Queen Elizabeth II vows to carry on after 60 years on the throne
Mar 20, 2012, 13:09 GMT
London - Britain's Queen Elizabeth II marked her 60th throne anniversary with a ceremonial speech Tuesday, in which she praised the experience that comes with age and re-dedicated herself to the nation's service 'now and in the years to come.'
The 85-year-old queen, dressed in a light yellow suit and matching hat, addressed both houses of parliament in a ceremony marked as much by splendour as by the light-hearted tone she adopted to survey her six decades as monarch.
'Over such a period, one can observe that the experience of venerable old age can be a mighty guide, but not a prerequisite for success in public office,' she said.
'So, in an era when the regular, worthy rhythm of life is less eye-catching than doing something extraordinary, I am reassured that I am merely the second sovereign to celebrate a Diamond Jubilee,' she added, in a reference to Queen Victoria, her great-great-grandmother.
She had had the 'pleasurable duty' of dealing with 12 prime ministers since she came to the throne in 1952 and had signed 3,500 bills into law, noted the monarch.
She made a special point of stressing the support she had received from her family and in particular from her husband Prince Philip, 90, whom she described as a 'constant strength and guide.'
The queen said that her own association with the 54 Commonwealth nations had taught her that 'the most important contact between nations is usually contact between its peoples.'
The Commonwealth had 'flourished and grown' by successfully promoting and protecting that contact,' she said.
Her speech in Westminster Hall, the 900-year-old building which has played a central role in Britain's royal and parliamentary history, was attended by parliamentarians, members of the House of Lords, senior politicians and other dignitaries.