The Queen has finished her extraordinary Diamond Jubilee year with a family Christmas at Sandringham and a broadcast in which she described the public’s response to her 60 years on the throne as “humbling.”
For those of us who have followed her and other royals on their travels it’s been quite a ride.
I’m sure some of us felt this Jubilee couldn’t top the 50 year anniversary back in 1992. Surely people wouldn’t turn out in such numbers again?
But there they were in their hundreds of thousands lining the banks of the River Thames in wretched weather to catch a glimpse of the royals as they passed by in the river pageant.
There were crowds on the Mall and people standing shoulder to shoulder wherever the Queen went around the country.
A more cynical nation? Less respect for authority, the establishment and the old ways?
Apparently not. Throughout it all, the Queen looked totally unfazed, carrying on regardless when the Duke of Edinburgh was taken to hospital at the height of the big Jubilee weekend.
The glitterati may have gushed on stage at the concert in front of Buckingham Palace, Prince Charles may talked movingly about “Mummy,” but the Queen remained as serene as ever.
I think I did spot a wide grin at the Epsom Derby, but that was horses after all.
The Queen has a new great-grandchild to look forward to in 2013, and the 60th anniversary of her coronation in 1953.
But she can’t keen going at the same pace in the year she turns 87, can she?
Buckingham Palace officials don’t give much away, but they’re already talking of a full diary and another busy year.
Here we go again.