daughter, sister, wife, mother, grandmother, friend
nurse-practitioner who volunteered with Doctors without Borders
a strong lady who lost her battle with breast cancer
"... A pink diamond has long been considered one of the rarest colored diamonds." ( S.C. Hofer, Pink Diamonds from Australia, 1985).
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.
God Save the Queen!
Long May You Reign!
But the true story of what happened on 6th of February 1952 has only just come to light, nearly 60 years after it happened.
King George VI seeing of Princess Elizabeth
The story begins with Her Majesty leaving England on 31st January to undertake the visit to the country in place of her sick father.
Princess Elizabeth waving goodbye to her dad, King George VI
The visit was part of an international tour that was also to take in Australia and New Zealand.
Six days later, on February 6, 1952, the then Princess Elizabeth visited the Treetops hotel to stay in one of the famous cabins that sit high up in the trees.
The Princess and her husband had travelled there to relax and enjoy a short respite from their duties, while also intending to take in the variety of wildlife on offer.
The Princess enjoyed herself so much that she asked for tea to be served outside to avoid missing any of the wildlife.
Keen to capture more on her camera, the Queen awoke early the following day and saw two rhino fighting at a nearby waterhole.
She soon had to leave but happily promised 'I will come again' as she left for a fishing lodge known as Sagana, around 20 miles away.
As the Queen departed, several thousand miles away servants at Sandringham were preparing to wake the King for his morning bath.
His Majesty had seemed in good spirits the previous evening when he returned from a shooting party with his friend Lord Fermoy.
He spent time playing with his two grandchildren, Charles and Anne, and had dinner with his younger daughter Margaret, before retiring to bed.
The King's valet James McDonald had prepared the bath, with the running water usually enough to wake him.
However that morning it did not, and McDonald, alongside page Maurice Watts, knew something was seriously wrong.
A doctor was called, and he confirmed that the King had passed away in his sleep.
'Hyde Park Corner' the codeword used in event of King George's death was enacted and Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill was informed at once.
However, with the site the Queen and her husband were visiting being almost cut off from the outside world, it would be four hours before the news reached her.
The source of the news from Sandringham came from a journalist called Granville Roberts, who worked on the East African Standard and was covering the royal visit.