Queen Elizabeth II publicly renewed her pledge to the British nation Tuesday, praising the continuity of her country's national narrative in a speech to mark the 60th anniversary of her remarkably long reign.
In a ceremony filled with pomp and circumstance and redolent with symbolism, the queen was driven to London's Westminster Palace to address members of both houses of Parliament, as well as assorted dignitaries.
The queen largely stuck to the royal speechbook _ paying tribute to Parliament, her family, and Britain's armed forces. But in its references to the 12 prime ministers she had dealt with and the 3,500 of bills she had signed in to law, she underlined both the length and the stability of her tenure as Britain's head of state.
"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," she told the gathering. "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."
A new stained glass window was unveiled in her honor.
The queen's speech is part of a year of celebrations to mark her Diamond Jubilee, which celebrates the six decades since she ascended to the throne in 1952.
The queen made similar speeches in parliament to mark her Silver Jubilee in 1977 and her Golden Jubilee in 2002.
The main celebrations of her Diamond Jubilee weekend will be held from June 2-5.