In a message released by Buckingham Palace, the Queen said: “I dedicate myself anew to your service.”

The message went on: “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.”

It was on February 6 in 1952 that Princess Elizabeth ascended to the throne. She had been on a tour of Kenya when her father, George VI, died unexpectedly in his sleep.

Prime minister David Cameron marked Accession Day by saying:  “Today is a day to pay tribute to the magnificent service of Her Majesty the Queen.

“With experience, dignity and quiet authority, she has guided and united our nation and Commonwealth over six varied decades.

“Today, and this year, in the 60th anniversary of her reign, we have the chance to say thank you.”

The Queen’s message acknowledged the vast changes she has seen in Britain since she took the throne 60 years ago. 

“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 a clear head and warm heart as we join together in our celebrations,” she said.

She also called for people to remember the “power of togetherness”, speaking of “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”.

When Queen Elizabeth came to the throne in 1952, only one in 10 households had a telephone and the average house price was £2000.

Picture: Getty