In an address to both houses of parliament in celebration of her diamond jubilee, the Queen pays tribute to her husband and “rededicates” herself to her country.
MPs and peers from both houses of parliament gathered in Westminster Hall to hear the Queen’s landmark address.
The Lord Speaker John Bercow presented a stained glass diamond jubilee window to Her Majesty on behalf of MPs, as a gift to mark her 60-year reign
During her speech, the Queen highlighted her bond with the Commonwealth nations and expressed gratitude to her family members, who are touring all the Commonwealth countries during this jubilee year.
“During these years as your Queen, the support of my family has, across the generations, been beyond measure,” she added.
“Prince Philip is, I believe, well-known for declining compliments of any kind. But throughout he has been a constant strength and guide.”
Her Majesty repeated the vow she made on accession day in February to “rededicate myself to the service of our great country” and praised what she said were the British virtues of “resilience, ingenuity and tolerance”.
The Queen said she had had the “pleasurable duty” of meeting with 12 prime ministers and that she had signed 3,500 bills into law. She added that she is only the second monarch to celebrate a diamond jubilee, after Queen Victoria in 1897.
The event was Her Majesty’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.
Diamond jubilee window – in pictures
Following her speech, David Cameron and Ed Miliband, who were seated together in the front row, led a standing ovation.
You have personified continuity and stability while ensuring that your role has evolved imperceptibly… The monarch is as integral a part of out national life today as it was 60 years ago. John Bercow
Speaking before the Queen, the speaker compared Britain today with country 60 years ago, saying it was in many ways “bigger, brighter and better” and that the queen had “moved with the times, and allowed the times to move around rest of society”.
“You have personified continuity and stability while ensuring that your role has evolved imperceptibly, with the result that the monarch is as integral a part of out national life today as it was 60 years ago,” he added.
The Jubilee window was designed by John Reyntien and is made up of almost 1,500 pieces of glass. Members of both houses of parliament paid for the £85,000 window, which will be installed above the north door of Westminster Hall later this year.