Throughout the jubilee, the queen was cast as a servant of the British people, rather than their sovereign.
"I think the monarchy has always adapted itself to contemporary circumstances, and has become what I call a public service monarchy," said Vernon Bogdanor, a constitutional expert and professor at King's College London.
He said efforts by the queen to keep the monarchy in tune with contemporary Britain and her decision to prioritize the royal family's work with charities and good causes have safeguarded the institution's future.
In a service of thanksgiving at St. Paul's Cathedral on Tuesday, Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams pointedly contrasted the queen's "60 years of utterly demanding yet deeply joyful service" with the "ludicrous financial greed" and other ills of wider society.
The decision to have only the core royals — the queen, Charles, Camilla, William, Kate and Harry — appear on the palace balcony, rather than the extended family, gave an image of a stripped-down monarchy for austere times.
Philip's illness, however, provided a note of sadness and uncertainty amid the celebration.
The prince was said Tuesday to be doing well in a London hospital, but he will be 91 on Sunday and is increasingly frail. The queen, at 86, is already Britain's longest-lived monarch. Only her great-great-grandmother, Queen Victoria, reigned for longer.
The queen's popularity is unassailable, but opinion polls consistently show Britons would prefer William to succeed her, rather than his father Charles. That is considered unlikely, as is any early abdication by the queen.
The 63-year-old Prince of Wales is a more divisive figure than his mother. While the queen's political views are a mystery, Charles often makes his thoughts known. (Likes: organic farming. Dislikes: most modern architecture).
But Bogdanor said Charles' support for unexpected causes, including ethnic minorities, Islamic and Hindu religious communities and young unemployed people, would see him achieve the same adulation as the queen.
"I think he will become as popular as the queen when he becomes king," Bogdanor said. "The challenge will be exactly the same, of adapting the monarchy to modern times, and I think he will respond in the same way."
Associated Press Writer David Stringer contributed to this report.
Jill Lawless can be reached at http://Twitter.com/JillLawless
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