Queen celebrates 60-year reign
This year, Queen Elizabeth II celebrates her Diamond Jubilee, the 60th anniversary of her accession to the throne. Hers is the second longest reign in British history, after Queen Victoria. A grand total of 12 prime ministers have served under her, from Sir Winston Churchill to David Cameron, who was not even born when the Queen's reign began. Communities all around the United Kingdom and throughout the world — for she is the head of state of 16 countries — are celebrating this momentous occasion.
The United Kingdom over which Queen Elizabeth reigns today is very different from that in 1952, when she acceded to the throne. Back then, the country still bore the scars of World War II. Compare that with 2012, when we are proud to be hosting the most spectacular sporting event in the world — the Olympic and Paralympic Games in London, a global city whose 8 million inhabitants together speak 300 different languages. But throughout that long period of change, the queen's reign has been a focal point for stability and continuity.
To mark this special anniversary year, a member of the royal family will visit all the Commonwealth Realms and a number of other Commonwealth countries, which encompass about one-third of the world's population. The queen herself is visiting different parts of the United Kingdom. It is her personal wish that, through these celebrations, people come together in a spirit of neighborliness and in celebration of their own communities.Britain has been enjoying an extended holiday weekend, during which many people attended local street parties. London marked the jubilee weekend with a special program of events. The River Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant was held on Sunday; the largest flotilla to be seen on the river in 350 years, and one of the largest public events ever to be held in Britain. Yesterday, the Diamond Jubilee Concert took place in front of Buckingham Palace, featuring British and Commonwealth performers representing each decade of the queen's 60-year reign. There was something for old and young alike. A network of hundreds of beacons was also lit across the UK and the Commonwealth. And today there will be a morning Service of Thanksgiving at St. Paul's Cathedral and a carriage procession by the queen.
A fitting legacy to this celebration is the creation of the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust, to support charitable organizations and projects throughout the Commonwealth. Worthy projects will include the promotion of culture and finding cures for disease. Many Commonwealth countries have generously pledged their support to the trust.
Today, as we celebrate Queen Elizabeth's contribution to public life, we also recall the highlights of the last 60 years in the United Kingdom. From the Beatles to Adele and James Bond to Harry Potter, the UK has certainly produced its fair share of world-famous cultural icons throughout the Queen's reign. Later this month, the British Trade & Cultural Office in Taipei will be hosting a special reception in honor of the Diamond Jubilee and to showcase the best of Britain. But please join us today in celebrating neighborliness and community spirit, as we wish the queen a continued long, happy and healthy life. ПЕРЕВОД