I am most grateful for your Loyal Addresses and the generous words of the Lord Speaker and Mr. Speaker.
This great institution has been at the heart of the country and the lives of our people throughout its history.
As Parliamentarians, you share with your forebears a fundamental role in the laws and decisions of your own age.
Parliament has survived as an unshakeable cornerstone of our constitution and our way of life.
History links monarchs and Parliament, a connecting thread from one period to the next.
So, in an era when the regular, worthy rhythm of life is less eye-catching than doing something extraordinary, I am reassured that I am merely the second Sovereign to celebrate a Diamond Jubilee.
As today, it was my privilege to address you during my Silver and Golden Jubilees.
Many of you were present ten years ago and some of you will recall the occasion in 1977.
Since my Accession, I have been a regular visitor to the Palace of Westminster and, at the last count, have had the pleasurable duty of treating with twelve Prime Ministers.
Over such a period, one can observe that the experience of venerable old age can be a mighty guide but not a prerequisite for success in public office.
I am therefore very pleased to be addressing many younger Parliamentarians and also those bringing such a wide range of background and experience to your vital, national work.
During these years as your Queen, the support of my family has, across the generations, been beyond measure.
Prince Philip is, I believe, well-known for declining compliments of any kind. But throughout he has been a constant strength and guide.
He and I are very proud and grateful that The Prince of Wales and other members of our family are travelling on my behalf in this Diamond Jubilee year to visit all the Commonwealth Realms and a number of other Commonwealth countries.