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At the time of the Silver Jubilee, I was a grumpy anti-monarchist. I didn't celebrate and was appalled by the celebrations. In my idiocy, I missed out! I feel completely differently now compared with that time.
2012 has been an extraordinary year for our country. We cheered our Queen to the rafters with the Jubilee, showed the world what we're made of by staging the most spectacular Olympic and Paralympic Games ever and - let's not forget - punched way above our weight in the medals table.
I am concerned because even in the past two years that were the jubilee years, I have seen evident signs which show that the people are still in great difficulties, and there are things that still need to be remedied and looked after in many areas.
The events that I have attended to mark my Diamond Jubilee have been a humbling experience. It has touched me deeply to see so many thousands of families, neighbors and friends celebrating together in such a happy atmosphere.
It's an absolute honor to be taking part in the pageant for the Diamond Jubilee. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and will be a moment in history that will always be remembered. I'm really looking forward to being out on the river with friends and family. To mark this historic moment will be extremely special.