added: "I hope that memories of all this year's happy events will brighten our lives for many years to come.

"I will continue to treasure and draw inspiration from the countless kindnesses shown to me in this country and throughout the Commonwealth. Thank you all."

Commonwealth leaders

The Queen will continue to mark her Diamond Jubilee on Wednesday after four days of public celebrations.

Analysis

After Monday's party, Tuesday was a more sedate tribute to the Queen.

The Service of Thanksgiving at St Paul's Cathedral was a celebration of 60 years of loyal service and commitment.

In his sermon, the Archbishop of Canterbury spoke of the Queen's "years of utterly demanding yet deeply joyful service". His words are a reflection of the mood throughout the Jubilee celebrations.

Thousands again descended on central London for the ceremonial part of the weekend's festivities - especially the Royal Family's appearance on the balcony of Buckingham Palace.

I have spoken to many people over the past few days about how they view the Queen. Some have been royalists, some far from it. But nearly all have held the Queen in high regard.

The day's events have been marked though by the absence of the Duke of Edinburgh. For 60 years he has been at the Queen's side at almost every ceremonial occasion. On Tuesday, she was without him.

She will attend a lunch for the anniversary at Marlborough House in Pall Mall in central London with Commonwealth leaders, including prime ministers, governor generals and high commission representatives.

The Queen had been due to be accompanied at the event by the Duke of Edinburgh.

On Tuesday, the Queen attended a thanksgiving service at St Paul's Cathedral where Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams paid tribute to her "lifelong dedication".

"I don't think it's at all fanciful to say that, in all her public engagements, our Queen has shown a quality of joy in the happiness of others," he said.

David Cameron, who gave a reading at the service, called her "a real inspiration".

"We have seen the country come together with a sense of celebration and unity but also tremendous resilience, resilience from people who want to celebrate despite the weather and resilience, of course, from Her Majesty - nothing stops her doing the job she does," the prime minister said.

US President Barack Obama was among those who paid tribute to her "60 extraordinary years".

In a specially recorded message he called the Queen "a steadfast ally, loyal friend and tireless leader" and said she had been "the chief source of resilience" for the unique alliance between his country and the UK throughout her reign.

In other Jubilee events on Tuesday:

  • Crowds gathered from early morning to cheer the Queen on her journey from Buckingham Palace to St Paul's
  • The congregation at the cathedral included a large representation from the government, military personnel and members of the royal household, alongside diplomats and foreign leaders
  • After the service, the Queen attended a reception at nearby Mansion House - the official residence of the Lord Mayor of London
  • The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry were at a similar event at the Guildhall
  • All of the senior royals then enjoyed a lunch at Westminster Hall before embarking on a carriage procession through packed streets back to the palace
  • The day ended in an appearance by the senior royals on the palace balcony to watch a flypast by World War II aircraft and the Red arrows

Other events during the extended Jubilee weekend included a star-studded concert outside Buckingham Palace on Monday night.

Queen's procession in open-top carriage procession

At the end the Queen came on to the stage to press a diamond-shaped crystal into a pod, igniting a beacon in The Mall to mark her 60 years on the throne. It was one of more than 4,000 lit across the UK and the Commonwealth.

On Sunday, about a thousand boats took part in the Diamond Jubilee Thames River Pageant, the first of its kind for 350 years.

See all the latest Diamond Jubilee news and features at bbc.co.uk/diamondjubilee

 

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  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 157.

    Euan,
    this is my whole point, what would you, or the other people who have been complaining (not your good self) deem as an event worth celebrating that would bring millions of people together in a happy environment? It is easy to criticise, but without offering an alternative that would have the same effect, it is just sour grapes!

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 156.

    Could 'republicans' please stop the head of state argument. We have a ceremonial head of state (HM the Queen) and for all practical purposes a 'presidential' prime minister. The PM of the day has more power than most global leaders in other countries.
    Also, since some appear not to have noticed, the commons is elected by the people. Less of this 'unrepresented' nonsense please.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 155.

    I think it is one of the greatest event in the Europe in this year. I think Her Majesty is a nice symbol of tradition and a great history of the United Kingdom. It is great to join a jubilee festival of this monarchy, this queen. I think it is an interesting example of that kind of governing, which is in belef strongly connected to the religion. And...we must know, she is a whitness of the history

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 154.

    152 Diddleypete

    And the republican's are getting a hard time here for their negative comments?

    I'm glad people had a good time celebrating. I will happily join in the celabrations with the rest of our country when it's an event I care about. This is my right, and it does not make me miserable. And I have absolutely noghing against those who wish to celebrate the event.

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 153.

    Of course this debate - and in some way the whole Jubilee weekend - serves just one purose.

    Namely to divert attention from the apocolypse that is just around the corner if we don't sort out the real problems facing this country.

    Thieves running banks.

    Corrupt and inept politicians.

    A crumbling health service. - Not to mention demtists that few can afford.

    I could go on.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 152.

    So as usual, the miserable republican "i hate anyone whos got more than me" brigade, cant understand why so many people had such a good time & try to find tenuous incidences of non jubilee enjoyment. All of the time though, they never put an alternative suggestion on how the country could enjoy themselves so much. Because they are bitter little people!

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 151.

    131. JamesR1701
    35 MINUTES AGO

    See previous comments - don't disagree we need voting reform, fairer government, more accountability, etc etc - but this has nothing to do with Constitutional Monarchy (especially one that apparently pays it's way)
    Best regards

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 150.

    130.jauntycyclist
    "if the monarchy is so popular then any election would be a no brainer?"

    If you had an election to decide the king/queen on what basis would someone qualify ? The smartest, the hardest working, the most compassionate, the most charismatic ? People wouldn't be able to agree on the best way to qualify for the job.
    It's more practical to leave things as they are.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 149.

    Blooming great party. Congrats Ma'am - and thanks for the extra day off!

  • Comment number 148.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 147.

    krokodil

    No, your comment proves you are a nasty piece of work, I was simply trying to bring some humour to a debate that's getting rather heated.

    Jees.... calm down mate

  • rate this
    -2

    Comment number 146.

    "Let them eat cake!"

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 145.

    137. JamesR1701

    OK, sorry James, only having fun.
    You'll be pleased to know that I'm going out now.
    I must say though, most of you republicans seem to have had a sense of humour by-pass.
    Have a lovely day.
    xx

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 144.

    Hi @ 135. Euan

    Not that I want to get into a hissing contest, but you'll note I said draw your own conclusions (i.e. not mine :o)
    If you wanted to upgrade Government accountability, I might consider joining in, but this has nothing to do with a Constitutional Monarchy, frankly...

  • Comment number 143.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 142.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 141.

    TO Andrew Hendry: Rubbish. I live in the Czech Republic, and the people were jealous. Foreigners love our royal family, and remember, a lot of countries still have royals (Denmark, Belgium, Netherlands, etc) and they love them. Why is it ok for European countries to have a national sense of pride, but not for the Brits? Czechs hang flags out on national days, we don't. Why?

  • rate this
    +5

    Comment number 140.

    135

    I have no doubt whatsoever that if the turnout for the republican demonstration had been high, the organisers would have made a big song and dance about the numbers as evidence of popular support. It seems only fair, therefore, to look at the low turnout and ask whether the movement actually lacks popular support.

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 139.

    131. JamesR1701

    Same in Cornwall yes the hyping voices were loud and the media coverage grotesquely massive but people I talk with and I TALK WITH allot are, at the very least, NOT BOTHERED and a significant amount are seeing it for what it is SUBSERVIENT MASS DISTRACTION.........

    ............ what the Romans called "BREAD & CIRCUSES

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 138.

    You've got to admire her work ethic - how many others would be adhering to such a busy daily schedule at 86 years old ? And how much money do the royals bring into the country indirectly via tourism ? Newspapers and magazines get plenty of column inches too, helping their sales, and bar owners across the country must love them after this weekend Overall, I think they're worth the cost.

 

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