Although the Queen, just like the rest of the royal family, was not supposed to share her opinions about politics, she had plenty to say and lots of encouragement and support to offer people throughout the UK and around the world.
On the anniversary of her death on Friday, September 8, here are some of Her Majesty’s most memorable quotes from her time on the throne and before.
Inspirational quotes from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II
“I cannot lead you into battle. I do not give you laws or administer justice. But I can do something else. I can give you my heart and my devotion to these old islands and to all the peoples of our brotherhood of nations.” – First televised Christmas broadcast, 1957.
“When peace comes, remember it will be for us, the children of today, to make the world of tomorrow a better and happier place.” – Wartime broadcast with her younger sister, Princess Margaret, October 13, 1940.
“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.” – Speech on her 21st birthday, April 21, 1947, broadcast on the radio from Cape Town.
”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.” – Speech on her Coronation Day, June 2, 1953.
“We know the reward is peace on Earth, goodwill towards men, but we cannot win it without determination and concerted effort." – Christmas broadcast, 1963.
“It has been women who have breathed gentleness and care into the harsh progress of mankind.” – Christmas broadcast, 1966.
“We may hold different points of view but it is in times of stress and difficulty that we most need to remember that we have much more in common than there is dividing us.” – Christmas broadcast, 1974.
“Like all the best families, we have our share of eccentricities, of impetuous and wayward youngsters, and of disagreements.” – Speech to heads of state aboard the royal yacht Britannia, October 1989.
“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, and his whole family, and this and many other countries, owe him a debt greater than he would ever claim, or we shall ever know.” – Tribute to her husband Prince Philip in a speech to mark their golden wedding anniversary in London, November 20, 1997.
“No age group has a monopoly of wisdom, and indeed I think the young can sometimes be wiser than us. But, the older I get, the more conscious I become of the difficulties young people have to face as they learn to live in the modern world.” – Christmas broadcast, 1998.
“Grief is the price we pay for love.” – Condolence speech to the families of victims of 9/11.
“I believe that, young or old, we have as much to look forward to with confidence and hope as we have to look back on with pride.” – Golden Jubilee speech, 2002.
“I know just how much I rely on my own faith to guide me through the good times and the bad.” – Christmas broadcast, 2002.
“Each day is a new beginning. I know that the only way to live my life is to try to do what is right, to take the long view, to give of my best in all that the day brings, and to put my trust in God.” – Christmas broadcast, 2002.
“Our modern world places such heavy demands on our time and attention that the need to remember our responsibilities to others is greater than ever.” – Christmas broadcast, 2002.
“The birth of a baby brings great happiness, but then the business of growing up begins.” – Christmas broadcast, 2006.
“When life seems hard, the courageous do not lie down and accept defeat; instead, they are all the more determined to struggle for a better future.” – Christmas broadcast, 2008.
“Over the years, I have observed that some attributes of leadership are universal and are often about finding ways of encouraging people to combine their efforts, their talents, their insights, their enthusiasm and their inspiration, to work together.” - UN Speech, 2010.
“It is through this lens of history that we should view the conflicts of today, and so give us hope for tomorrow.” - Christmas broadcast, 2011.
“Although we are capable of great acts of kindness, history teaches us that we sometimes need saving from ourselves – from our recklessness or our greed.” – Christmas broadcast, 2011.
“Reflecting on these events makes me grateful for the blessings of home and family, and in particular for 70 years of marriage. I don’t know that anyone had invented the term ‘platinum’ for a 70th wedding anniversary when I was born. You weren’t expected to be around that long. Even Prince Philip has decided it’s time to slow down a little – having, as he economically put it, ‘done his bit’.” – Christmas broadcast, 2017.
“We think of our homes as places of warmth, familiarity, and love; of shared stories and memories, which is perhaps why, at this time of year, so many return to where they grew up. There is a timeless simplicity to the pull of home.” –Christmas broadcast, 2017.
“The wartime generation – my generation – is resilient.” – Speech marking the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings, 2019.
“It's worth remembering that it is often the small steps, not the giant leaps, that bring about the most lasting change.” – Christmas broadcast, 2019.
“While we have faced challenges before, this one is different. This time we join with all nations across the globe in a common endeavour, using the great advances of science and our instinctive compassion to heal. We will succeed – and that success will belong to every one of us.
“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.” – Televised address on April 5, 2020, after the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“None of us can slow the passage of time and, while we often focus on all that has changed in the intervening years, much remains unchanged, including the Gospel of Christ and his teachings.” – Speech delivered by Prince Edward, 2021, on behalf of the Queen.
“In the months since the death of my beloved Philip, I have drawn great comfort from the warmth and affection of the many tributes to his life and work – from around the country, the Commonwealth, and the world. His sense of service, intellectual curiosity and capacity to squeeze fun out of any situation – were all irrepressible. That mischievous, enquiring twinkle was as bright at the end as when I first set eyes on him.” – Christmas broadcast, 2021.
“As we mark this anniversary, it gives me pleasure to renew to you the pledge I gave in 1947, that my life will always be devoted to your service. And so, as I look forward to continuing to serve you with all my heart, I hope this jubilee will bring together families and friends, neighbours and communities – after some difficult times for so many of us – in order to enjoy the celebrations and to reflect on the positive developments in our day-to-day lives that have so happily coincided with my reign." – Message on February 6, 2022, to mark her Platinum Jubilee.