AS this article went to print, I was attending Trooping the Colour, a heart-stirring parade I know well.

I have had the honour to participate in three of them, the pinnacle of a soldier’s ceremonial duties.

There wasn’t a man on Horse Guards who would not have marched to hell and back had the Queen ordered it, such is the affection she is held in our Armed Forces.

The Queen is also respected, and not just by the military, but across the nation and the world.

As Princess Elizabeth, on her 21st birthday, she told the Commonwealth: “I declare before you all that my whole life, whether it be long or short, shall be devoted to your service and the service of our great imperial family to which we all belong.”

The Queen has kept her promise, through 70 years of dedication to her people.

Her glorious reign has seen both good and bad times, through which she has been a pillar of stability and calm, not least to 14 prime ministers.

She has demonstrated the ability to muck in, as in the war when she worked as a mechanic, or with her love of horses and dogs.

It’s not for nothing that Royal events are some of the most watched in television history across the world.

Even now, our pageantry has the power to awe.

It unites us too.

As head of the Commonwealth, the Queen has brought together 54 disparate nations, sharing a common history and goals.

At a time, when once again, the dark clouds are gathering across the world, our Queen shines out as a beacon of light.

We owe her our gratitude and wish her a glorious Jubilee.