Accession Day: 60 years as Queen

Official portrait of The Queen taken in the Centre Room in Buckingham Palace in December 2011 © Royal Household/John Swannell

Today marks the 60th anniversary of the death of George VI and Her Majesty The Queen’s Accession.

To mark the occasion Buckingham Palace has released The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee message:

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.


The Palace has also released two specially commissioned Diamond Jubilee photographs of The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh. Both photographs were taken by Mr John Swannell and can be seen on the official Diamond Jubilee website here.

The 6 February 1952 is the first date on the Jubilee Time Capsule timeline. Entries for that day include the original announcement of the death of George VI from our partners at the BBC archive and memories from Mr Lovatt-Smith, an employee of the Royal Parks in Kenya, whose boss was guiding Princess Elizabeth when she received news of her father’s death.

Today we are encouraging people across the globe to share their story and take part in creating this digital Diamond Jubilee gift for The Queen.

Whether you contribute a memory of the day you left school, the day you got married, the day you arrived in a new country or something else entirely, take part and your memory will help to create a People’s History of the last 60 years and a truly unique digital legacy for The Queen this Diamond Jubilee Year.

Contribute your memory now at


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