Queen humbled, Cameron relieved by Diamond Jubilee

The Queen has thanked Britain for its response to her Diamond Jubilee, after David Cameron praised the unifying effect of the long weekend.

The prime minister said Britain had been at its best as it relaxed amid the bleak economic situation in his comments during yesterday's thanksgiving service at St Paul's cathedral.

Both the head of state and the head of government reflected on the contrast between the UK's struggling economy and the Diamond Jubilee celebrations in their comments.

In a special message broadcast this morning, the Queen said she hoped memories of the events would "brighten our lives for many years to come".

"The events that I have attended to mark my Diamond Jubilee have been a humbling experience," she said.

"It has touched me deeply to see so many thousands of families, neighbours and friends celebrating together in such a happy atmosphere.

"But Prince Philip and I want to take this opportunity to offer our special thanks and appreciation to all those who have had a hand in organising these Jubilee celebrations.

"It has been a massive challenge, and I am sure that everyone who has enjoyed these festive occasions realises how much work has been involved."

Mr Cameron said yesterday that the "best of Britain" had been on display in terms of adversity as well as unity.

"We have seen the country come together with a sense of celebration and unity but also tremendous resilience, resilience from people who want to celebrate despite the weather and resilience of course from Her Majesty," he said.

Mr Cameron accepted that bank holidays are not good for the economy, but said the Olympics and the Jubilee were opportunities for Britain to "show off" its institutions, history and pageantry.

"But it also includes the great universities, the music, the arts, the culture, and yes the economy and what a great place this is to start a business," he added.

"I am hoping we can wrap all those things together and really make the most of this year."

The Queen will attend a private event with Commonwealth leaders as guests in Marlborough House in central London this lunchtime.