In 2012 the UK and the Commonwealth are celebrating 60 years of the reign of HRH Queen Elizabeth II.
Here are some basics facts about the Jubilee and the events taking place to celebrate it.
The Queen was born Princess Elizabeth Alexandra Mary on 21 April 1926 and was third in line to the British throne.
Elizabeth was born in London, and educated privately at home. She had here first official portrait photo taken when she was 3, in 1929.
Her life changed in 1936 when her father became King after the abdication of his brother Edward VIII, which made Princess Elizabeth heir to the throne of the United Kingdom, the Commonwealth realms and Head of the Commonwealth, at 10 years old.
She began to undertake public duties during the Second World War, in which she served in the ATS (Auxiliary Territorial Service) a support branch of the British Army.
In 1947 she married Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, with whom she has four children: Charles, Anne, Andrew, and Edward.
Elizabeth came to the throne in 1952 after the death of her father, she was just 25 years old.
On Wednesday, 6 February 1952, Princess Elizabeth received the news that her father, King George VI, had died and therefore she had ascended to the throne. She was on tour in a remote part of Kenya with her husband.
The tour had to be abandoned, and the young Princess flew back to Britain as Queen Elizabeth II. She was greeted by British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and other officials at the airport.
Her coronation took place on 2 June 1953, it was the first coronation to be televised.
She celebrated her Silver Jubilee (25 years) in 1977 and her Golden Jubilee (50 years) in 2002.
The only other British monarch to celebrate a Diamond Jubilee was Queen Victoria in 1897, who continued to reign for 3 more years until her death in 1901.
Queen Elizabeth is Queen of The United Kingdom, Head of State for 15 other commonwealth realms, and Head of the Commonwealth of Nations. The Commonwealth Realms have a total population of 135 million people. These are;
Antigua and Barbuda
New Zealand (Cook Islands)
Papua New Guinea
Saint Kitts and Nevis
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Buckingham Palace and the BBC’s Blue Peter held a national competition for children aged between 6 and 14. The winning design was by 10-year-old Katherine Dewar, from Chester, UK.
To mark 60 years of The Queen's reign the Diamond Jubilee celebrations will take place throughout 2012. The celebrations centre around an extended weekend of the 2, 3, 4 and 5 June. The 5 June is the Queens official Birthday in 2012. The United Kingdom and other Commonwealth countries, especially Canada have major events planned throughout the year.
March – July The Royal Tour. The Queen and Prince Philip are doing a UK tour and other members of the Royal family are representing the Queen on a tour that will cover British and Commonwealth countries and territories overseas. BBC News has a Tour Map, showing where and when the Queen is visiting during her UK tour.
10-13 May. Diamond Jubilee Pageant at Windsor Castle. Three evening performances featuring military and equestrian displays, music and dancing from around the world.
3 June. The Big Lunch. People all over the UK are being encouraged to share lunch with neighbours and friends in street parties or picnics to bring communities together to celebrate the Jubilee. The Algarve International Fair is holding a ‘street party’ in the fair.
3 June. The Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant. Up to 1,000 private boats from the UK and the Commonwealth countries will escort the Queen on a specially-designed royal barge down the River Thames. It will be one of the largest flotillas ever assembled on the river. It will travel from Putney to Tower Bridge.
4 June. Diamond Jubilee Concert at Buckingham Palace. Televised by the BBC.
4 June. Diamond Jubilee Beacons. More than 2000 beacons will be lit in the UK and around the World to celebrate to jubilee. A beacon chain, once used as a tool for communication, has now become a symbol of unity across towns, borders, countries and continents and is often the central point of focus for any outdoor gathering or celebration.
5 June. The Queens Official Birthday. There will be a service of thanksgiving at St Paul's Cathedral and a formal carriage procession by the Queen.
If you are having a garden party or any other event to celebrate The Jubliee then post your comments below.