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 237.

    I see you are a person troubled by criticism!
    As soon as I had posted, I noticed that my editing down of the comment to meet the word limit had left in an erroneous "the" and it should have read "your misuse of synonymously" (it had previously read "your misuse of the word synonymously"). Oh dear! An editing mistake that, alas, anyone can make. :)

  • rate this

    Comment number 236.

    Whilst I'm very happy to see a larger percentage than I thought that are for democracy rather than a 'king' or 'queen',it does concern me the sheer fantasy of some of the anti-democrats.

    1. Some have stated that we're better off keeping her because we'll turn into a banana republic. Our nearest republics are Ireland,France, Germany and Switzerland. Basket cases ?

    2. Some would argue we're a

  • rate this

    Comment number 235.

    232 Surfing person: I see you're a person that is troubled by acceptance. Instead of whining about the comment you couldn't understand, check the grammar in your last comment:

    Leaving aside your misuse of the synonymous-


    Leaving aside your misuse of the synonymously...oh dear...again you are mistaken. Check the difference between an adverb and a noun.

  • rate this

    Comment number 234.

    Indeed Rob. It was a very welcome opportunity for communities to come together to celebrate something positive and universal in our lives. If some communities didn't take the opportunity, then it says more about them than it does about the monarchy. We don't have big national days where people get to meet their neighbours over festivities, so it was very welcome.

  • rate this

    Comment number 233.

    Any way long live the Queen...! Jubilee was great..!

  • rate this

    Comment number 232.

    Leaving aside your misuse of the synonymously, since I can tell how you intended to use it even if it didn't quite work out for you, you really should ask your 6th form teacher why poor metaphors make for poor writing.

    R_G: Yes, we do have those laws. They contravene absolute freedom of speech, don't they? Total freedom of speech would require freedom to cause such offence.

  • rate this

    Comment number 231.

    227. Reflections_Germany
    It was used at least 5000 years ago. The word swastika comes from the Sanskrit svastika, which means “good fortune” or “well-being." The motif was first used in Neolithic Eurasia. To this day it is a sacred symbol in Hinduism, Buddhism. So I am guessing it only offends some. That is the thing with freedom it often means putting up with something you don't agree with

  • rate this

    Comment number 230.

    225 Surfing person.

    1. One has to admit your misplaced loyalty is touching, but it's getting right in the way of the subject here. It's almost as if you've forgotten what we're actually debating.

    2. I apologise, but I'm not going to synonymously amend my comment because you don't have the gumption to comprehend its meaning. Get some rest.

  • rate this

    Comment number 229.


    Yes, because referendums are really cheap and totally affordable in these times of recession.

    Have you actually looked at the figures of what the monarchy cost us vs what they bring in through tourism?

    Have you considered this alongside the no doubt considerable expense of an elected president, who will still need security, entourage, etc, but would bring in no tourism?

  • rate this

    Comment number 228.

    226. oracleofenglish
    I would very much relish a referendum on Monarchy, I have no doubt that the republicans would be sent packing. A president would be no cheaper, and would no doubt be less representative. All the males in the Royal household serve in our armed forces, they all give a great deal of their time to charitable causes. You wont find a well paid president to do the same.

  • rate this

    Comment number 227.

    Co 224:

    The swastika is known as a political symbol, its origin is en Egyptian Sun wheel.

    However, decisive i sthe fact if you attract serious public offense or disorder by your behaviour, which is the case by putting the swastika on public display, you break the law
    "It is not allowed to attract public offense".

    I don´t know the UK laws, but surely there is something similar.

  • rate this

    Comment number 226.

    222 Rob.

    I understand that neutrality can be important. The point one must make though, is to the excessive expense this timeless and inevitable brunt the taxpayer bears. In times of 'double dip' recession and deficiencies in the economy, is it wise to prolong the Monarchy and their celebrations? Perhaps a referendum would be best served as to determine the very future of this institution.

  • rate this

    Comment number 225.


    1. Getting an innocent 3rd party sued because of something you say is totally different to accepting the risks of speaking your own mind. You are free to take those risks. You should not demand others take them for you. Got it?

    2. I am aware that you were using a metaphor. Are you aware that is was a nonsensical one? Have another read, you might get it this time.

  • rate this

    Comment number 224.

    221. Reflections_Germany
    The Swastika is a symbol of peace, it was corrupted by the Nazis. Voltaire said "I may not agree with what you say, but I will fight and die for your right to say it". fine words that are as true to day as they were in his time. If you decide what constitutes the right words or symbols. Then they become your symbols your words of the state. Then where is your freedom..?

  • rate this

    Comment number 223.

    220 Surfing person:

    1. That's the point. Potentially, you get sued; thus, no freedom of speech. Got it?

    2. We're not talking about 'stones'. We're talking about institutions. It's a pitty you can't distinguish metaphor from philosophy, to literal meaning within a sentence. Have another read, you might get it this time.

  • rate this

    Comment number 222.

    219. oracleofenglish
    I share your contempt for the political class, but that is the beauty of Monarchy. We have no idea which political party she prefers, and that is the way it should be. When ever she travels abroad on a state visit she represents the UK (republicans and all). a President would only ever represent 50% of a Nation. She is above politics, she is our Queen. All of our's..

  • rate this

    Comment number 221.

    Co. 218:

    However, there is a thin line between "freedom of speech" and the open display of criminal symbols like the swastika which abuses this freedom offensively.

    However, as this is a strong symbol that stands against a basic order of democracy and freedom, your Prince Harry does not set a good example by wearing a swastika at a costume party.

  • rate this

    Comment number 220.


    1. Comments like 212 that are potentially defamatory are always removed. Nobody needs the BBC getting sued for a HYS comment. R_G is completely free to say whatever they like on their own blog.

    2. What is "pretentious" about the "media stone of hypocrisy"? How can a stone try to impress by affecting intelligence or culture that it does not posses? It's a stone.

  • rate this

    Comment number 219.

    216 Rob, you are clearly delusional. It is easy to see you have been indoctrinated inasmuch as believing we are being 'represneted' or perhaps being treated in some supreme manner by having a Queen. President, Queen, Prime Minister, so what? Politics will be the same either way, make no mistake about it. If you can give me one example of when the Queen has represented YOU, I'd be glad to know,mmm

  • rate this

    Comment number 218.

    217. Reflections_Germany
    I agree. the Importance of freedom of expression is the most important thing we have and I am sure Her Majesty would agree. But I feel that the Germans are the last people who should comment on freedom of expression, as they are not allowed to display Nazi symbols. "If you do not believe in freedom of expression for your enemy you do not believe in it at all"


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