In a message carried by the news agency, the monarch, Britain’s longest reigning after Queen Victoria, thanked those who had supported her.
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The Queen, 85, ascended to the throne at age 25 upon the death of her father, King George VI. Despite ascending to the throne in February of 1952, she was not crowned until June of that year, the month for which most festivities marking this year’s Diamond Jubilee are planed.
Citing her message, the AP quoted the Queen as having said: "I am writing to thank you for the wonderful support and encouragement that you have given to me and Prince Phillip over these years. […] In this special year, as I dedicate myself anew to your service, I hope that we will all be reminded of the power of togetherness and the convening strength of family, friendship and good neighborliness, examples of which I have been fortunate to see throughout my reign."
Members of the Royal Fanily are to travel the world, in particular to British Commonwealth countries, in her honor, according to the AP, which said the Queen and her husband of 64 years, Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, 90, were to tour the United Kingdom between March to July. In June a 1,000-strong flotilla on the Thames will mark her 60-year reign.
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Reuters noted that the Queen’s reign had seen tumult, notably her plummeting popularity after the death of Princess Diana in 1997, when the Queen was seen as insensitive to the Princess’s death in a Paris car accident. Three of the Queen’s children have divorced and the Royal Family has come under increasingly intense public scrutiny, according to Reuters.