Chloe BestAs the Queen prepares to celebrate her ninetieth birthday, we take a look back at some of the most memorable speeches she has made throughout her record 63 year reign, as documented in Ingrid Seward's new book, The Queen's Speech.
As the Queen prepares to celebrate her ninetieth birthday, we take a look back at some of the most memorable speeches she has made throughout her record 63 year reign, as documented in Ingrid Seward's new book, The Queen's Speech...
The Queen's first Christmas broadcast, 1952
"Each Christmas, at this time, my beloved father broadcast a message to his people in all parts of the world. Today I am doing this to you, who are now my people."
21st birthday speech, Cape Town, 21 April 1947
"I declare before you all that my whole life, whether it be long or short, shall be devoted to your service and the service of our great imperial family to which we all belong."
Talking about the importance of her children's privacy in her Christmas broadcast, 1958
"We would like our son and daughter to grow up as normally as possible so that they will be able to serve you and the Commonwealth faithfully and well when they are old enough to do so. We believe the public life is not a fair burden to place on growing children."
Reaffirming her commitment as Queen during her Christmas broadcast, 1991
"Next February will see the fortieth anniversary of my father's death and of my Accession. Over the years I have tried to follow my father's example and serve you as best I can. You have given me, in return, your loyalty and your understanding, and for that I give you my heartfelt thanks.
"I feel the same obligation to you that I felt in 1952. With your prayers, and your help, and with the love and support of my family, I shall try to serve you in the years to come."
Addressing her "Annus Horribilis" at Guildhall, 24 November 1992
"1992 is not a year on which I shall look back with undiluted pleasure. In the words of one of my more sympathetic correspondents, it has turned out to be an 'Annus Horribilis'."
Talking about challenging times during her Christmas speech in 1996
"In difficult times, it is tempting for all of us, especially those who suffer, to look back and say 'if only'. But to look back in that way is to look down a blind alley. Better to look forward and say 'if only'."
Paying tribute to Princess Diana on the eve of her funeral, 5 September 1997
"She was an exceptional and gifted human being. In good times and bad, she never lost her capacity to smile and laugh, nor to inspire others with her warmth and kindness. I admired and respected her – for her energy and commitment to others, and especially for her devotion to her two boys…
"I for one believe there are lessons to be drawn from her life and from the extraordinary and moving reaction to her death. I share in your determination to cherish her memory… I hope that tomorrow we can all, wherever we are, join in expressing our grief at Diana's loss, and gratitude for her all-too-short life. It is a chance to show to the whole world the British nation united in grief and respect."
Celebrating her 50th wedding anniversary with Prince Philip at Whitehall, November 1997
"He is someone who doesn't take easily to compliments but he has, quite simply, been my strength and stay all these years, and I, his whole family, and this and many other countries, owe him a debt greater that he would ever claim or we shall ever know."
Sharing her mother's wisdom and advice during the Christmas speech in 1998:
"My mother has much to say to me. Indeed her vigour and enjoyment of life is a great example of how to close the so-called generation gap. She has an extraordinary capacity to bring happiness into her other people's lives. And her own vitality and warmth is returned by those whom she meets."
Reflecting on her mother's death on the eve of her funeral, April 2002:
"Over the years I have met many people who have had to cope with family loss, sometimes in the most tragic of circumstances. So I count myself fortunate that my mother was blessed with a long and happy life. She had an infectious zest for living, and this remained with her until the very end."
The Queen's 80th birthday speech at Mansion House, 15 June 2006
"As one gets older, birthdays seem to come round quicker; they are therefore less obvious excuses for wider celebration than personal moments to count one's blessings. As Groucho Marx once said: 'Anyone can get old – all you have to do is live long enough.'"
Commonwealth Day message, March 2015
"Ladies and gentlemen, I feel enormously proud of what the Commonwealth has achieved and all of it within my lifetime. For more than six decades of being Head of the Commonwealth, a responsibility I have cherished, I have had the fortune and constancy of the Duke of Edinburgh. Prince Philip has brought boundless energy and commitment, for which I am indebted."