CELEBRATIONS are taking place across Gwent to mark the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.
With street parties galore, bunting, flags, and a whole bunch of regalia, the people of Gwent are ready for a spectacular royal party to celebrate 60 years of the Queen's reign.
Queen Elizabeth II came to the throne on February 6, 1952 and her Coronation took place on June 2, 1953. Here are some Gwent well-wishers' messages to mark the milestone:
Paul Murphy, MP for Torfaen, said: "I'd like to wish all Argus readers a happy Jubilee weekend. A diamond Jubilee is certainly a rare and historic occasion worthy of celebration. I'd like to send my congratulations and best wishes to Her Majesty the Queen on reaching this impressive milestone. Our Queen is hugely respected for the way she carries out her public duties and the admiration local people have for her is always shown when she visits Wales. Most of all though, events like the Jubilee always show the best side of our communities across Gwent, with street parties and neighbours getting together to share the occasion. I hope the weather stays fine and that everyone has an enjoyable break."
Lynne Neagle, Torfaen AM, said: "As we approach this Diamond Jubilee I think there is a deep sense of respect for the dignity, dedication, and service to the nation and to the Commonwealth, that have been the hallmarks of Queen Elizabeth's reign - she's a remarkable woman with a profound sense of public duty. The decline of heavy industry and the huge political, social, and cultural shifts we've seen over the past 60 years mean that in many ways, the Eastern Valley has changed utterly since 1952 - yet the Queen has remained a constant and reassuring presence throughout. Whatever their views on the monarchy, I hope everyone in Gwent would come together in wishing the Queen well on this momentous occasion."
Rosemary Butler, Newport West AM and the presiding officer for the National Assembly of Wales has sent a jubilee scroll, on behalf of the National Assembly, to mark the Queen's Diamond Jubilee. She said: "It is fitting that the people of Wales recognise the enormous amount of work that the Queen has done for Wales in her 60 years on the throne. I know that communities across Wales are doing various things to mark this milestone for our monarch.
Mohammed Asghar, Conservative South Wales East AM said: "It gives me great pleasure to add my voice to the tributes to Her Majesty The Queen on the occasion of her Diamond Jubilee. For 60 years, the Queen has served this country with dedication and loyalty. She has been and remains the single fixed point in a fast-changing world. In Shakespeare's words: 'constant as the northern star, / Of whose true-fixed and resting quality / There is no fellow in the firmament.' Ma'am, you have done a wonderful job.
Jocelyn Davies, Plaid Cymru South Wales East AM, said: "The Queen's Jubilee marks an important milestone and I would like to offer my congratulation to the Queen for six decades of public service. The past 60 years have seen huge social and political changes and provides us all with an opportunity to reflect on the achievements that have occurred as well as look to the challenges of the future. I hope everyone has a very enjoyable extended bank holiday break."
Lindsay Whittle Plaid Cymru AM for South Wales East, said: "Much progress, as well as sacrifices, have been made by people in Wales over the last 60 years. I look forward to progress continuing in society in the next 60 years to 2062. I hope people across Gwent enjoy the additional day afforded by the QueenÕs Diamond Jubilee celebrations. There are probably quite a few other people who will also have an anniversary to celebrate and I wish everyone who does a great day. In the UK we don't have the number of bank holidays that many other European countries have and it would be great if St David's Day was declared a permanent bank holiday for those of us who live in Wales."
Conservative Nick Ramsay, the Monmouth AM, said: "During the Queen's 60 year reign she has been a constant source of strength and continuity. She has carried out her role with dignity, courage and, importantly, a sense of humour. It's impossible to imagine the UK of today without her, or Britain having been such an important player in the world stage without her unique influence. We all owe her an enormous debt of gratitude, and she deserves the very best Jubilee celebrations."
William Graham, Conservative AM for South Wales East, said: "Congratulations to Her Majesty on 60 glorious years. Long life and happiness.
Mrs Elizabeth Murray JP, High Sheriff of Gwent, said: " I praise Her Majesty for her 60 years of constant and dedicated service to the people of the United Kingdom as Head of State, Head of the Armed Forces, Head of the Church of England, and also as Head of the Commonwealth. The Queen has led by example, selflessly dedicating herself to the service of her people, rewarding and encouraging citizens in so many ways, visiting communities in good times and bad, recognising the successes of so many people and through her patronage of numerous charities and good causes helping so many of them to enrich our lives.
Lord-Lieutenant for Gwent, Simon Boyle, said: "Sixty years since the Queen ascended the throne, we are here together to celebrate what has indeed been a long and splendid reign and that the Queen has carried out her pledge to give her life in service to her people. The contrast between her rule and that of some of the world's dictators whom we have seen rise and fall from power during those 60 years, and some still in power, could hardly be greater. I do believe we have been blessed with a most wonderful Queen, and we all owe her a huge debt of gratitude for her lifetime of service."