Queen Elizabeth's most memorable quotes

Queen Elizabeth's most memorable quotes
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As the constitutional monarch of the United Kingdom and other Commonwealth realms, Queen Elizabeth II is expected to remain above party politics and choose her words carefully. When she does speak, however, the world listens. To celebrate her Platinum Jubilee, we’re taking a look back at some of Queen Elizabeth’s most significant quotes—from bon mots captured in casual conversations to rousing speeches delivered on the global stage.

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Quotes from the young Princess Elizabeth

Quotes from the young Princess Elizabeth
JASMINE MAHORO

“I’ve got a baby sister, Margaret Rose, and I’m going to call her Bud… She’s not a real Rose yet, is she? She’s only a bud.” – Four-year-old Princess Elizabeth to Lady Cynthia Asquith on the birth of Princess Margaret Rose in 1930.

The vivacious Princess Margaret and her more reserved elder sister, the future Queen Elizabeth II, had very different personalities, but they remained close until Margaret’s death in 2002.

JASMINE MAHORO

“I mostly go once or twice around the park before I go to sleep, you know… It exercises my horses.” – Six-year-old Princess Elizabeth to her governess Marion Crawford in 1932.

The future Queen loved horses and dogs from an early age. In her memoir, The Little Princesses, Princess Elizabeth’s Scottish governess recalled how when she first met the future Queen, she was playing with her toy horses.

JASMINE MAHORO

“What! You mean forever?” – 10-year-old Princess Elizabeth to her governess Marion Crawford in December 1936, in response to the news that she would be moving into Buckingham Palace.

The Abdication of Princess Elizabeth’s uncle King Edward VIII in 1936 and the accession of her father King George VI meant that the young princess had to leave Clarence House and move into Buckingham Palace with her parents and sister, a change that was unwelcome for the young family.

JASMINE MAHORO

“I thought it all very, very wonderful and I expect the Abbey did, too. The arches and beams at the top were covered with a sort of haze of wonder as Papa was crowned, at least I thought so.” – from “To Mummy and Papa [King George VI and Queen Elizabeth], In Memory of Their Coronation. From Lilibet, by Herself,” written by 11-year-old Princess Elizabeth in 1937.

As the new heiress presumptive to the throne, the young Princess Elizabeth was impressed by the solemnity of her father’s coronation. In a 2018 documentary about her own 1953 coronation, the Queen remarked to Alastair Bruce, “I’ve seen one coronation, and been the recipient in the other, which is pretty remarkable.”

JASMINE MAHORO

“How high he can jump!” – 13-year-old Princess Elizabeth watching Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark jump over tennis court nets at Dartmouth Naval College, 23 July 1939.

When Princess Elizabeth toured Dartmouth Naval College in 1939, she was especially impressed with one of the young naval cadets, 18-year-old Prince Philip. They would correspond over the course of the Second World War while Prince Philip served in the Royal Navy.

The Queen during the Second World War

The Queen during the Second World War
JASMINE MAHORO

“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. My sister is by my side and we are both going to say goodnight to you. Come on, Margaret. Goodnight, children.” – 14-year-old Princess Elizabeth’s radio broadcast to the children of the Commonwealth, 13 October 1940.

Princess Elizabeth made her first-ever radio broadcast from Windsor Castle during BBC Children’s Hour in 1940. As Queen, she would reference this broadcast in another historic speech from Windsor Castle 80 years later: her April 2020 address during the coronavirus pandemic.

JASMINE MAHORO

“I’m too nervous to feel the cold.” — 17-year-old Princess Elizabeth at the launch of the HMS Vanguard on 30 November 1944.

At 16, Princess Elizabeth began undertaking public engagements, starting with a review of her regiment, the Grenadier Guards in 1942. One of her most high-profile wartime public engagements was the launch of a Royal Navy Battleship, the HMS Vanguard, described in newsreel footage as “Britain’s greatest battleship.”

JASMINE MAHORO

“I defy anyone to recognise who that is.” — 18-year-old Princess Elizabeth on the photograph of a bearded Prince Philip, displayed on the mantlepiece of her sitting room.

At 18, Princess Elizabeth received her own suite of rooms and displayed a photograph of Prince Philip, who had visited Windsor Castle during his periods of leave from the navy during the war. When her governess Marion Crawford expressed concern that the photograph would lead to gossip, the Princess replaced it with one of Prince Philip with a full beard.

JASMINE MAHORO

“I never knew there was quite so much advance preparation. I’ll know another time.” — Princess Elizabeth on a visit by her parents King George VI and Queen Elizabeth to the Auxiliary Territorial Service, reported in Life magazine, 20 August 1945.

In 1945, Princess Elizabeth joined the Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS) as a second subaltern, rising to the rank of junior commander by the end of the war. In the ATS, the Princess passed a military driving test and repaired vehicles. She also learned the amount of preparation that went into royal visits when she helped to clean the camp in anticipation of an inspection from her parents, the King and Queen.

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