UK Politics

Diamond Jubilee: Cameron says celebrations show the 'best of Britain'

David Cameron reading a lesson at the Thanksgiving Service at St Paul's Cathedral
Image caption Mr Cameron has hailed the Diamond Jubilee celebrations as a great success

Prime Minister David Cameron has said the Diamond Jubilee celebrations have shown off the "best of Britain".

He said people across the UK had shown "great resilience" in the face of mixed weather to take part in festivities.

He praised the Queen's "knowledge, experience and good old-fashioned common sense", saying the advice she gave to prime ministers was invaluable.

One of his predecessors, Sir John Major, told the BBC that the Queen was the "best example of selfless service".

Sir John, chairman of the Diamond Jubilee Trust, said the three-day official event had been a "great party" and "few could have actually imagined" the number of people who would come out to mark the sovereign's 60-year reign.

And former Labour prime minister Tony Blair said the Queen had shown "extraordinary service, dedication and commitment".

'Above politics'

Mr Cameron, deputy prime minister Nick Clegg and Labour leader Ed Miliband were among leading political figures who attended a special service on Tuesday to mark the Diamond Jubilee at St Paul's Cathedral.

The prime minister, who gave a reading at the service, told the BBC the Diamond Jubilee had shown the affection in which the country held the Queen.

"We have this incredible institution which people revere and love. It is bringing the country together. It is above politics. It is a symbol of national unity."

He added: "Frankly what we have seen is the best of Britain. We have seen people coming together in tremendous unity and spirit to celebrate."

As well as hosting a lunch at Downing Street, Mr Cameron said he had attended a number of parties in his Oxfordshire constituency, including one featuring country dancing. He added that he was "pleased" that there had been no cameras at the event.

Republic, which campaigns for an elected head of state, said its profile and membership had been boosted by the focus on the monarchy in recent days.

The group, which organised protests in London on Sunday and Tuesday, said its movement was getting "stronger, louder and more confident".