- (Photo: Reuters/Chris Jackson)
Britain's Queen Elizabeth II has enjoyed 60 years on the throne and celebrates her Diamond Jubilee year.
Called Accession Day, Feb. 6 is the day Queen Elizabeth's father, King George VI, died of a fatal blood clot leaving the then-25-year-old princess to ascend the throne. That day in 1952 the queen was in Kenya at the Treetops resort with her husband, Prince Phillip.
Upon returning to the U.K., Elizabeth met the 150 Lords of the Council and other dignitaries for the Formal Accession ceremony.
During the event, the queen said, "By the sudden death of my father I am called to assume the duties and responsibilities of sovereignty."
"My heart if too full for me to say more to you today than I shall always work, as my father did throughout his reign, to advance the happiness and prosperity of my peoples, spread as they are all the world over," the queen said sixty years ago.
The queen expressed her gratitude a statement to British citizens on Monday's 60-year mark.
"I am writing to thank you for the wonderful support and encouragement that you have given to me and Prince Phillip over these years," she wrote. "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."
Queen Elizabeth is only the second British monarch to celebrate a Diamond Jubilee. Only Queen Victoria celebrated 60 years on the throne in 1897.
In 1977, Queen Elizabeth celebrated her 25-year Silver Jubilee, and her 50-year Golden Jubilee arrived in 2002.
Currently the 85-year-old queen is preparing to travel throughout Britain with her husband to mark the jubilee. In the meantime, her children and grandchildren will travel to Commonwealth countries. Will and Kate will visit Malaysia, Singapore, the Solomon Islands, and Tuvalu, while Prince Harry will see Belize. Prince Charles and his wife Camilla will tour Australia, Canada, Papua New Guinea, and New Zealand.
The royal family will fully celebrate the queen's Diamond Jubilee in London this summer. Festivities will take place from June 2nd to the 5th and will include a flotilla on the River Thames and a concert at Buckingham Palace.