The Queen has vowed to serve as head of state, now and into the future, in a speech to mark her Diamond Jubilee.
She re-affirmed a past commitment to remain the UK’s sovereign, telling the nation she re-dedicated herself “to the service of our great country”.
Both Houses of Parliament gave her a standing ovation after her address to MPs and peers in Westminster Hall, where the Queen said: “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, re-dedicate myself to the service of our great country and its people now and in the years to come.”
Humour is said to be an integral part of the Queen’s personality and the formal address yesterday included a joke about her dealings with the dozen prime ministers who have held office during her reign.
And she made light of the fact that, after Queen Victoria, she is only the second monarch to celebrate a Diamond Jubilee, and how the Duke of Edinburgh does not like receiving compliments, before praising him for being her “constant strength and guide”.
Tributes were also paid to her by the Lord Speaker Baroness D’Souza and Commons Speaker John Bercow during their formal speeches.
Mr Bercow praised her for “Sixty years of stability. Sixty years of security. Sixty years of certainty. Sixty years of sacrifice. Sixty years of service.”
He added: “If, as Gandhi asserted, ‘the best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others’, then Your Majesty must have found yourself countless times over the past decades.
“You have dedicated yourself to others.”
This was the Queen’s sixth address to both Houses of Parliament. She gave similar speeches to mark her Golden and Silver Jubilees in 1977.
Comment: Page 12. Full text of the address: Page 13.