Queen’s speech in Parliament: ‘Be good neighbours for Diamond Jubilee’

13:01 20 March 2012

Queen Elizabeth II sits in Westminster Hall after addressing both Houses of Parliament as part of her visit to mark her Diamond Jubilee year

Queen Elizabeth II sits in Westminster Hall after addressing both Houses of Parliament as part of her visit to mark her Diamond Jubilee year

The Queen has called on people to be good neighbours and celebrate their communities to mark her Diamond Jubilee.

In an historic address to both Houses of Parliament today, she paid tribute to the British virtues of “resilience, ingenuity and tolerance”, and to the Duke of Edinburgh, her “constant strength and guide” over the decades.

The monarch repeated her vow made on Accession Day in February to “rededicate myself to the service of our great country”.

In the ancient Westminster Hall the monarch stood to give her address, telling MPs and peers that since she came to the throne she has been a regular visitor to the Palace of Westminster.

She added: “During these years as your Queen, the support of my family has, across the generations, been beyond measure.

“Prince Philip is, I believe, well-known for declining compliments of any kind. But throughout he has been a constant strength and guide.”

This was the monarch’s sixth address to both Houses of Parliament. She gave similar speeches in celebration of her Golden Jubilee in 2002 and Silver Jubilee 25 years earlier in 1977.

Among the guests was Prime Minister David Cameron, some members of his Cabinet, former premiers Tony Blair and Gordon Brown and Labour leader Ed Miliband.

The monarch reflected on the ancient setting for her address: “We are reminded here of our past, of the continuity of our national story and the virtues of resilience, ingenuity and tolerance which created it.

“I have been privileged to witness some of that history and, with the support of my family, rededicate myself to the service of our great country and its people now and in the years to come.”

The Queen also reflected on following in the footsteps of the only other monarch to celebrate a Diamond Jubilee, Queen Victoria in 1897.

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.”

The Queen has begun her national tour to mark her 60-year reign and said she hoped the Diamond Jubilee celebrations would “be an opportunity for people to come together in a spirit of neighbourliness and celebration of their own communities”.

The work of millions in the professional and voluntary services, whose efforts were for the pubic good, would also be recognised this year as would the “remarkable sacrifice and courage of our armed forces”.

She said: “Much may have indeed have changed these past 60 years but the valour of those who risk their lives for the defence and freedom of us all remains undimmed.”

Related articles

Sign up for our news alerts today!

Our editors' picks for the day's top news delivered to your inbox or phone.

Sign up for email alerts Sign up for mobile alerts
1
2 3 4 5 6
7

Latest London news

Wednesday, April 1, 2015
[Photograph by Carl Cullinane]

Thousands of people have been evacuated, West End plays have been cancelled, and onlookers are ‘struggling to breathe’ due to an underground electrical fire that is still raging in Holborn.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015
Passenger at Euston station were left stranded after the fatality (Pic: Getty Images)

Services between Euston and Tring are up and running again, after an earlier fatality at Hemel Hempstead forced rail bosses to suspend journeys.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015
Crouch End's iconic Clock Tower took a battering from high winds.

The historic 150-year-old clock tower in Crouch End has collapsed following high winds overnight.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015
Stevie the Fox will not be coming to London (Pic: Getty Images

A pop-up fox café has been cancelled after an outcry from animal rights campaigners.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015
Rancadaore's wife (left) and daughter (right) have pubicly supported him throughout his extradition battle (Pic: Getty Images)

An Italian mafia boss discovered living in Uxbridge has won his extradition battle and can stay in the UK.

What is this?

Near You Now

Don't Miss...

Competitions

Vroom! You could be emmersed in the action at the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship.

The MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship fires into Brands Hatch on 17/18/19 April for one of the most anticipated seasons in recent years as 39 riders are set for two fierce contests on the 1.2 mile Indy circuit.

Read more