The Queen has hailed the UK for being “resolute in the face of adversity” after three terror attacks and the Grenfell Tower fire.
In a statement released on her official 91st birthday, she said that while the day was traditionally a celebration, “it is difficult to escape a very sombre national mood”.
She paid tribute to the community and those suffering after the attacks in Westminster, Manchester, and at London Bridge, praising Britons’ for their response.
The Queen and Prince Philip also observed a minute’s silence before the Trooping the Colour parade in central London on Saturday.
The Queen said in her statement: “Today is traditionally a day of celebration. This year, however, it is difficult to escape a very sombre national mood.
“In recent months, the country has witnessed a succession of terrible tragedies.
“As a nation, we continue to reflect and pray for all those who have been directly affected by these events.
“During recent visits in Manchester and London, I have been profoundly struck by the immediate inclination of people throughout the country to offer comfort and support to those in desperate need.
“Put to the test, the United Kingdom has been resolute in the face of adversity.
“United in our sadness, we are equally determined, without fear or favour, to support all those rebuilding lives so horribly affected by injury and loss.”
The Queen and Prince William visited survivors of the Grenfell Tower disaster two days after the devastating fire in a west London residential block that killed at least 30 people.
She also met victims of the Manchester bombing being treated in hospital following the attack after an Ariana Grande concert in which 22 people died in May.
The Queen used her official birthday to award the police officer killed in March’s Westminster attack with a posthumous honour.
PC Keith Palmer was given the George Medal as part of the Civilian Gallantry list.
Speaking about the honour, Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick, said: “He paid the ultimate price for his selfless actions.
“It is an honour that could not be more deserved and I know it will mean a great deal to all those who knew and loved him.”