Monday marked 60 years to the day since the Queen’s ascension to the throne, following the sudden death of her father.
Marking her 60 years today, the Queen released a statement saying she and her husband have been ‘deeply moved’ to receive so many kind messages about her Diamond Jubilee.
‘I am writing to thank you for the wonderful support and encouragement that you have given to me and Prince Phillip over these years,’ she wrote in a message to the nation.
‘In this special year, as I dedicate myself anew to your service, I hope that we will all be reminded of the power of togetherness and the convening strength of family, friendship and good neighborliness, examples of which I have been fortunate to see throughout my reign.’
Celebrations in St. Kitts, which are being spearheaded by a special committee, that was established under the guidance of the Governor General, Sir Cuthbert Sebastian, moved into high gear from Monday afternoon, (6th February, 2012), with a military parade in the streets of the capital Basseterre.
The traditional Beating of the Retreat Ceremony has been scheduled for the Bay Road in front of Port Zante, and will feature military performances by the Police and Defence Force, along with support from the Defence Force Band.
The ceremony will begin at 4:30pm with the security forces lining the streets and performing a number of ceremonial drills.
The Beating of the Retreat Ceremony is a military one, dating back to the 16th century in England and it was first used in order to recall nearby patrolling units to their castle.