Nightly News   |  June 04, 2013

Queen celebrates 60 years on the throne

Queen Elizabeth gathered with her family in Westminster Abbey where she was crowned 60 years ago. NBC’s Keir Simmons reports.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> finally tonight, she is unlike any other woman in the world. queen elizabeth ii has been queen for 60 years. she has successors lined up behind her like planes on approach into heath row , but there are no indications she's headed anywhere, and today at westminster abbey , they celebrated her 60 years on the throne. the queen and all her family, all gathered at the scene of her coronation back in 1953 . we get our report from nbc's keir simmons in london.

>> reporter: it was a family gathering.

>> today we celebrate 60 years of commitment.

>> reporter: held in the same ancient abbey where this royal family gathered 60 years ago. a 27-year-old queen and her 4-year-old heir. charles is 64 now, still a king in waiting, with an heir of his own and another on the way. kate is due next month. the queen, now 87, the family matriarch, her husband, prince phillip still at her side as he was when it all began. little knew 60 years ago what the future would hold. the queen has been a constant presence and the world has been constantly changing. during her reign, american presidents have come and gone. she's known a dozen of them but this most public of figures has rarely shown her private side as she did in this 1969 bbc documentary, a relaxed queen joking with her family.

>> press the doors opened and there was a grandma.

>> reporter: two decades later.

>> ow it's my foot you're standing on.

>> reporter: like home movies sharing her love of children, dogs and horses.

>> my horse.

>> reporter: solemn, dignified, utterly devoted to duty, that was the queen the world heard the day she first wore the crown.

>> as this day draws to its close i know my abiding memory of it will be not only of the solemnity and beauty of the ceremony but the inspiration of your loyalty and affection.

>> reporter: loyalty and affection for 60 years and counting.

>> god bless you all.

>> reporter: keir simmons , nbc news, london.