7 Feb 2012

Queen's Diamond Jubilee begins

11:28 am on 7 February 2012

Gun salutes throughout Britain have marked the 60th anniversary of the Queen's accession to the throne.

They herald the start of a year of celebrations of the Diamond Jubilee in Britain and the 15 other countries where the Queen reigns.

The Queen, 85, usually spends Accession Day - the day her father, George VI, died in 1952 - privately but this year had two engagements in Norfolk.

Two official photographs were released and a 41-gun salute was held in Hyde Park, London, followed by a 62-gun salute at the Tower of London.

There was also a 21-gun Royal Salute at Edinburgh Castle at noon on Monday.

The celebrations will culminate in a four-day public holiday on 2 - 5 June, the highlight of which will be a flotilla of 1000 boats sailing up the River Thames on 3 June.