‘We will be worthy of our responsibility’: the Queen’s most memorable speeches | The Queen


Princess Elizabeth’s wartime broadcast on BBC Kids’s Hour, 13 October 1940

Hundreds of you on this nation have needed to go away your houses and be separated out of your fathers and moms. My sister, Margaret Rose, and I really feel a lot for you as we all know from expertise what it means to be away from these we love most of all.

All of us youngsters who’re nonetheless at residence suppose frequently of our associates and relations who’ve gone abroad – who’ve travelled 1000’s of miles to discover a wartime residence and a kindly welcome in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and the USA of America.

My sister and I really feel we all know quite a bit about these international locations. Our father and mom have so typically talked to us of their visits to totally different components of the world. So it’s not tough for us to image the form of life you’re all main, and to think about all the brand new sights you have to be seeing, and the adventures you have to be having.

We all know, each considered one of us, that in the long run all shall be effectively; for God will take care of us and provides us victory and peace.

My sister is by my facet and we’re each going to say goodnight to you. Come on, Margaret. Goodnight, youngsters.

The Queen’s first dwell radio Christmas broadcast, from Sandringham, December 1952

Every Christmas, right now, my beloved father broadcast a message to his individuals in all components of the world. As we speak I’m doing this to you, who at the moment are my individuals.

At Christmas our ideas are all the time filled with our houses and our households.

Many grave issues and difficulties confront us all, however with a brand new religion within the outdated and splendid beliefs given us by our forefathers, and the power to enterprise past the safeties of the previous, I do know we will be worthy of our responsibility.

Above all, we should maintain alive that brave spirit of journey that’s the most interesting high quality of youth; and by youth I don’t simply imply those that are younger in years; I imply too all those that are younger in coronary heart, irrespective of how outdated they could be. That spirit nonetheless prospers on this outdated nation and in all of the youthful international locations of our Commonwealth.

At my coronation subsequent June, I shall dedicate myself anew to your service. I shall achieve this within the presence of an important congregation, drawn from each a part of the Commonwealth and empire, whereas thousands and thousands exterior Westminster Abbey will hear the guarantees and the prayers being supplied up inside its partitions, and see a lot of the traditional ceremony wherein kings and queens earlier than me have taken half via century upon century.

Queen’s coronation day speech, 2 June 1953

The ceremonies you’ve seen in the present day are historic, and a few of their origins are veiled within the mists of the previous. However their spirit and their that means shine via the ages by no means, maybe, extra brightly than now. I’ve in sincerity pledged myself to your service, as so a lot of you’re pledged to mine. All through all my life and with all my coronary heart I shall attempt to be worthy of your belief.

I’ve behind me not solely the luxurious traditions and the annals of greater than a thousand years however the residing power and majesty of the Commonwealth and empire; of societies outdated and new; of lands and races totally different in historical past and origins however all, by God’s will, united in spirit and in goal.

Due to this fact, I’m positive that this, my coronation, will not be the image of an influence and a splendour which might be gone however a declaration of our hopes for the long run, and for the years I could, by God’s grace and mercy, be given to reign and serve you as your Queen.

Christmas broadcast on the subject of kids’s privateness, 1958

We wish our son and daughter to develop up as usually as attainable in order that they are going to be capable to serve you and the Commonwealth faithfully and effectively when they’re sufficiently old to take action. We consider the general public life will not be a good burden to position on rising youngsters.

Christmas broadcast, 1972

In 1972, the Queen and Prince Philip celebrated 25 years of marriage. That 12 months there was additionally horrible violence in Northern Eire, and preparations for Britain to hitch the European Financial Group. The Queen refers to each these information tales in her speech.

One of many nice Christian beliefs is a cheerful and lasting marriage between man and spouse, however no marriage can hope to succeed with no deliberate effort to be tolerant and understanding. This doesn’t come simply to people and it actually doesn’t come naturally to communities or nations.

We all know solely too effectively {that a} egocentric insistence upon our rights and our personal perspective results in catastrophe. All of us should know by now {that a} civilised and peaceable existence is simply attainable when individuals take some time to grasp one another.

Trying on the world, one could be forgiven for believing that many individuals have by no means heard of this easy thought. Day by day there are studies of violence, lawlessness, and the disregard for human life.

Most of that is excused on purely egocentric grounds. I do know there are thousands and thousands of kindly individuals all through the world who’re saddened with me for all those that endure from these outrages.

In the UK we have now our personal explicit sorrows in Northern Eire and I wish to ship a particular message of sympathy to all these males, girls and kids who’ve suffered and endured a lot.

However there’s a mild on this tragic scenario. The persons are steadfastly carrying on their peculiar enterprise of their factories and locations of labor.

Voluntary employees, each out and in of uniform, have struggled to maintain humanity and commonsense alive. The social companies have carried out their job magnificently. The forces of regulation and order proceed their thankless activity with the utmost fortitude within the face of appalling provocation.

Britain is about to hitch her neighbours within the European Group and it’s possible you’ll effectively ask how this can have an effect on the Commonwealth.

The brand new hyperlinks with Europe won’t change these with the Commonwealth. They can’t alter our historic and private attachments with kinsmen and associates abroad. Outdated associates won’t be misplaced; Britain will take her Commonwealth hyperlinks into Europe together with her.

Britain and these different European international locations see in the neighborhood a brand new alternative for the long run. They consider that the issues they’ve in widespread are extra necessary than the issues which divide them, and that in the event that they work collectively not solely they, however the entire world will profit.

We are attempting to create a wider household of countries and it’s notably at Christmas that this household ought to really feel closest collectively.

Speech delivered as UK troops are deployed to the Persian Gulf, 24 February 1991

As a nation, we’re rightly happy with our armed forces. That delight has been absolutely justified by their conduct within the Gulf warfare to this point. As they, with our allies, face a recent and but sterner problem, I hope that we are able to unite, and pray that their success shall be as swift as it’s sure and that it might be achieved with as small a value in human life and struggling as attainable. Then could the true reward of their braveness be granted- a simply and lasting peace.

‘Annus horribilis’: Queen’s speech on the Guildhall to mark the fortieth anniversary of her accession, 24 November 1992

1992 will not be a 12 months on which I shall look again with undiluted pleasure. Within the phrases of considered one of my extra sympathetic correspondents, it has turned out to be an ‘annus horribilis’. I believe that I’m not alone in considering it so. Certainly, I believe that there are only a few individuals or establishments unaffected by these final months of worldwide turmoil and uncertainty. This generosity and whole-hearted kindness of the Company of the Metropolis to Prince Philip and me could be welcome at any time, however at this explicit second, within the aftermath of Friday’s tragic hearth at Windsor, it’s particularly so.

I generally marvel how future generations will choose the occasions of this tumultuous 12 months.

There may be little doubt, after all, that criticism is nice for individuals and establishments which might be a part of public life. No establishment – metropolis, monarchy, no matter – ought to count on to be free from the scrutiny of those that give it their loyalty and assist, to not point out those that don’t.

‘Annus horribilis’: Queen’s speech on the Guildhall to mark the fortieth anniversary of her accession

Christmas speech, 1996

In tough instances, it’s tempting for all of us, particularly those that endure, to look again and say ‘if solely’. However to look again in that manner is to look down a blind alley. Higher to look ahead and say ‘if solely’.

Deal with to the nation on the loss of life of Diana, 5 September 1997

We now have all been attempting in our alternative ways to manage. It isn’t straightforward to specific a way of loss, for the reason that preliminary shock is usually succeeded by a combination of different emotions: disbelief, incomprehension, anger – and concern for many who stay.

We now have all felt these feelings in these previous few days. So what I say to you now, as your queen and as a grandmother, I say from my coronary heart.

First, I wish to pay tribute to Diana myself. She was an distinctive and gifted human being. In good instances and dangerous, she by no means misplaced her capability to smile and chortle, nor to encourage others together with her heat and kindness.

I admired and revered her – for her power and dedication to others, and particularly for her devotion to her two boys …

Nobody who knew Diana will ever overlook her. Tens of millions of others who by no means met her, however felt they knew her, will bear in mind her.

Queen Elizabeth pays tribute to Princess Diana in 1997

The Queen on her golden marriage ceremony anniversary, 20 November 1997

When Prince Philip and I had been married on at the present time 50 years in the past, Britain had simply endured six years of warfare, rising battered however victorious. Prince Philip had served within the Royal Navy within the far east, whereas I used to be grappling, within the ATS, with the complexities of the combustion engine and studying to drive an ambulance with care.

All too typically, I concern, Prince Philip has needed to take heed to me talking. Incessantly we have now mentioned my supposed speech beforehand and, as you’ll think about, his views have been expressed in a forthright method.

He’s somebody who doesn’t take simply to compliments however he has, fairly merely, been my power and keep all these years, and I, and his entire household, and this and lots of different international locations, owe him a debt larger than he would ever declare, or we will ever know.

Christmas message, 1999

As I look to the long run I’ve little doubt in any respect that the one certainty is change – and the tempo of that change will solely appear to extend …

There are lots of, for instance, of my age or amongst the extra susceptible in society who fear that they are going to be left behind. The sheer price of change appears to be sweeping away a lot that’s acquainted and comforting.

However I don’t suppose that we ought to be over-anxious. We are able to make sense of the long run – if we perceive the teachings of the previous.

Centenary of the Entente Cordiale, state banquet in Paris, 5 April 2004

If I could also be allowed tonight one small British understatement, our historic relationship has not all the time been clean. For hundreds of years we fought one another fiercely, typically and in all places – from Hastings to Waterloo, from the heights of Abraham to the mouth of the Nile.

However since 1815 our two nations haven’t been to warfare. Quite the opposite, we have now stood collectively, resolute in defence of liberty and democracy, notably via the horrible international conflicts of the twentieth century.

We’re each reminded that neither of our two nice nations, nor Europe, nor the broader western alliance, can afford the luxurious of short-term division or discord, within the face of threats to our safety and prosperity that now problem us all.

After all, we are going to by no means agree on all the things. Life could be uninteresting certainly, not least for the remainder of the world, if we didn’t enable ourselves a bit of house to dwell as much as our nationwide caricatures – British pragmatism and French elan; French conceptualism and British humour; British rain and French solar; I believe we must always benefit from the complementarity of all of it.

I consider our two peoples perceive this generally extra clearly than our governments. Hundreds of British are settling, residing and dealing in France, and 1000’s of French are crossing the Channel to do the identical. Tens of millions of British holidaymakers go to France every year.

Our histories have made us frequent rivals, however like our forebears 100 years in the past, we now must recognise that we’re pure Twenty first-century companions in Europe and the broader world.

Vive la distinction, mais vive L’Entente Cordiale.

The Queen and Prince Philip meet war veterans at Arromanches as part of D-day anniversary celebrations on 6 June 2004.
The Queen and Prince Philip meet warfare veterans at Arromanches as a part of D-day anniversary celebrations on 6 June 2004. {Photograph}: Tim Graham/Tim Graham Photograph Library/Getty Photographs

sixtieth anniversary D-day commemoration in Arromanches, 6 June 2004

This viewers is aware of of the historic significance of what occurred right here 60 years in the past: the sheer measurement and scope of the operation – it included the biggest massed airborne touchdown but tried wherever and efficiently made; the boldness and creativeness of the idea; the months of painstaking planning; the countless coaching and ready; after which the ferocity of the day itself and the marketing campaign that adopted.

None of this meticulous preparation would have achieved something with out the braveness and fortitude, and the dogged willpower, of the lots of of 1000’s of servicemen who landed on the seashores on that day, after which fought their manner inland within the face of decided opposition.

After so many irritating delays, the invasion of Europe, for which everybody within the free world had been praying, had lastly began, and everybody hoped that it might result in a speedy finish to the warfare. My father broadcast to the nation on that day and stated: “As soon as extra a supreme check must be confronted. This time the problem is to not struggle to outlive, however to struggle to win the ultimate victory for the great trigger”.

There is only one factor extra I wish to say. What for you is a haunting reminiscence of hazard and sacrifice one summer time way back, is to your nation, and for generations of your countrymen to come back, one of many proudest moments in our lengthy nationwide historical past.

I take it upon myself to specific the immense debt of gratitude we owe to you all. I salute you, and thanks on behalf of our entire nation.

Opening of a memorial fountain to Diana, 6 July 2004

It’s generally tough to consider that it’s now almost seven years since we heard the information that Diana, Princess of Wales had been killed in a automobile crash in Paris.

By any customary Diana’s tragic loss of life held the eye of the world. Central to this stays the extraordinary impact Diana had on these round her. Her drive to empathise with these in issue, hardship or misery, her willingness to embrace a brand new trigger, her shrewd capacity to measurement up all these she met, allowed her not solely to the touch individuals’s lives however to alter them.

That is her wider legacy. However I can’t overlook – and nor can these of us right here in the present day who knew her rather more personally, as sister, spouse, mom, or daughter-in-law – the Diana who made such an affect on our lives. After all, there have been tough instances, however reminiscences mellow with the passing of the years. I bear in mind particularly the happiness she gave to my two grandsons.

The Queen’s eightieth birthday speech at Mansion Home, 15 June 2006

As one will get older, birthdays appear to come back spherical faster; they’re due to this fact much less apparent excuses for wider celebration than private moments to depend one’s blessings. As Groucho Marx as soon as stated: “Anybody can get outdated – all it’s a must to do is dwell lengthy sufficient.”

Deal with to the UN normal meeting, 2010

I consider I used to be final right here in 1957. Since then, I’ve travelled broadly and met many leaders, ambassadors, and statesmen from around the globe. I handle you in the present day as Queen of 16 United Nations member states and as head of the Commonwealth of 54 international locations.

The achievements of the United Nations are exceptional. After I was first right here, there have been simply three United Nations operations abroad. Now, over 120,000 women and men are deployed in 26 missions internationally. You’ve got helped to cut back battle; you’ve supplied humanitarian help to thousands and thousands of individuals affected by pure disasters and different emergencies; and you’ve got been deeply dedicated to tackling the consequences of poverty in lots of components of the world.

However a lot stays to be carried out. Former secretary normal Dag Hammarskjöld as soon as stated that “fixed consideration by a very good nurse could also be simply as necessary as a serious operation by a surgeon”. Good nurses get higher with follow; sadly the provision of sufferers by no means ceases.

In my lifetime, the United Nation[s] has – has moved from being a high-minded aspiration to being an actual pressure for widespread good. That of itself has been a sign achievement. However we aren’t gathered right here to reminisce. In tomorrow’s world, we should all work collectively as laborious as ever if we’re actually to be United Nations.

Speech in the course of the Queen’s first go to ever to Eire, at Dublin Fortress, 18 Might 2011

Collectively we have now a lot to have a good time: the ties between our individuals, the shared values, and the financial, enterprise and cultural hyperlinks that make us a lot greater than neighbours, that make us agency associates and equal companions …

After all, the connection has not all the time been simple; nor has the report over the centuries been solely benign.

It’s a unhappy and regrettable actuality that via historical past our islands have skilled greater than their fair proportion of heartache, turbulence and loss.

These occasions have touched us all, many people personally, and are a painful legacy. We are able to always remember those that have died or been injured or their households.

To all those that have suffered as a consequence of our troubled previous I lengthen my honest ideas and deep sympathy.

With the good thing about historic hindsight we are able to all see issues which we would want had been carried out otherwise or by no means.

Speech throughout President Barack Obama’s state go to, 24 Might 2011

Mr President,

I’m delighted to welcome you and Mrs Obama to London.

Your go to to this nation inevitably reminds us of our shared historical past, our widespread language, and our robust mental and cultural hyperlinks. It additionally reminds us that your nation twice got here to the rescue of the free and democratic world when it was dealing with navy catastrophe. On every event, after the top of these harmful wars, the generosity of the USA made a large contribution to our financial restoration. As we speak the USA stays our most necessary ally and our two nations contribute to the safety and prosperity of our peoples, and of the world, via shared nationwide pursuits.

However our relationship goes far past our navy and diplomatic ties. Leisure might not be so clearly an instance of our shut ties, but it surely varieties a part of the lives of an important a lot of our individuals. Over time, we have now loved a few of America’s most spectacular musical productions and any variety of what we name movies – and also you may favor to name motion pictures. In return, British movies and theatrical productions have achieved appreciable success in your nation. This change of individuals and tasks has enlarged and invigorated our widespread language – though I believe you’ll agree we don’t all the time use it in fairly the identical manner!

Queen’s handle to the Homes of Parliament to mark her diamond jubilee, 20 March 2012

Parliament has survived as an unshakeable cornerstone of our structure and our lifestyle. Historical past hyperlinks monarchs and parliament, a connecting thread from one interval to the subsequent. So, in an period when the common, worthy rhythm of life is much less eye-catching than doing one thing extraordinary, I’m reassured that I’m merely the second sovereign to have a good time a diamond jubilee.

Since my accession, I’ve been a daily customer to the Palace of Westminster and, on the final depend, have had the pleasurable responsibility of treating with 12 prime ministers.

The comfortable relationship I’ve loved with parliament has prolonged effectively past the greater than three and a half thousand payments I’ve signed into regulation.

We’re reminded right here of our previous, of the continuity of our nationwide story and the virtues of resilience, ingenuity and tolerance which created it. I’ve been privileged to witness a few of that historical past and, with the assist of my household, rededicate myself to the service of our nice nation and its individuals now and within the years to come back.

Queen’s speech on the Olympic heads of presidency reception, 27 July 2012

Over current months, many in these islands have watched with rising pleasure the journey of the Olympic torch round the UK. Because the torch has handed via villages and cities it has drawn individuals collectively as households and communities. To me, this spirit of togetherness is a most necessary a part of the Olympic supreme; and the British individuals may be happy with the half they’ve performed in preserving the spirit alive. Many sports activities performed in these Video games have their historic roots on this nation; and as a nation we have now an abiding ardour for sport, in addition to a convention of honest play and a good-natured sense of enjoyable.

In all our nationwide Olympics groups there may be a lot of which we may be proud: teams of younger women and men devoted to excellence and achievement throughout quite a few sporting disciplines. And these groups are ably supported by 1000’s of organisers, volunteers, and supporters who shall be following the motion not simply on the Olympic venues right here in the UK however all through the world.

For all these causes, I want you and your international locations a profitable, pleasant and memorable Video games.

‘We’ll meet once more’: Queen’s pandemic speech, recorded at Windsor Fortress, 5 April 2020

I’m talking to you at what I do know is an more and more difficult time. A time of disruption within the lifetime of our nation: a disruption that has introduced grief to some, monetary difficulties to many, and massive adjustments to the each day lives of us all.

I wish to thank everybody on the NHS frontline, in addition to care employees and people finishing up important roles, who selflessly proceed their day-to-day duties exterior the house in assist of us all.

I additionally wish to thank these of you who’re staying at residence, thereby serving to to guard the susceptible and sparing many households the ache already felt by those that have misplaced family members. Collectively we’re tackling this illness, and I wish to reassure you that if we stay united and resolute, then we are going to overcome it.

I hope within the years to come back everybody will be capable to take delight in how they responded to this problem. And people who come after us will say the Britons of this era had been as robust as any.

That the attributes of self-discipline, of quiet good-humoured resolve and of fellow-feeling nonetheless characterise this nation. The delight in who we’re will not be part of our previous, it defines our current and our future.

The moments when the UK has come collectively to applaud its care and important employees shall be remembered as an expression of our nationwide spirit; and its image would be the rainbows drawn by youngsters.

It jogs my memory of the very first broadcast I made, in 1940, helped by my sister. We, as youngsters, spoke from right here at Windsor to youngsters who had been evacuated from their houses and despatched away for their very own security. As we speak, as soon as once more, many will really feel a painful sense of separation from their family members.

This time we be a part of with all nations throughout the globe in a typical endeavour, utilizing the nice advances of science and our instinctive compassion to heal. We’ll succeed – and that success will belong to each considered one of us.

We must always take consolation that whereas we could have extra nonetheless to endure, higher days will return: we shall be with our associates once more; we shall be with our households once more; we are going to meet once more. However for now, I ship my thanks and warmest good needs to you all.

‘We’ll meet once more’: Queen addresses the UK over coronavirus disaster – watch in full



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