Memorable quotes from Queen Elizabeth II

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Queen Elizabeth II’s 70-year reign gave her numerous opportunities to dispense wit and wisdom, but she started even before officially becoming queen upon her father’s sudden death in February 1952.

Below are some of her most oft-quoted and best-remembered gems.

“We children at home are full of cheerfulness and courage. We are trying to do all we can to help out gallant soldiers, sailors and airmen. And we are trying, too, to bear our own share of the danger and sadness of war. We know, every one of us, that in the end all will be well. 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.” — Address to children of Britain during World War 2, as the 14-year-old Princess Elizabeth

“I declare before you all that my whole life, whether it be long or short, shall be devoted to your service.” — Speech by then-Princess Elizabeth on her 21st birthday

“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.” — Coronation Day speech, June 2, 1953

“It has always been easy to hate and destroy. To build and to cherish is much more difficult.” — First televised Christmas broadcast, 1957

“I have to be seen to be believed.” — According to biographer Sally Bedell Smith

“Let us not take ourselves too seriously. None of us has a monopoly on wisdom.” —Christmas broadcast, 1991

“With age does come experience and that can be a virtue if it is sensibly used. By being willing to put past differences behind us and move forward together, we honor the freedom and democracy once won for us at so great a cost.” — Christmas broadcast, 1998

“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

“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

“Grief is the price we pay for love.” — Condolence message after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001