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.

Start Quote

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.


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

    Comment number 177.

    This is nothing less or more to celebrate "national pride" in the light of past "glory".

    Win or lose a war, sooner or later war turns out to be be a dirty business.

    "Never the good is brought by wars"

    In Berlin no soldiers march on the streets and no fly-overs are put on to showcase military strength.

    A modern democracy should cancel military displays.

    This is 1st half fof the 20th century

  • Comment number 176.

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

  • rate this

    Comment number 175.

    either the hereditary principle should stand as the requirement for every public office of the state or it should stand for none.

  • rate this

    Comment number 174.

    BBC, why a quote from Obama, leader of a republic but nothing from any of the leaders of the Commonwealth ?

  • rate this

    Comment number 173.

    Our National Anthem says it all really. The Queen looked happy and glorious. God save our Queen.

  • rate this

    Comment number 172.

    What I don´t like about the Jubilee celebrations is all the military displays on the streets and the flyovers.

    It is absolutely ok to have folk events for the public on the streets.

    Military parads and soldiers marching on the streets are linked with past paradigms of the 20th century.

    The purpose of military parads is to showcase military strength in connection with national pride.

  • rate this

    Comment number 171.

    There's two very good reasons from the last century why Germany keeps it's, often misguided, patriotism and military muzzled. The Queen and our military on the other hand are things to be celebrated at every opportunity. Everybody's birth is an accident, how we live our lives isn't. Auf wiedersehen, mate.

  • rate this

    Comment number 170.

    Where did this pathetic idea come from that these freeloaders are some how better than everyone else and deserve so much extra money ,time and power ?

    They are an outdate tradition from a bygone age .Give the queen buckingham palace and windsor castle and let the rest of the royasl fit in there for they are a tourist attaction and NOTHING MORE !

  • rate this

    Comment number 169.

    amazing how shamelessly the role gamers cult want to justify the narrative of apartheid that brings financial benefits to those in it by raising unjustified fears and bogus predictions of 'what will happen'. Are the prophets?
    the next head of state and church is a self confessed adulterer who acted out a lie. Is he the right person to promote family values, honesty and integrity in public life?

  • rate this

    Comment number 168.

    The jubilee is a welcome escape from the hard reality of unemployment and social problems.

    The Jubilee pageant as such is an anachronistic event. The UK needs such vivid visualizations of "national pride" between a folk festival and a hype around a person forced by birth into the role of a monarch.

    There is a need for overdone glamour and luxury in the UK which is not necessary for Germany.

  • rate this

    Comment number 167.

    Reflections... possibly Germany does not celebrate it's military history because the context is a tad unfortunate. Be that as it may, that was history.
    It is very convenient to have a ceremonial position that is not up for grabs, and what other system could provide 60 years of presentational continuity while allowing political change under the executive?

  • rate this

    Comment number 166.


    Yes I can completely understand how it is great to have so many people out enjoying theirselves, all I am saying is that if people don't believe in the cause, that should be respected too. They don't have to deny others of their fun, that's for sure, but in terms of any kind of stance, be it political/financial whatever, surely people will vote with their feet either way as usual

  • rate this

    Comment number 165.

    Those who would like an elected president should be careful what they wish for. Her Majesty has been a unifying force, both in the UK and the Commonwealth. Why replace that positive role with a divisive politician? And what politician would actually accept an entirely ceremonial role with no executive power?

    I'll take a constitutional monarchy any time over an elected, venal place-seeker.

  • rate this

    Comment number 164.

    Germany does it better than the UK, France or Russia:

    There are no displays of "military strength", no soldiers marching on the streets od Berlin, no flyovers over the Brandenburg Gate.

    Germany is a deliberate counterpart to atomic powers.

    Inappropiate hype around the person of the Queen and the Royal family!

    A society should appreciate the personal merit instead of the accident of birth.

  • rate this

    Comment number 163.

    Context Penelope, context! Only replying to the ones who are moaning!

    Yep, without those Lancasters there would be huge public gatherings, like the Nuremburg rally's. Yep, thank god for those Lancasters & their crews else we might all be Nazis, still, that seems to appeal to you!

  • rate this

    Comment number 162.

    Why do you assume that people who do not support the monarchy should have gone to work yesterday? I couldn't have gone to work if I wanted to, management had shut the office! Should I have broken in?

  • rate this

    Comment number 161.

    for some reason people think the republican website is the only alternative to the current enforced role gaming. The uk has no national anthem[its a monarchist sing song] and no national oath that is about defending the rights of the people but a personal oath to defend one person and family like the wermacht had to hitler. So lets start by having a real national oath and national anthem.

  • rate this

    Comment number 160.

    Navilite 111. Well said. For those of you not interested in the Monachy I assume you went to work yesterday? If not, why not?

  • rate this

    Comment number 159.

    There´s a sharp contrast between the economic situation of the UK in recession with high unemployment and social immobility expressed in the England riots of 2011 and the Jubilee.

    In Berlin there are no military parades and fly-overs to showcase military strength.

    Especially the historic Lancasters flyovers that destructed Germany´s historic national treasuries - Würzburg, Dresden, Potsdam.

  • rate this

    Comment number 158.


    It's ok for you to be hugely supportive of the monarchy, but anyone else is miserable and bitter?

    And i absolutely love how you've summed up the non-supporters with one ickle bit of dialogue "i hate anyone whos got more than me"

    You don't sound miserable or bitter at all.....


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