On 6th February 2012, Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor became only the second British Monarch to celebrate a Diamond Jubilee; the only other was Queen Victoria. Queen Elizabeth II is today the queen regnant of 16 sovereign states, 12 of which were British colonies or Dominions at the start of her reign. For the Diamond Jubilee, the Queen toured only the United Kingdom, while her children and grandchildren toured the Commonwealth realms, whereas during her Golden Jubilee she toured most of her countries around the world. The Queen set two guidelines for the planning of her jubilee - the use of public funds should be minimized and nobody should be "forced to celebrate".
The first major event of the jubilee celebrations was the Diamond Jubilee Pageant, also referred to as The World Comes to Windsor - a cavalcade held at Windsor Castle to celebrate her visits to and tours of over 250 countries, and her passion and love for horses. The show featured 550 horses and 1100 performers from around the world and was performed in the evenings between the 10th and the 13th of May, after the events of the annual Royal Windsor Horse Show.
On 18th May, the Queen hosted a lunch at Windsor Castle for over 20 current or former monarchs from other countries.
The River Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant took place on 3rd June - a maritime parade of 1000 boats from around the Commonwealth together with other celebrations along the river banks.
Members of the Royal Family along with governor-general and prime ministers from the Commonwealth realms attended many events on 4th and the 5th June; Buckingham Palace reception, a London Guildhall reception, a lunch at Lancaster House and service of thanksgiving at St. Paul's Cathedral are among the biggest ones.
On 5th June, a message from the Queen was released and aired on television everywhere around the world, in which she stated that the events she had attended to mark her Diamond Jubilee had been a humbling experience and expressed her thanks to those who had organized the celebrations over the extended weekend, ending it by saying "I will continue to treasure and draw inspiration from the countless kindnesses shown to me in this country and throughout the Commonwealth. Thank you."