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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Queen Praises British Virtues in Diamond Jubilee Address to Parliament

The Queen celebrated her Diamond Jubilee today by paying tribute to the British virtues of "resilience, ingenuity and tolerance", and to the Duke of Edinburgh, her "constant strength and guide" over the decades. 

In a landmark address to both Houses of Parliament 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.

The window has been paid for personally by members of both Houses and designed by British artist John Reyntiens. It will be presented in a display case and installed above the North Door of Westminster Hall later this year.

In her 2002 address, the Queen spoke about "50 unforgettable years" on the throne, telling MPs and peers: "I would like above all to declare my resolve to continue, with the support of my family, to serve the people of this great nation of ours to the best of my ability through the changing times ahead."

The monarch's speech to both houses to mark her 1977 silver jubilee reflected on the historic events of the first 25 years of her reign, which had seen the final break-up of the British Empire.

She said: "No longer an imperial power, we have been coming to terms with what this means for ourselves and for our relations with the rest of the world."

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