Queen Elizabeth II
Today common wealth countries all over the world are celebrating the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II, a holiday in some countries which marks 60 years since Her Majesty ascended the throne.
The tour had to be abandoned, and the young Princess flew back to Britain as Queen. She was greeted by Prime Minister Winston Churchill and other officials at the airport.
Read Winston Churchill's tribute to the late King:
Diamond Jubilee message
To mark the beginning of a year of celebration and reflection, Her Majesty released a message thanking those who had sent messages of support and looking forward to 2012:
'Today, as I mark 60 years as your Queen, I am writing to thank you for the wonderful support and encouragement that you have given to me and Prince Philip over these years and to tell you how deeply moved we have been to receive so many kind messages about the Diamond Jubilee.
In this special year, as I dedicate myself anew to your service, I hope we will all be reminded of the power of togetherness and the convening strength of family, friendship and good neighbourliness, examples of which I have been fortunate to see throughout my reign and which my family and I look forward to seeing in many forms as we travel throughout the United Kingdom and the wider Commonwealth.
I hope also that this Jubilee year will be a time to give thanks for the great advances that have been made since 1952 and to look forward to the future with clear head and warm heart as we join together in our celebrations.
I send my sincere good wishes to you all.