The pageantry never ends.
In London, Queen Elizabeth II celebrated her Diamond Jubilee with a landmark address to Parliament today, in another of those august and costumed ceremonies the British are so good at.
This one is rare: Parliament "addressed" the queen to honor her 60 years on the throne, and the queen spoke to Parliament, repeating her long-ago vow to dedicate herself to the service of "our great country," according to the palace transcript. She has met Parliament in this manner two times before, to mark her Silver Jubilee in 1977 and her Golden Jubilee in 2002.
She also got a gift: Parliament presented her with a new stained glass window commemorating her Diamond Jubilee, to be installed in soaring Westminster Hall, the oldest part of the Parliamentary complex.
The ceremony took place inside the packed hall, before scores of elaborately uniformed guards and dignitaries (such as the Lord Great Chamberlain), and hundreds of members of the House of Commons and the House of Lords, including prime ministers past and present. The queen, dressed in a creamy yellow coat and matching hat, and her husband Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, sat on throne-like chairs.
In her speech, she paid tribute to the British virtues of resilience, ingenuity and tolerance, and to her 90-year-old husband, whom she called her "constant strength and guide" over the decades, according to the transcript. She also noted that she feels reassured that she is "merely" the second sovereign to reach 60 years on the throne; her great-great grandmother Queen Victoria was the first.
Then, according to the palace, they all went for tea at a reception in the Royal Gallery, where the artists and craftsmen who made the Jubilee window got to mingle with the royals and the political toffs.