Queen Elizabeth II s top quotes
September 9, 2022 12:12 AM
Queen Elizabeth II was one of the most recognisable people on earth, seen often but not always heard from.
Here are some of her most memorable quotes:
- 'Salad days' -
"You mean forever?"
-- What the then princess Elizabeth reportedly asked her nanny when told her family was moving to Buckingham Palace after her father became king in 1936.
"I declare before you all that my whole life, whether it be long or short, shall be devoted to your service."
-- Dedicating herself to a life of service to the Commonwealth in a radio broadcast from Cape Town, aged 21.
"Throughout all my life and with all my heart, I shall strive to be worthy of your trust."
-- The new Queen Elizabeth II speaks in a radio broadcast to mark her coronation in 1953.
"When I was 21, I pledged my life to the service of our people and I asked for God's help to make good that vow. Although that vow was made in my salad days, when I was green in judgement, I do not regret nor retract one word of it."
-- Reaffirming her lifetime commitment to the job in a speech to mark her 25 years on the throne, in 1977.
"The time for words has now moved to the time for action."
-- Urging world leaders to leave a legacy for future generations at the United Nations climate change summit in 2021.
- Royal intrusion -
"What are you doing here?"
-- The queen's reported response to finding Michael Fagan in her bedroom on July 9, 1982, according to the intruder himself.
"I remember we were terrified of being recognised."
-- Recalling in a 1985 BBC interview how she, her younger sister Margaret and a group of friends celebrated the end of World War II with crowds on the streets of central London.
- Troubled times -
"1992 is not a year I shall look back on with undiluted pleasure. In the words of one of my more sympathetic correspondents, it has turned out to be an 'annus horribilis'."
-- From the queen's Christmas message in the year three of her children's marriages collapsed and there was a major fire at Windsor Castle.
"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."
-- Facing public criticism for the slowness of her response, the queen addresses the public in a highly unusual live television broadcast after the death of princess Diana in a Paris car crash in 1997.
"Nothing that can be said can begin to take away the anguish and the pain of these moments. Grief is the price we pay for love."
-- From a message from the queen read out at a church service in New York following the September 11, 2001, attacks.
"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."
-- Rallying the nation in a rare televised address at the height of Britain's coronavirus lockdown, in April 2020.
- Long life and dedication -
"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 owe him a greater debt than he would ever claim, or we shall ever know."
-- The queen on her husband, Prince Philip, in a 1997 speech to mark their golden wedding anniversary.
"Gratitude, respect and pride, these words sum up how I feel about the people of this country and the Commonwealth -- and what this Golden Jubilee means to me."
-- On marking 50 years as monarch, in 2002.
"It is not one to which I have ever aspired. Inevitably, a long life can pass by many milestones, my own is no exception."
-- On becoming Britain's longest-reigning monarch on September 9, 2015.
"None of us will live forever."
-- The queen acknowledges mortality while urging world leaders to halt global warming in a speech to the UN climate change summit, in October 2021.
- Quick wit -
"Less dressy? What do you think this is?"
-- Her response to Annie Leibovitz in a 2007 photoshoot when the celebrity photographer suggested she remove her tiara.
"Well, I'm still alive."
-- Her response to Northern Ireland's deputy first minister Martin McGuinness, who asked how she was on meeting her in 2016. McGuinness was a former senior figure in the Irish Republican Army, which killed her cousin, Louis Mountbatten in 1979.
"Are you supposed to look like you're enjoying yourself?"
-- Joking with G7 leaders in Cornwall, southwest England, 2021.
- Cameo roles -
"Good evening, Mr Bond."
-- The queen greets Daniel Craig playing James Bond in a spoof sketch for the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics.
"Boom? Really, please!"
-- Responding to a light-hearted challenge from the Obamas at the 2016 launch of grandson Prince Harry's Invictus Games for wounded, disabled and sick military personnel and veterans.
"I keep mine in here."
-- Taking a marmalade sandwich from her handbag during tea with Paddington Bear during her 2022 Platinum Jubilee celebrations.