Queen Elizabeth II marks 60 years on throne / by Marco Secchi

TODAY marks 60 years since a quietly spoken 25-year-old princess named Elizabeth became the British .

While visiting Kenya with her husband, Prince Philip, en route Down Under, Elizabeth received news on February 6, 1952 that her father, King George VI, had died. I believe she has visited Venice in 1961 and in 1984.The following is HM The Queen official message.

HRH Queen Elizabeth II at the WIndsor Horse Show, May 2006 (Marco Secchi)

Today, as I mark 60 years of your Queen, I am writing to thank you for the wonderful support and encouragement that you have given to me and Prince Phillip 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 that 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.