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 257.

    imperial-echoes Alas your non d'plume says it all, history and the world have moved on and you haven't noticed. The Empire has gone, we followed orders from the cousins across the pond. Yet we still cling on desperately to an institution well past its sell by date. The weekend celebrations to the rest of the world must have looked like a replay of "End of Empire" Time to move on.

  • rate this

    Comment number 256.

    traveller I very much doubt it as I deal in facts and not media hype. I imagine that you will not complain when the real cost of this jamboree are made known. It is time we moved on from medieval times and entered the 21st century. History is one thing, the worship of another human being as an almost godlike figure speaks volumes about an individual/county's lack of self confidence.

  • rate this

    Comment number 255.

    Fine we have had the bread and circuses and the fawning crowds I wish the Monarch well in her jubilee year but please, please as a nation can we move on and have an elected Head of State in the 21st century.

  • Comment number 254.

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

  • rate this

    Comment number 253.

    The 'royals' are kept in place because they serve a purpose.

    That purpose has not got one iota to do with 'The people'.

    That purpose,pure and simple, is power.

    The banks that sponsor the tories want them to have as much power as possible to enable them to make money.

    Keep the 'Royal Perogative, keep the power

    Labour is just scared of the banks' power and quite like having their turn

  • rate this

    Comment number 252.


    Politicians are a necessary evil, 'monarchs' are not

    Whilst I favour as much direct democracy as is feasible, I accept we have to have some representatives while we get on with life

    I can't see why we need 650, when most just toe a party line anyway

    Many PM's hide behind the 'royal perogative'. A major reason why 'royals' are kept

    A neutral 'speaker' and 99 MPs could do the job.

  • rate this

    Comment number 251.

    We could do a trial run with a petition on the Downing Street website. Much cheaper.
    Agreed - no need for a president, we just need some politicians without agendas and with integrity. Know any?

  • rate this

    Comment number 250.

    I truly think that some anti-democrats actually believe these people are 'different' from us.

    They really are not you know.

    They are there as the remains of system that was rotten to begin with (william the mass murderer ) and has subsequently been chipped away at instead of being dealt a death blow.

    It's always been about business, never 'The people'.

    Eventually it will go.

  • rate this

    Comment number 249.

    We watched the river pageant and with the exception of Clare Balding and Sandi Toksvig we were fairly astonished and appalled at the dire presentation, as we asked ourselves "where is a Dimbleby or anyone with any flair or knowledge to present the broadcast. The whole thing was such drivel, incompetent presenting - in a word ghastly. You really missed the point BBC - please never do this again.

  • rate this

    Comment number 248.

    Okay, let's have a referendum. Total waste of money, let's be honest; if even the Aussies, with all their antipathy to Britain, couldn't get it together to vote for a mutually agreed constitutional alternative, then anyone who thinks we would is mad. Which leaves violent revolution - sadly some would like that. I assume they're ignorant of what tends to happen afterwards, or just sociopaths.

  • rate this

    Comment number 247.

    This rubbish about we 'need' a president when we get rid of the so called 'monarchs' really gets on my wick.

    Why, exactly, do we 'need' a president ?

    The people who tell us they are our government in this country have far more power than Obama could ever hope for.

    The majority didn't want war in Iraq, we went.

    Disposing of 'kings', 'queens' and any other pantomime cling ons should

  • rate this

    Comment number 246.


    I'm no fan of Cromwell - he had a chance to make the country better and didn't. See the Levellers.

    He was more in the mould of a religious murderer like lizzy tudor.Indeed, his supporters wanted to make him king.

    If you think the 'people' had a say in the 'king' returning then, any more than we do now you are deluded. It was a business deal with powerful allies, same as 1688.

  • rate this

    Comment number 245.

    And how much will the residence of the elected head of state cost us to maintain each year? Please tell us: more or less than the palace, taking into account the drop in visitor numbers? Also, how much will candidates for president spend on election campaigns and smear campaigns? How much lobbying will go on? How long before the first sleaze scandal, the first impeachment?

  • rate this

    Comment number 244.


    Sweden, Norway and Denmark are not the same as the turgid system that has been cobbled together here in 'The City'.

    Each one of our Scandy friends has a one tier parliamentary system for a start. No 'upper' chamber, that until recently depended on your blood line.

    The regents in those countries have not been allowed to steal as much common land as the parasites here.

  • rate this

    Comment number 243.

    240. Surely not - you forgot to mention Cromwell's Genocidal Republic (after which the public asked for the Monarchy back...)
    Spain, after Franco, similarly brought their King back as a stabilising influence
    239. Oracleofenglish - wasn't Harry in Afghanistan?

  • rate this

    Comment number 242.

    re 240

    5. If they are so popular, and many have laughed they would 'walk' an election, why not make it so. It's cheapest and easiest to have them on the ballot at the general election. If 'monarchists' are so confident we could just have the current incumbent, a Stuart and 'None of the above'.

    6. The tourism reason is both shallow and wrong.

  • rate this

    Comment number 241.

    Surely not
    Attempting to portray people who favour a constitutional monarchy as anti-democratic is a nice try, but won't work. Preferring a non-political figurehead as head of state does not make a person anti-democratic. Sweden, Norway, Denmark... all constitutional monarchies, not exactly basket cases either; I'd rather be more like them than more like France.

  • rate this

    Comment number 240.

    re 236

    2. Some would argue that because of the genocides (normans), the religious murders ( tudors), people thrown off the land for animals (enclosure acts) and slavery (many) that we have been a basket case because of 'royalty'.

    3. On more than one occasion the direct line has been altered to suit whoever the next 'regent' was.

    4. Why have this family any more 'right' than a Stuart ?

  • rate this

    Comment number 239.

    228 Rob. The only 'monarch' to have served the armed forces in recent times was Andrew in the Falklands, There are millions in the armed forces.What about them?

    A referendum is costly?? The Queen's palace servents cost the taxpayer 10M pounds annually. About half an average referendum. Referendums are not habitual costs like palace servents, not to mention the rest that we endure for them.

  • rate this

    Comment number 238.

    227 R_ G - not quite sure how the conversation got here, but the swastika is definitely on public display in the Luftwaffe Museum in Berlin, where it may or may not be causing offence to non-German visitors in a similar way that German visitors may or may not take offence at the Battle of Britain flight


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