Britain's Queen Elizabeth was cheered on by thousands of troops yesterday (19.05.12) to mark the start of her Diamond Jubilee celebrations.

The monarch smiled gleefully as she watched a flypast of 87 aircraft form a ''60'' and ''E II R'' to spell out the royal's achievements throughout her 60 years on The Throne.

Elizabeth and Prince Philip also witnessed a half-mile-long march by 2,500 troops and six marching bands across the Windsor Castle grounds and the spectacle marked the first time all three services, the Army, Royal Navy and Royal Air Force, had all come together for such an event.

In an address to the troops - who threw their headgear in the air and shouted ''hip hip hooray'' - the queen said: ''We are very proud of the selfless service and sacrifices made by servicemen and women and their families in recent years.

''It is very gratifying to celebrate and take pride in successful achievements but the real test of character is the ability to maintain morale and a positive spirit in bad times as well as when things are going well.''

The Tri-Service Guard of Honour was created to show the close relationship between the Armed Forces and their Commander-in-Chief.

The queen and Philip were also joined at the event by Princess Anne and her husband Vice-Admiral Sir Tim Laurence, Prince and Princess Michael Of Kent, and the Dukes of Kent and Gloucester.