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Queen Elizabeth's Diamond Jubilee marked with Thames river pageant (PHOTOS)

Jubilee-themed concerts and street parties are being held around Britain in celebration.

Happy Anniversary, Your Majesty!

Today marks the 60th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II's accession to the throne

On this day, 60 years ago, King George the Sixth's valet walked into his room at Sandringham Estate to wake him and found him dead.

The heir to the throne, Princess Elizabeth was on an official trip in Africa when the news reached her that she was now Queen Elizabeth.

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Work: those were the days in Britain

A new study compares the world of work in Britain at the start of Queen Elizabeth II's reign 60 years ago and today.
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Unemployment is at a 17 year high, almost 1 in 5 households have no one working, the world of work in Britain today is very different from when Queen Elizabeth II took the throne. (Matt Cardy/AFP/Getty Images)

As Britain prepares to mark Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee in June there will be many comparative studies to mark the changes to the country over the last 60 years but none is likely to match the power of the survey published today by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development. The CIPD is an international association for HR professionals and compiles statistics for its members.

In stark and unsentimental numbers it looks at British work life early in the Queen's reign and today.

The total number of Britons in work has risen from 23 million in 1959 to 29 million today. Sounds good. But breaking the numbers down further things aren't quite so rosy.

In 1959, 96 percent of working age men were employed. Only 4 percent worked part-time. Today, 75 percent of working age men are employed, 26 percent of them part-time.

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Queen Elizabeth II may still get a yacht

The Queen's supporters plan to raise private funds to give Her Majesty a fitting present to celebrate her 60th anniversary on the throne.
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Queen Elizabeth's old yacht, Britannia, in dry dock last week. The ship, which left Royal service in 1997, is now a tourist attraction in Scotland. The Queen's supporters want her to have a new one. (Jeff J Mitchell/AFP/Getty Images)

When I first blogged about this yesterday I didn't expect I would be blogging about it again. But the Queen is a special case and her Diamond Jubilee is a special occasion.

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Special anniversary present for Queen Elizabeth the Second?

Controversy over call for a new yacht
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A yacht fit for an oligarch, Roman Abramovich's 557 footer Eclipse cost $300 million. How big and how much should a Queen's yacht be? A question raised today in Britain. (Joern Pollex/AFP/Getty Images)

What do you give to the monarch who has everything - or at least as much of everything that a modern constitutional ruler can expect to have?

This year marks the diamond jubilee of Queen Elizabeth's accession to the throne. That's 60 years of presiding over massive change, not least in how people perceive the Royal role and how much they are willing to pay her to play it.   The British tax-payer funds her official duties and pays for staff to carry them out.

Anyway, it's not the best year to have big celebrations. The Conservative-led coalition government's austerity measures are beginning to bite. Government spending is falling and unemployment is rising.

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