Originally posted on National Post | News:

BEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty Images

Queen Elizabeth II on Monday visited a town hall and a school 60 years to the day since she ascended to the throne after the sudden death of her father George VI.

The low-key start to five months of diamond jubilee celebrations was played out in freezing temperatures and in front of a small but enthusiastic crowd in eastern England.

The monarch said in a message to her subjects that she wanted to “dedicate myself anew to your service”, six decades after her father passed away on February 6, 1952 while the 25-year-old princess was visiting Kenya.

The queen also extended thanks for “the wonderful support and encouragement that you have given to me and Prince Philip over these years,” a reference to her husband of 64 years, who recently underwent heart surgery.

In contrast to the lavish celebrations planned for the official jubilee in June, Monday’s…

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