Holi colours greet Queen in Little India

London: Reflecting the diversity of Leicester, also known as `Little India`, Queen Elizabeth was on Thursday greeted by Holi colours and dancers singing to the popular Bollywood number `Jhoom barabar jhoom` as she began her Diamond Jubilee tour to mark 60 years of her reign.

Located in the east Midlands, Leicester has seen more change than any other town in Britain during her reign, from a declining industrial town to an economically prosperous one that has become one of Europe`s most diverse towns with a large population of Indian origin people.

After enjoying a performance by Indian origin and other dancers to the fast-paced `Jhoom barabar jhoom`, the Queen also witnessed a street performance, called `61 Colours`, based on the spirit and colours of Holi, on a stage below the Clock Tower in the city centre.

The tour marks 60 years of the Queen`s reign that began on 6 February 1952. Her coronation took place on 2 June 1953. She celebrated her Silver Jubilee (25 years) in 1977 and her Golden Jubilee (50 years) in 2002.

Sir Peter Soulsby, mayor of Leicester year, said: "We`re a modern city and probably a city that has changed most dramatically during the 60 years of Her Majesty`s reign and I think very appropriate that she should choose to begin her tour here in Leicester," he said.

Starting from Leicester, the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh will travel around the UK from March to July. The tour is billed as one of Britain`s two major `showcase` events of 2012, besides the London Olympics.

Accompanied by the Duchess of Cambridge, the royal couple attended a multi-faith service at the Leicester Cathedral, a fashion show at the local De Montfort University and a Holi street performance at the Clock Tower.

David Cameron is the 12th prime minister during the Queen`s reign.