On Monday, February 6, 2012 Queen Elizabeth II celebrated her 60th year of reign. According to British High Commissioner, Pat Ashworth, celebratory events were being held across the Commonwealth in honour of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. She made an official visit to Norfolk, England, which was one of the first places she visited upon being crowned Queen 60 years ago. There, she visited infant and nursery students at Dersingham School. A 62-gun salute was held in her honour at the Tower of London. 41 and 21-gun salutes were held in other parts of the United Kingdom and Commonwealth as well.
Here in Belize, the Postal Service launched a sheet of commemorative stamps in honour of the Queens Diamond Jubilee. The unveiling of the stamps took place after a brief ceremony at the House of Culture in Belize City. The Governor General of Belize, Sir Colville Young, who acts as the Queen’s Representative, was present at the ceremony as High Commissioner, Pat Ashworth presented the Queen’s Message.
She said, “In this special year, as I dedicate myself anew to your service, I hope we will all be reminded of the power of togetherness and the convening strength of family, friendship and good neighbourliness, examples of which I have been fortunate to see throughout my reign and which my family and I look forward to seeing in many forms as we travel throughout the United Kingdom and the wider Commonwealth."
For many generations, the Queen has been the only constant symbol. She has been a symbol of dignity and humble authority. She is a figure that transcends politics and is still the most recognizable face in the world. Ashworth hopes that her rededication to service will inspire people of the Commonwealth to serve their country more.
Also in attendance at the launching of the commemorative stamps were students, historians and stamp collectors. The stamps are available in 25 cents, 60 cents, 75 cents, 1 dollar, 2 dollar and 5 dollar pieces. They were designed by CASCO Studio and printed by BDT International Security Printing Ltd., which are both internationally respected firms. Stamps printed for the Belize Postal Service are sold up to six months after release. However, these are limited edition collectables and the demand for them is extremely high. Officials of the Postal Service warn that they may be all out by the end of March. Those interested in applying for purchase of the stamps can call the Belize Postal Service at 227-2201 or contact by e-mail at
Other festivities relating to the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee include visits by members of the Royal Family to different Commonwealth nations. Prince Harry will be visiting Belize, Jamaica and the Bahamas. The tour of the Caribbean Commonwealth Realms will be the first unaccompanied foreign visit by the Prince on behalf of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. He will be in Belize on March 2 and 3. Details of his visit are still being finalized and Ashworth said the Prince is expected to be in Belize for a little longer than 24 hours.