The 21st century
Queen Elizabeth II greets High Court judges as she officially opens the Rolls Building, the latest addition to the Royal Courts of Justice, on December 7, 2011
In the early months of 2002 the Queen lost both her sister and her mother. This was the year of her Golden Jubilee, however, and celebrations continued as planned.
Despite gloomy predictions from many journalists, over a million people converged on London for a weekend of concerts at Buckingham Palace and a service of thanksgiving at St. Paul's. The Queen and Prince Philip's tour of the Commonwealth countries during that year covered 40,000 miles, and an ambitious domestic tour took them to 70 towns and cities within the United Kingdom.
The Queen has always enjoyed exceptional good health, and continued to ride regularly until 2010. However, in 2003, she had keyhole surgery on both knees, and in 2006 she missed the opening of the Emirates Stadium because of a strained back muscle.
Elizabeth addressed the United Nations for a second time in 2010, again in her capacity as queen of all her realms and Head of the Commonwealth. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon introduced her as "an anchor for our age".
2011 was a good year for Her Majesty. On 29 April she attended the wedding of her grandson Prince William to Catherine Middleton. Resplendent in a primrose yellow Angela-Kelly designed ensemble, she was pictured wreathed in smiles, clearly delighted by the proceedings.
Just a month later, in May 2011 she made her historic visit to the Irish Republic, the first visit by a British monarch since the country gained its independence in 1922. The trip was intended to promote Anglo-Irish friendship and support the Peace Process in Northern Ireland. It was a resounding success. The Queen paid her respects to Irish republican heroes in Dublin's Garden of Remembrance and even spoke a few words of Irish at a state banquet - prompting the Irish President Mary McAleese to utter "Wow" three times.
The Queen rounded off the year with her sixteenth visit to Australia since 1954, which was hailed as a 'farewell tour' because of her age. "We have been overwhelmed by your kindness and support," she told the crowds.