The Queen has used her traditional Christmas Day message, filmed in 3D for the first time, to respond to the affection and enthusiasm shown by the nation during her Diamond Jubilee celebrations.
The message was recorded earlier this month in the White Drawing Room of Buckingham Palace.
As her milestone year draws to a close, she described how she was left humbled by the huge crowds that turned out to mark her 60-year reign.
This past year has been one of great celebration for many.
The enthusiasm which greeted the Diamond Jubilee was, of course, especially memorable for me and my family.
It was humbling that so many chose to mark the anniversary of a duty which passed to me 60 years ago.
People of all ages took the trouble to take part in various ways and in many nations.
But perhaps most striking of all was to witness the strength of fellowship and friendship among those who had gathered together on these occasions.
ITV News' Royal Editor Tim Ewart reports:
The Monarch said that she was struck by the "strength of fellowship and friendship" shown by well-wishers, most memorably during the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant when more than a million people lined the banks of the river.
Despite the cold conditions and persistent downpours, the crowds who witnessed the once-in-a-lifetime flotilla were "undaunted by the rain", she said in her address.
On the barges and the bridges and the banks of the river there were people who had taken their places to cheer through the mist, undaunted by the rain.
That day there was a tremendous sense of common determination to celebrate, triumphing over the elements.
The Olympic and Paralympic Games were another highlight of 2012 for the Queen.
She paid tribute to the athletes, Olympic torch bearers and volunteer Games Makers for either inspiring the nation with their efforts or devoting themselves to others.
The flame itself drew hundreds and thousands of people on its journey around the British Isles, and was carried by every kind of deserving individual, many nominated for their own extraordinary service.
As London hosted a splendid summer of sport, all those who saw the achievement and courage at the Olympic and Paralympic Games were further inspired by the skill, dedication, training and teamwork of our athletes.
The Queen also paid tribute to the Armed Forces and said:
For many, Christmas is also a time for coming together. But for others, service will come first.
Those serving in our Armed Forces, in our emergency services and in our hospitals, whose sense of duty takes them away from family and friends, will be missing those they love.
The broadcast was recorded on December 7, a few days after it was officially announced that Kate was pregnant, but there was no mention of the impending royal birth in the message.
The Christmas address is one of the rare occasions when the Queen does not turn to the Government for advice but is able to voice her own views.