She is undoubtedly the Queen of Hearts for us in Great Britain and throughout the world. She is a superb role model for patience, selflessness, wisdom and resilience. And she demonstrated generosity and forethought too by recognising the need for her to give public affirmation that she wants Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, to be known as Queen Consort when Prince Charles becomes King.
What a different world it was back in 1952, and although there were times when the Queen didn’t get it right – she is human, after all – responding too late the Aberfan disaster and failing to recognise the country’s deep grief at Princess Diana’s death being two examples, it was extremely rare, and she did recognise her errors and acted to remedy them.
I look forward to the Platinum Jubilee celebrations, some of which will be spent in Sandringham, the Queen’s favourite family home, where she is currently staying, and always does this time of each year, to mark her father’s death. Wasn’t she wonderful yesterday at the tea party there where she cut a cake and joked!
I can’t help but think how the royal station master, Harry Saward, would have been in his element greeting royal guests galore to his tiny Norfolk station for these wonderful celebrations that will bring will the country together at a time when it is rocked by political uncertainly over our prime minister’s future, as well as recovering from the Covid pandemic.
And who doesn’t love a good party!
This is the transcript of Queen Elizabeth II’s address to the UK on the eve of the 70th anniversary of her accession to the throne:
Tomorrow, 6 February, marks the 70th anniversary of my accession in 1952. It is a day that, even after 70 years, I still remember as much for the death of my father, King George VI, as for the start of my reign.
As we mark this anniversary, it gives me pleasure to renew to you the pledge I gave in 1947 that my life will always be devoted to your service.
As I look ahead with a sense of hope and optimism to the year of my platinum jubilee, I am reminded of how much we can be thankful for. These last seven decades have seen extraordinary progress socially, technologically and culturally that have benefited us all; and I am confident that the future will offer similar opportunities to us and especially to the younger generations in the United Kingdom and throughout the Commonwealth.
I am fortunate to have had the steadfast and loving support of my family. I was blessed that in Prince Philip I had a partner willing to carry out the role of consort and unselfishly make the sacrifices that go with it. It is a role I saw my own mother perform during my father’s reign.
This anniversary also affords me a time to reflect on the goodwill shown to me by people of all nationalities, faiths and ages in this country and around the world over these years. I would like to express my thanks to you all for your support. I remain eternally grateful for, and humbled by, the loyalty and affection that you continue to give me.
And when, in the fullness of time, my son Charles becomes King, I know you will give him and his wife Camilla the same support that you have given me; and it is my sincere wish that, when that time comes, Camilla will be known as Queen Consort as she continues her own loyal service.
And so as I look forward to continuing to serve you with all my heart, I hope this jubilee will bring together families and friends, neighbours and communities – after some difficult times for so many of us – in order to enjoy the celebrations and to reflect on the positive developments in our day-to-day lives that have so happily coincided with my reign.