45 Famous Queen Elizabeth Quotes on Life, Family and Faith

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After 70 years of ruling the United Kingdom and its many Commonwealth lands, Queen Elizabeth II has died in Scotland at the age of 96, surrounded by her family and members of the extended Royal Family, according to announcements released by Buckingham Palace.

The entire world has begun to mourn the passing of England’s cherished sovereign, who was first crowned queen in 1952 at the tender age of 26. She has served millions of people over the 70 years she was queen, having worked with 15 different U.K. prime ministers and countless world leaders in her time on the throne.

As people across the globe are remembering Queen Elizabeth II, with those at Buckingham Palace actively working on ceremonial rites of passage to honor her, many are reflecting on the moments she inspired the entire globe with her timeless grace and intelligence.

We’re reflecting on Queen Elizabeth’s most memorable quotes below.

On being a leader:

  • “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.”
  • “It is through this lens of history that we should view the conflicts of today, and so give us hope for tomorrow.”
  • “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.”
  • “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.”
  • “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.”
  • “Even when your life seems most monotonous, what you do is always of real value — and importance to your fellow men.”
  • “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.”
  • “It’s worth remembering that it is often the small steps, not the giant leaps, that bring about the most lasting change.”

On her time as Queen:

  • “I declare before you all that my whole life whether it be long or short shall be devoted to your service.”
  • “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.”
  • “I have sometimes thought that humanity seemed to have turned on itself: With wars, civil disturbances and acts of brutal terrorism… This world is not always an easy or a safe place to live in, but it is the only place we have.”
  • “The wartime generation — my generation — is resilient.”
  • “The function of constitutional monarchy is to personify the democratic state, to sanction legitimate authority, to assure the legality of means, and guarantee the execution of the public will. It is my ardent desire that no citizen in my realms should suffer restraint.”
  • “Sadly we in Britain have been all too familiar with acts of terror and members of my generation… know that we have been here before. But those who perpetrate these brutal acts against innocent people should know that they will not change our way of life. Atrocities such as these simply reinforce our sense of community, our humanity, and our trust in the rule of law. That is the clear message from us all.”
  • “We know the reward is peace on earth, goodwill toward men, but we cannot win it without determination and concerted effort.”
  • “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.”
  • “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.”

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On her quest for equality:

  • “Everyone is our neighbor; no matter what race, creed, or color.”
  • “It has been women who have breathed gentleness and care into the harsh progress of mankind.”
  • “It has always been easy to hate and destroy. To build and to cherish is much more difficult.”
  • “The theme [of the Commonwealth Heads of Government conference] this year is, ‘Women as Agents of Change’. It reminds us of the potential in our societies that is yet to be fully unlocked, and it encourages us to find ways to allow all girls and women to play their full part.”
  • “When peace comes, remember it will be for us, the children of today, to make the world of tomorrow a better and happier place.”
  • “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.”

On aging throughout her reign:

  • “Some cultures believe a long life brings wisdom. I’d like to think so. Perhaps, part of that wisdom is to recognize some of life’s baffling paradoxes such as the way human beings have a huge propensity for good, and yet a capacity for evil.”
  • “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.”
  • “Through the many changes I have seen over the years, faith, family, and friendship have been not only a constant for me, but a source of personal comfort and reassurance.”
  • “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.”
  • “As I look to the future, I have no doubt at all that the one certainty is change… But I do not think that we should be over-anxious. We can make sense of the future, if we understand the lessons of the past.”
  • “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.”
  • “Over the years, those who have seemed to me to be the most happy, contented and fulfilled have always been the people who have lived the most outgoing and unselfish lives.”

On the passing of Princess Diana:

  • “We have all been trying in our different ways to cope. It is not easy to express a sense of loss, since the initial shock is often succeeded by a mixture of other feelings: Disbelief, incomprehension, anger, and concern for those who remain. We have all felt those emotions in these last few days.”
  • “She was an exceptional and gifted human being. In good times and bad, she never lost her capacity to smile and laugh, nor to inspire others with her warmth and kindness.”
  • “I admired and respected her; for her energy and commitment to others, and especially for her devotion to her two boys.”

On her faith:

  • “Religion and culture are much in the news these days, usually as sources of difference and conflict, rather than for bringing people together. But the irony is that every religion has something to say about tolerance and respecting others.”
  • “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.”
  • “I know just how much I rely on my own faith to guide me through the good times and the bad.”
  • “If we resolve to be considerate and to help our neighbors; to make friends with people of different races and religions; and, as our Lord said, to look to our own faults before we criticize others, we will be keeping faith with those who landed in Normandy and fought so doggedly for their belief in freedom, peace and human decency.”
royal family at buckingham palace

Fox Photos//Getty Images

On her family:

  • “If I am asked what I think about family life after 25 years of marriage, I can answer with equal simplicity and conviction, I am for it.”
  • “[Prince Philip] 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.”
  • “[Prince Philip’s] 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.”
  • “Like all the best families, we have our share of eccentricities, of impetuous and wayward youngsters and of family disagreements.”
  • “Grief is the price we pay for love.”
  • “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.”
  • “The birth of a baby brings great happiness, but then the business of growing up begins.”
  • “It’s no surprise that families so often treasure their Christmas routines. We see our own children and their families embrace the roles, traditions, and values that mean so much to us — as these are passed from one generation to the next, sometimes being updated for changing times. I see it in my own family and it is a source of great happiness.”
  • “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.”

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