Queen is ‘global ambassador’ – Dean

As London’s diplomatic community joined in the Diamond Jubilee festivities, the Dean of the Diplomatic Corps paid tribute to the Queen for being a “global ambassador”.

In his Diamond Jubilee message, the Ambassador of Kuwait, Khaled Al Duwaisan, echoed the feelings of the diplomatic community when he spoke of the Queen’s “skilled touch” in international affairs that was the “envy of diplomats the world over”.

He also spoke of the “extraordinary dedication and service” the Queen had given to Britain and the Commonwealth.

The 54 Commonwealth nations were at the heart of the Jubilee celebrations and the organisation’s Secretary General, Kamalesh Sharma, said this was a tribute to the “central part” the Queen had played as the “keystone of the vast Commonwealth arch”.

He went on to say that “never before has so diverse a group of nations, representing a third of the world’s population, been joined in free and voluntary association with the same Head for 60 years”.

He added that he hoped the range of initiatives arising from the celebrations would have a “legacy of practical action” that would continue to “lift the lives” of young Commonwealth citizens.

A flotilla of small boats, each with a Commonwealth flag and crewed by sea cadets, was one of the inspiring sights of the 1000-boat Jubilee River Pageant.

Realm prime ministers, meanwhile, caught up on world affairs as guests of Foreign Secretary William Hague on the flag-festooned Sarpedon passenger boat. Watching them from a prime spot on the Albert Embankment were the lucky few who had bagged tickets to the IMO’s party on the terrace.

Realm dignitaries were also invited to the Party at the Palace, while diplomats joined the crowds on the Mall to watch the stunning firework display that followed the lighting of the Diamond Jubilee Beacon, the final flame in a chain linking 4200 beacons around the UK and Commonwealth.

Heads of Mission joined the Queen at St Paul’s Cathedral for a Service of Thanksgiving in which the Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams said the celebrations had marked “six decades of living poof that public service is possible and that it is a place where happiness can be found” – a message that diplomats would no doubt find inspiring.