Britain's Queen Elizabeth was cheered on by thousands of troops yesterday 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.
The previous day, Queen Elizabeth hosted a Diamond Jubilee lunch for 26 kings and queens.
The monarch greeted royals from around the world, including Prince Mohammed of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain's King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, the King of Jordan and his wife Queen Rania, and King Constantine of Greece at a lunch at Windsor Castle to celebrate her 60th year on the throne.
The queen and Prince Philip were joined by Prince William and Duchess Catherine - who got married in April last year, the last time such a large group of foreign royals met - Prince Harry, Prince Andrew and his daughters Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie.
The 98 guests dined on a meal of poached egg tartlet with asparagus followed by Windsor lamb with braised potatoes, artichokes, peas, cabbage and broad beans, and the group enjoyed strawberries for desert.
Catherine - who was formerly known as Kate Middleton before she tied the knot to William - was spotted laughing and joking with Harry over a glass of champagne and she posed for photos with William.
However, demonstrators protested outside Buckingham Palace as the foreign leaders headed there for dinner with Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall, over the decision to invite some of the figures to the Diamond jubilee lunch.
A number of critics said there had been a ''catastrophic error of judgment'' to invite leaders such as the King of Bahrain - who has been condemned after a violent crackdown on political dissent in his country - to the Windsor Castle event, but officials insisted the Foreign Office approved the guest list.
Photo: The Diamond Jubilee Muster in Home Park (Getty Images)