Editor's Viewpoint: A Queen respected by all of her people
Sixty years ago Princess Elizabeth acceded to the throne at the tender age of 25 on the sudden death, at a relatively young age, of her father.
It was a role thrust upon her by happenstance - the abdication of her uncle which led to her father becoming King - but one which she has performed admirably over the past six decades. She has retained the pomp and circumstance of the monarchy, yet made it more accessible to her subjects than any of her predecessors.
While much of her day to day life is still as mysterious as the contents of her handbag, she somehow manages to convey a certain air of familiarity and displays a common touch in her walk-abouts and in meeting the public.
Our story today of the young Belfast girl who wrote to the Queen 60 years ago to convey her condolences on the death of the King and who received a reply from the royal household encapsulates the personal touch of her monarchy.
But if there is one word which sums up the feelings of the public towards the Queen, it is respect. She is seen as a woman who has never shirked her public duty in all of her 60 years on the throne.
She has inherited an historic position and has carried out her role to the very limits of her ability. Indeed, there are many who believe that the Royal Family's very survival is due to Queen Elizabeth's personal values. While the behaviour of her children has often raised questions, her own is beyond any reproach.
As a mother she has had trials and tribulations which ordinary people can relate to - broken marriages, sometimes scandalous behaviour by some of her children, the death of the immensely popular Princess Diana which briefly threatened the House of Windsor and then the deaths of her own mother and sister which took place in relatively recent times.
But through it all she has continued to serve the people - and in return enjoys the affection of the vast majority of them.