Queen Elizabeth marks 60 years on throne

Feb. 6, 2012 at 1:12 AM
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LONDON, Feb. 6 (UPI) -- Britain's Queen Elizabeth II punctuated her 60th year on the throne Monday by rededicating herself to serving the people of her realm.

"Today, as I mark 60 years as your queen, I am writing to thank you for the wonderful support and encouragement that you have given to me and Prince Philip over these years and to tell you how deeply moved we have been to receive so many kind messages about the diamond jubilee," Elizabeth said in her Diamond Jubilee message.

"In this special year, as I dedicate myself anew to your service, I hope that we will all be reminded of the power of togetherness and the convening strength of family friendship and good neighborliness, examples of which I have been fortunate to see throughout my reign and which my family and I look forward to seeing in many forms as we travel throughout the U.K. and the wider commonwealth.

"I hope also that this jubilee year will be a time to give thanks for the great advances that have been made since 1952 and to look forward to the future with clear heads and warm hearts as we join together in our celebrations. I send my sincere good wishes to you all."

Prime Minister David Cameron praised the queen's handling of her responsibilities through the decades, The Guardian reported.

"Always dedicated, always resolute and always respected, she is a source of wisdom and continuity," he said.

"All my life and for the lives of most people in this country she has always been there for us. Today and this year we have the chance to say thank you."

The 85-year-old queen and her husband, the duke of Edinburgh, were to spend the day at Sandringham, the Norfolk mansion where her father, King George VI, died in his sleep on Feb. 6, 1952, The Guardian said.

The queen and duke attended a church service at West Newton Sunday where well-wishers gave them flowers, and visited a Sunday school in the village hall, the newspaper said. A parade in King's Lynn marking the 90th anniversary of the Royal British Legion the duke intended to attend was called off because of bad weather, however.

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