Much will be written about her historic reign, and the extraordinary — epic, really — life she lived, during a time of monumental change around the world.
But this day, it’s also worth remembering that she committed herself always to a life of service — and declared so most famously in what has been called “one of the most frequently quoted speeches of the 20th century.”
Young Elizabeth said on her 21st birthday:
“I declare before you all that my whole life, whether it be long or short, shall be devoted to your service and the service of our great imperial family to which we all belong.”
The short video below tells the story behind that speech and how it came to be:
You can find the entire speech here:
The sense of service never flagged. Neither did her commitment to the “imperial family.”
Shortly after the Queen’s death, Cardinal Arthur Roche of England praised Elizabeth’s devotion to her people:
As the world learned of the death of Queen Elizabeth II on Thursday, English-born Cardinal Arthur Roche released a statement to express the “immense sadness” of all those who work in the Holy See but hail from Great Britain, Northern Ireland, and the countries of the Commonwealth.
The Prefect of the Vatican’s Dicastery for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments was born in Batley Carr, West Riding of Yorkshire, England.
In his statement, the Cardinal said the late Queen dedicated herself “unstintingly to serve her people, but also entrusted this to God’s protection.”
Cardinal Roche recalled that, in her first radio broadcast at the age of 21 in 1947, Queen Elizabeth promised to dedicate her entire life to the service of her people.
He prayed that God might rest her “great soul” in peace.