updated 02/05/2012 AT 10:00 AM ET
•originally published 02/05/2012 AT 7:05 PM ET
Sixty years and counting!
Releasing a special set of portraits, taken by John Swannell in the Centre Room at Buckingham Palace in December 2011, Elizabeth, 85, sent a message indicating that while she has seen “great advances” since she took over at her father George VI’s death on Feb. 6, 1952, she is looking forward to the future with a “clear head and warm heart.”
The comments came after a day in which she and husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, 90, attended a church service
In her message, which was released by Buckingham Palace, Elizabeth said, “I hope that we will all be reminded of the power of togetherness and the convening strength of family, friendship and good neighborliness, examples of which I have been fortunate to see throughout my reign.”