After seventy years of tumultuous reign, Elizabeth II remains the most famous woman in the world. However, her true personality remains partly a mystery because she entered the monarchy as others enter the religion. Despite her advanced age, she assumed the responsibilities of her position, even if her loved ones did not spare her hardships: separations, divorces, family crises.
Famous quotes of Queen Elizabeth II. What speeches remained memorable
In a well-documented work, Bertrand Meyer-Staley reveals to us the woman in the shadow of the queen, makes us discover a heroine who is both human and hard as a diamond, steadfast, sometimes helpless, joyful and fatalistic, funny.
During her reign, Elizabeth II gave hundreds of speeches. Every time, a chair, a desk, a microphone, a speech. In each of them, that high-pitched voice, that slight hesitancy to speak in public that never seems to leave her. His discreet personality did not allow him to express himself openly. However, more than her own speeches, some of her words have reached us and made it easier for us to understand who Elizabeth II really is.
The context in which they were expressed
On April 21, 1947, while in South Africa with her parents and younger sister, Elizabeth celebrated her 21st birthday. Now, she is considered the official heir to the Crown. On this occasion, she gives a speech broadcast throughout the Empire that will become the most important of her life. With this profound oath, she pledges herself to serve her people until her last breath. This simple sentence is enough to calm the pessimists who believed in a future abdication of the sovereign.
“I declare before all of you that my entire life, be it long or short, will be dedicated to your service and to our great Imperial family of which we are all a part.”
Elisabeta is a 12-year-old girl. One day, while taking lessons from her tutor, she is asked what she would like to do if she were not a princess. The answer reveals her personality.
I would have liked to be a lady living in the country with lots of horses and dogs.”
On 5 April 2020, Elizabeth II delivered another exceptional speech broadcast far beyond the Commonwealth. As the world faces an unprecedented crisis caused by Covid-19, the Queen comes to soothe hearts. More than ever, its role as a symbol of the nation is expressed on this day. In the face of such despair, the whole world needs comfort. Elizabeth II knows that her words will be repeated by many. She delivers a speech that is surely one of the most important of her reign by the power of the words she chooses and the context in which it is delivered.
“I hope that in the coming years everyone can be proud of their actions in the face of this crisis. And those who come after us will say that the British of this generation were as strong as any. That the attributes of self-discipline, calmness, determination and sympathy still characterize this country. Pride in who we are is not part of our past, it defines our present and future.” ”
“It has to be seen to be believed.”
By this maxim the queen defines her function. She who has no real political power sees her role as based on representation. Symbol of an entire nation, she must show herself to win the favor of her subjects and guarantee her legitimacy. In this the English parliamentary monarchy is defined.
In 1988, the long-awaited birth of Princess Beatrice. Elizabeth II ends up getting impatient and utters this line to a visitor in Buckingham .
“These damn babies only come when they’re ready.”
In 1989, the Daily Mail quoted the Queen, according to a reliable source, as trying to justify herself in the face of the scandals created by the inappropriate behavior of her children.
“Like all the best families, we have our share of eccentricities, impatient and temperamental youngsters, and family disagreements.”
“Let’s not take ourselves too seriously. None of us has a monopoly on wisdom.”
“1992 is not a year I look back on with undiminished pleasure”
In 1992, the Queen had to face a series of personal dramas. In March, his son Andrew announced his divorce from Sarah Fergurson. In April, his daughter Anne also divorced Mark Phillips. In December, Prince Charles splits from Lady Diana Spencer. In addition, Windsor Castle, so dear to her heart, suffered a fire in November. The issue of funding the repairs drew criticism from the British who did not want to pay for the restoration. On November 24, however, she celebrated her 40th year of reign at an official dinner where she delivered this speech that will go down in the history of her reign.
“1992 is not a year I look back on with undiminished pleasure. According to one of my most friendly correspondents, it turned out to be an annus horribilis.”
In 1997, the royal couple celebrated 50 years of marriage. On this occasion, a formal dinner is organized by the Lord Mayor of London. The queen then stands up and openly pays tribute to her husband who has been able to support her through all the years in the face of her burdens.
“I’m afraid Prince Philip has had to listen to me talk too many times. I frequently discussed in advance the speech I intended to give […] “he is a person who does not take compliments easily, but he has simply been my strength and support all these years, and I, and his whole family, and this country and many other countries, owe him a greater debt than he will ever claim or we will ever know.”
After her husband’s death, she did not address the nation directly, but did resurface a phrase the Queen had previously sent in a message to the United States after the September 11, 2001, attacks.
“Pain is the price we pay for love,” she said.
In 2016, the day after the result of the Scottish independence referendum, the Prime Minister of Northern Ireland called Elizabeth II and asked if she was okay. Her answer is, to say the least, unexpected.
“I’m still alive anyway!”
Queen Elizabeth and her son Charles
Elizabeth II’s most famous quote is her motto
- “Never complain, never explain.”
- His most beautiful quote to the American people
- After the attacks of 11 September 2001 in New York, kept by the Daily Telegraph on the front page of its special edition on Friday 9 September 2022, Elizabeth II said:
- “Mourning is the price we pay for love.”
Other memorable quotes from Queen Elizabeth II
- “Big events know how to make me quiet and calm; only trifles irritate my nerves.”
- “It’s terrible. If I don’t smile, I have a grumpy face.”
- “It is quite easy to define what the Commonwealth is not.”
- “It’s all about training: you can do a lot if you’re well trained.”
- “Labor is the rent you pay for the room you occupy on earth.”
- “Family does not necessarily mean blood relatives, but often a description of a community, organization or nation.”
- “When life seems hard, the brave do not lie down and accept defeat; on the contrary, they are all the more determined to fight for a better future”.
- “True patriotism does not exclude the understanding of the patriotism of others.”
- “The world is not the nicest place. Eventually your parents leave you and no one will go out of their way to protect you unconditionally.”
- “Cowards falter, but danger is often overcome by those who nobly dare.”
- “To what greater inspiration and counsel can we turn than to the imperishable truth found in that treasure which is the Bible?”
- “I think there’s a great fear in our generation of being labeled arrogant.”
- “Discontent is the price we pay for love.”
- “I cannot lead you in battle, I cannot give you laws, nor do I administer justice, but I can do other things, I can give you my heart and my devotion to these ancient islands and to all the peoples of our brotherhood of nations.”
- “It must be remembered that it is often small steps, not giant leaps, that lead to the most lasting change.”
- “We know that the reward is peace on earth, goodwill toward men, but we cannot earn it without determination and concerted effort.”
How Queen Elizabeth II saw aging
“Some cultures believe that a long life brings wisdom. I’d like to think so. Perhaps part of this wisdom is recognizing some of life’s confusing paradoxes, such as how human beings have an enormous propensity for good, yet a capacity for evil.”
“None of us can slow the passage of time; and while we often focus on all that has changed over the years, many things remain the same, including the gospel of Christ and its teachings.”
“Through the many changes I’ve seen over the years, faith, family and friendship have not only been a constant for me, but a source of personal comfort and solace.”
“I believe that, young or old, we have as much to look forward to with confidence and hope as we have to look back with pride.