On September 9, Buckingham Palace made the announcement that Queen Elizabeth II peacefully passed away at 96 years old, after 70 years of service. During the seven decades that she reigned, Her Majesty made public statements frequently, but some of are still impossible to forget.
The Queen‘s last public appearance took place days before her death, when she was staying in Balmoral castle in Scotland, where she traditionally spends her summers. Meeting and appointing Britain’s new prime minister, Liz Truss, Her Majesty had been experiencing mobility issues before her death, but was last photographed shaking hands with Truss.
Performing her official duties until the very end, Her Majesty was first proclaimed queen in June 1953, after her father King George VI passed away.
Since then, she has been a powerful voice for the people during times of world war, tribulations with Ireland, and tragic family deaths, including Princess Diana and her husband of 73 years, Prince Philip.
Below, find the most memorable and most powerful quotes that Queen Elizabeth imparted on us.
“I declare before you all that my whole life whether it be long or short shall be devoted to your service.”
While Her Majesty did not have her official coronation until 1956, a then-Princess Elizabeth delivered a message while celebrating her 21st birthday in South Africa, where she dedicated her life to serving the British Empire.
“When it comes to how to mark seventy years as your queen, there is no guidebook to follow. It really is a first. […] I remain committed to serving you to the best of my ability, supported by my family.”
Queen Elizabeth II shared how she felt about 70 years of service and how she planned to continue, while standing on the balcony of Buckingham Palace to celebrate the last day of her Platinum Jubilee celebrations in 2022.
“I have in sincerity pledged myself to your service, as so many of you are pledged to mine. Throughout all my life and with all my heart I shall strive to be worthy of your trust.”
Queen Elizabeth II was coronated on June 2, 1953, where she was officially appointed her role the Queen. Taking place in Westminster Abbey, Elizabeth was crowned and became the Queen of the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. But it was when she addressed the public, that her memorable speech became an integral part of her legacy.
“I cannot lead you into battle. I do not give you laws or administer justice but I can do something else—I can give my heart and my devotion to these old islands and to all the peoples of our brotherhood of nations.”
Two years after being coronated as Queen Elizabeth, Her Majesty made her first televised Christmas broadcast in 1957. While the words spoken were memorable enough, many can’t forget the importance behind the historic event, as it was also the 25th anniversary of the first Christmas Broadcast on the radio.
“As your Queen and as a grandmother, I say from my heart. First, I want to pay tribute to Diana myself. She was an exceptional and gifted human being.”
After the tragic death of Princess Diana in 1997, Queen Elizabeth II honoured the life of her daughter-in-law with a public speech at Buckingham Palace. At the time, her words were particularly interesting to hear as the pair were rumoured to have a notoriously difficult relationship.
“In good times and bad, she never lost her capacity to smile and laugh, nor to inspire others with her warmth and kindness,” Queen Elizabeth said at the time. “I admired and respected her for her energy and commitment to others, and especially for her devotion to her two boys.”
“No-one who knew Diana will ever forget her. Millions of others who never met her, but felt they knew her, will remember her. I, for one, believe that 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.”
A monumental speech at the time, Queen Elizabeth II had more to say about Diana’s lasting legacy on her two children, William and Harry. For the Queen, she shared her plans to cherish her daughter-in-law’s memory alongside the rest of the world.
“Grief is the price we pay for love.”
In the aftermath of the September 11 attacks in the United States, Queen Elizabeth II shared a message for New York in light of the tragic events that took place. Read by the British ambassador to Washington, Sir Christopher Meyer, at the prayer service in St Thomas church in New York, her words on grief not only ring true today, but this particular line has become one of Her Majesty’s most powerful quotes to date.
“To all those who have suffered as a consequence of our troubled past I extend my sincere thoughts and deep sympathy. With the benefit of historical hindsight we can all see things which we would wish had been done differently or not at all.”
Queen Elizabeth II’s visit to Ireland in 2011 will always be remembered as a historic event, as Her Majesty made history as the first British monarch to visit Ireland in 100 years, and the first since the nation declared independence from Britain. While there, she shared words to bond the two nations, in an attempt to bridge the rift that had been created between them.
“Together we are tackling this disease, and I want to reassure you that if we remain united and resolute, then we will overcome it. We should take comfort that while we may have more still to endure, better days will return: we will be with our friends again; we will be with our families again; we will meet again.”
In April 2020, Her Majesty addressed the world in a live stream video from Windsor Castle. In the video, she acknowledged the devastating toll that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the world, encouraging us all to persevere. And at the end of the broadcast, she finished with the unforgettable line, “We will meet again.”
“While as a family we are in a period of great sadness, it has been a comfort to us all to see and to hear the tributes paid to my husband, from those within the United Kingdom, the Commonwealth and around the world.”
Sharing a message of thanks on behalf of her family, Queen Elizabeth made a heartfelt announcement on her 95th birthday in 2021, speaking on the loss of her husband, Prince Philip.
Later that year, and in her final Christmas speech, she honoured Philip again with another heartfelt address.
“His sense of service, intellectual curiosity, and capacity to squeeze fun out of any situation were all irrepressible,” she said. “That mischievous, enquiring twinkle was as bright at the end as when I first set eyes on him.”
“When peace comes, remember it will be for us, the children of today, to make the world of tomorrow a better and happier place. My sister is by my side and we are both going to say goodnight to you. Come on, Margaret. Goodnight, children. Goodnight, and good luck to you all.”
When she was only 13 years old, Princess Elizabeth delivered her first pubic speech on the radio, sharing a message for her fellow young people affected by World War II.
“And when peace comes, remember it will be for us, the children of today, to make the world of tomorrow a better and happier place,” she said, in the sweet audio.
May Her Majesty rest in peace.
For more rolling coverage on Queen Elizabeth II’s death, follow the links below:
- Queen Elizabeth II Has Died: A Look Back At Her History Making Tenure
- Here’s What Happens Next In The Wake Of The Queen’s Passing
- A Brief History Of Queen Elizabeth II And Her 89 Year Long Royal Clan Of Corgis
- Will Duchess Camilla Be Queen Now That Charles Is King?
- Every Time The Royal Family Have Turned To Queen Elizabeth’s Vintage Wardrobe
- The Surprising Reason The Queen Always Wore Mint Green For Special Occasions
- What Will Kate Middleton’s Title Be Now That Queen Elizabeth II Has Died?
- Everything We Know About The Queen’s Funeral So Far
- Will Prince Harry And Meghan Markle’s Children Be Prince Archie And Princess Lilibet Now?