Queen Elizabeth II celebrates 60 years on throne

Queen Elizabeth II: Dressed in a Tiffany-blue hat and colorful overcoat against the winter cold, she was greeted by well-wishers in the snow-covered town of King's Lynn at an event planned to mark Accession Day, the anniversary of the day she became queen in 1952.

Andrew Winning/Reuters
Britain's Queen Elizabeth smiles after visiting Dersingham Infant and Nursery School in Norfolk, eastern England on Feb 6. Today marks the 60th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth's accession to the throne.

Tributes poured in to Queen Elizabeth II on Monday as she marked 60 years on the throne with a message vowing to continue serving the British people.

Dressed in a Tiffany-blue hat and colorful overcoat against the winter cold, she was greeted by well-wishers in the snow-covered town of King's Lynn at an event planned to mark Accession Day, the anniversary of the day she became queen in 1952.

"I love that the monarchy is above politics and feel that the queen represents that best of all," said Laura Skrzynski, a longtime admirer of Elizabeth who joined the crowd of about 150 people applauding the queen'sarrival. "She stands for integrity and respect, and I am inspired by her faith. She has been a constant through all our lives."

Accession Day is usually marked quietly because it also marks the anniversary of the death of Elizabeth's father, King George VI. But it drew extra attention Monday because this year marks the queen's Diamond Jubilee celebration. Only Queen Victoria had a longer reign.

Elizabeth said in a message to mark the occasion that she and her husband, Prince Philip, have been "deeply moved" to receive so many kind messages about her Diamond Jubilee.

"I am writing to thank you for the wonderful support and encouragement that you have given to me and Prince Philip over these years," she wrote in a message to the nation.

"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."

Prime Minister David Cameron of Britain praised the queen's "magnificent service," thanking her for guiding the nation with "dignity and quiet authority."

"Always dedicated, always resolute and always respected, she is a source of wisdom and continuity," Cameron 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, in the 60th anniversary of her reign, we have the chance to say thank you."

Many praised the queen for her steadfastness and quiet sense of duty. She and Philip have persevered, refusing to cut back on their official duties until very recently, despite their advancing years, and they have avoided the marital dramas that have buffeted their children. Three of the couple's four children had their first marriages end in divorce.

The queen's popularity seemed to drop briefly in the tumultuous days following the 1997 death of Princess Diana in a car crash in Paris, but her strong bond with the British rebounded, as shown by the crowd of roughly 1 million who gathered outside Buckingham Palace to applaud her on her Golden Jubilee in 2002.

The queen's Diamond Jubilee will be marked with a series of regional, national and international events throughout 2012.

Over the course of the year, members of the royal family — including Prince William and his wife, the Duchess of Cambridge — will fan out across the globe and travel to Commonwealth countries, including Canada, Jamaica and Belize.

The queen and Philip, also known as the Duke of Edinburgh, will stay closer to home, touring the U.K. from March to July. Philip, 90, was recently diagnosed with heart problems that may affect his future travel plans.

The 2012 Diamond Jubilee weekend will be held June 2-5, with the main highlight likely to be a huge pageant on the River Thames featuring a 1,000-strong flotilla. A gala concert is also planned.

Elizabeth expressed hope that the coming year will be a time to give thanks "for the great advances" since she took the throne and "look forward to the future with a clear head and warm heart."

[ Video is no longer available. ]

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.