Queen Elizabeth II has renewed her vows to serve the country and thanked all those who supported her throughout her 60-year of reign.
A special Diamond Jubilee message was sent by the Queen which reads "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," the note further mentions.
For the occasion of her Diamond Jubilee, a series of international celebrations and tours have been planned for the year 2012.
The 85-year-old became the Queen after her father, George VI, died on Feb. 6, 1952. With 60 years of rule, the Queen is currently the longest-serving monarch after Queen Victoria, who reigned for more than 63 years.
To mark the 60th anniversary of The Queen's Accession, two specially commissioned Diamond Jubilee photographs of The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh have been released for first publication.
Taken by photographer John Swannell, the pictures show the Queen and the Duke in the Centre Room in Buckingham Palace.
"This is the third time I've had the pleasure of photographing Her Majesty, and I always find these events very exciting. Although it was quite an intricate shoot which I had to set up the day before, I had a tremendous amount of help from her personal staff, which made the project very enjoyable and rewarding. The Queen and Prince Philip, I thought, were patient and very relaxed on the day, which I hope is reflected in the photographs," Swannell mentioned.
For the pictures, the Queen wore a State Dress of white silk, satin and lace with silver coloured sequins. The dress has a flowing scalloped edge, and was created in Buckingham Palace by designer Angela Kelly. Besides this, the Queen wore the State Diadem, a circlet of diamonds, created in 1820. The Queen previously wore this during the procession to and from the State Opening of Parliament, and on her Coronation Day, for the procession to Westminster Abbey.