Elizabeth II

Queen of the United Kingdom from 1952 to 2022
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Queen Elizabeth II (21 April 19268 September 2022) was Queen of the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Jamaica, Grenada, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and Grenadines, Belize, Antigua and Barbuda, and Saint Kitts and Nevis. She was head of the Commonwealth and Supreme Governor of the Church of England. She was succeeded by Charles III, her eldest son, and preceded by her father, George VI.

We are a moderate, pragmatic people, more comfortable with practice than theory.
It has always been easy to hate and destroy. To build and to cherish is much more difficult.
But 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.
Our peace and prosperity can never be taken for granted and must constantly be tended, so that never again do we have cause to build monuments to our fallen youth.
"Queen Elizabeth" redirects here. For other uses, see Queen Elizabeth (disambiguation).


  • There is a motto which has been borne by many of my ancestors — a noble motto, "I serve". Those words were an inspiration to many bygone heirs to the Throne when they made their knightly dedication as they came to manhood. I cannot do quite as they did.
    But through the inventions of science I can do what was not possible for any of them. I can make my solemn act of dedication with a whole Empire listening. I should like to make that dedication now. It is very simple.
    I declare before you all, that my whole life, whether it be long or short, shall be devoted to your service and to the service of our great imperial family, to which we all belong. But I shall not have the strength to carry out this resolution alone, unless you join in it with me as I now invite you to do. I know that your support will be unfailingly given. God help me to make good my vow and God bless all of you, who are willing to share with it.
  • My Husband and I....
    • Thought by many to be her catchphrase, but she did not use it much. [1]
  • It has always been easy to hate and destroy. To build and to cherish is much more difficult.
  • Today we need a special kind of courage. Not the kind needed in battle, but a kind which makes us stand up for everything that we know is right, everything that is true and honest. We need the kind of courage that can withstand the subtle corruption of the cynics, so that we can show the world that we are not afraid of the future.
  • 1992 is not a year on which I shall look back with undiluted pleasure. In the words of one of my more sympathetic correspondents, it has turned out to be an 'Annus Horribilis'.
  • Although we must leave you,
    Fair Castle of Mey,
    We shall never forget,
    Nor will never repay,
    A meal of such splendour,
    Repast of such zest,
    It will take us to Sunday,
    Just to digest.
    To leafy Balmoral,
    We are now on our way,
    But our hearts will remain
    At the Castle of Mey.
    With your gardens and ranges,
    And all your good cheer,
    We will be back again soon
    So roll on next year.
    • Ode to the Castle of Mey, recorded in the visitors' book at the Castle of Mey, in Caithness, during a visit to the Queen Mother, 1993. [2]
  • We are a moderate, pragmatic people, more comfortable with practice than theory.
    • Speech in reply to Addresses from both Houses of Parliament in Westminster Hall in the year of Her Golden Jubilee (30 April 2002)
  • But 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.
    • Message from the Queen, read by the British ambassador to Washington, Sir Christopher Meyer, St Thomas's Episcopal Church on Fifth Avenue in New York City. 22 September 2001. [3] Source 1: The Telegraph (September 21, 2001): Grief is price of love, says the Queen. By David Sapsted, Peter Foster and George Jones in New York. Archived from the original on July 7, 2013 and January 25, 2023. and Source 2: The Guardian (September 21, 2021): Text of the Queen's message to New York. Archived from the original on February 2, 2023 and May 17, 2023.
  • Since I have landed in Quebec, I think we can say that I am Canadian.
    • Answering two Boer War veterans of Scottish heritage in Quebec who had asked the Queen if she was Scots or English.
    • Elizabeth II (2002). "Speech by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II". written at Vancouver. Ceremonial and Canadian Symbols Promotion > The Canadian Monarchy. Ottawa: Queen's Printer for Canada. Retrieved on 7 November 2007. 
  • Discrimination still exists. Some people feel that their own beliefs are being threatened. Some are unhappy about unfamiliar cultures. They all need to be reassured that there is so much to be gained by reaching out to others; that diversity is indeed a strength and not a threat.
  • Football's a difficult business and aren't they prima donnas?
    • The Queen gives her opinion to Premier League chairman Sir David Richards, as quoted in BBC News (2 January 2007) [4]
  • In tomorrow's world we must all work together as hard as ever, if we're truly to be United Nations
    • The Queen urging nations to work together at her second address of the United Nations [5]
  • The right to change the government by the ballot box and not the barrel of a gun; perhaps the best definition of a democracy.
    • During a speech to President Gerald Ford celebrating the 200th anniversary of American independence.[6]
  • The concept of our established Church is occasionally misunderstood and, I believe, commonly under-appreciated. Its role is not to defend Anglicanism to the exclusion of other religions. Instead, the Church has a duty to protect the free practice of all faiths in this country.
  • Our religions provide critical guidance for the way we live our lives, and for the way in which we treat each other.
  • Our peace and prosperity can never be taken for granted and must constantly be tended, so that never again do we have cause to build monuments to our fallen youth.
  • I hope in the years to come everyone will be able to take pride in how they responded to this challenge. And those who come after us will say the Britons of this generation were as strong as any. That the attributes of self-discipline, of quiet good-humoured resolve and of fellow-feeling still characterise this country. The pride in who we are is not a part of our past, it defines our present and our future.
  • Today it may seem hard that we cannot mark this special anniversary as we would wish. Instead we remember from our homes and our doorsteps. But our streets are not empty; they are filled with the love and the care that we have for each other. And when I look at our country today, and see what we are willing to do to protect and support one another, I say with pride that we are still a nation those brave soldiers, sailors and airmen would recognise and admire.
  • Remarkably, a year that has necessarily kept people apart has, in many ways, brought us closer. Across the Commonwealth, my family and I have been inspired by stories of people volunteering in their communities, helping those in need.
    In the United Kingdom and around the world, people have risen magnificently to the challenges of the year, and I am so proud and moved by this quiet, indomitable spirit. To our young people in particular I say thank you for the part you have played.
    This year, we celebrated International Nurses’ Day, on the 200th anniversary of the birth of Florence Nightingale. As with other nursing pioneers like Mary Seacole, Florence Nightingale shone a lamp of hope across the world. Today, our front-line services still shine that lamp for us — supported by the amazing achievements of modern science — and we owe them a debt of gratitude. We continue to be inspired by the kindness of strangers and draw comfort that — even on the darkest nights — there is hope in the new dawn.

Quotes about Elizabeth II

In times when nothing stood
but worsened, or grew strange,
there was one constant good:
she did not change. ~ Philip Larkin
Wouldn't let that family near me with a sharp stick, let alone a sword. ~ Keith Richards
  • Your Majesty, during Your Reign, which commenced in an African country only a little distance to the South, You have carried forward gloriously the traditions of Your lineage and brought new honour to the Throne which You occupy. Your Majesty personally enjoys today the respect, the admiration and the affection of all peoples to whom Britain serves as the symbol of indomitability in adversity, of courage when confronted by danger, of dignity and resolve when threatened with defeat, and of magnanimity and generosity in victory.
  • Wouldn't let that family near me with a sharp stick, let alone a sword
  • The British monarchy doesn't depend entirely on glamour, as the long, long reign of Queen Elizabeth II continues to demonstrate. Her unflinching dutifulness and reliability have conferred something beyond charm upon the institution, associating it with stoicism and a certain integrity. Republicanism is infinitely more widespread than it was when she was first crowned, but it's very rare indeed to hear the Sovereign Lady herself being criticized, and even most anti-royalists hasten to express themselves admiringly where she is concerned. I am not sure how deserved this immunity really is. The queen took two major decisions quite early in her reign, neither of which was forced upon her. She refused to allow her younger sister Margaret to marry the man she loved and had chosen, and she let her authoritarian husband have charge of the education of her eldest son. The first decision was taken to appease the most conservative leaders of the Church of England (a church of which she is, absurdly, the head), who could not approve the marriage of Margaret to a divorced man. The second was taken for reasons less clear.
    • Christopher Hitchens, Beware the In-Laws: Does Kate Middleton really want to marry into a family like this? Slate (18 April 2011)
  • While British republicanism has long been a minority pursuit... it is undeniable that the cause enters the third decade of the 21st century in a considerably worse condition than it entered the third decade of the 20th... That is a testament to the skill of the woman who might well be the United Kingdom’s most successful politician of the past century: Queen Elizabeth II. The Crown’s popularity is the fruit of her strategy and the decisions she has taken over the nearly seven decades of her reign.
  • I had already met her (Queen Elizabeth) formally but she was very different this time, much more open. She went out of her way to make me feel comfortable and kept on cracking jokes. I laughed so much that day. At the same time she was very gracious. I hope that the painting reflects these qualities.
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