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“I don’t think it’s at all fanciful to say that, in all her public engagements, our queen has shown a quality of joy in the happiness of others; she has responded with just the generosity St. Paul speaks of in showing honor to countless local communities and individuals of every background and class and race,” Williams said.

Attired in an outfit of fine silk tulle, embroidered with tiny mint green star-shaped flowers embellished with silver thread, the queen was a small, elegant figure, rarely smiling and often solemn as she followed the service.

As she left the cathedral, the queen paused near a tablet commemorating the Diamond Jubilee service of Queen Victoria in 1897.

Following the service, the queen went to the thousand-year-old Westminster Hall, the oldest part of the Parliament complex, to join 700 guests from the various Livery Companies _ the guilds which originated in the Middle Ages.

Prince William sat at the Worshipful Company of Engineers and Arbitrators table, while his wife, Kate, was placed with the Master Glovers and Pattenmakers. Prince Harry dined with the Fruiterers and Gardeners.

With most of Tuesday’s events indoors or under cover, there was less worry about the precarious weather, which has ranged from unseasonably cool to downright foul, as rain poured during Sunday’s grand procession of boats down the Thames.

President Barack Obama sent a video tribute extending “the heartfelt congratulations of the American people” to the queen. Obama hailed her as “a living witness to the power of our alliance, and a chief source of its resilience.”

Twin sisters Margaret and Dorothy Roake were standing in the Mall more or less where they had been standing on coronation day in 1953 _ a year after she ascended to the throne. “The coronation was fabulous and this is really special, it makes you feel a reality in being British,” Margaret Roake said.

Benedict Cleotes, 40, from the Philippines, said he came to the Mall at 4 a.m. to claim his spot. “Seeing the queen is very special to me and I want to have something to tell them in the Philippines. They will be jealous,” he said.

Among the early arrivals at the cathedral were four women from Jedburgh, a Scottish town near the English border, who displayed a large Union Jack flag.

“We’ve been saving for three years to come here,” said Marion Kingswood, 69. “Apart from the royal wedding, there’s been nothing like it. Sixty years is such an achievement.”

A few anti-monarchist demonstrators were outside the cathedral with slogans including “Republic Now!” or, in a shot at the cost of maintaining the monarchy, “9500 Nurses or 1 Queen?”

Royalists in the crowd responded noisily, chanting “God save the queen!”

Along the parade route, 70-year-old Margaret Barker said Philip’s absence would put a damper on the queen’s day.

“She’s got the rest of her family around her but when you think of all the planning there’s been for this and how long they’ve been together, it seems very sad that he can’t be with her today,” Barker said.

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