Queen Elizabeth II on family life

AFP , Thursday 8 Sep 2022

As head of state, Queen Elizabeth II was bound by convention to observe strict political neutrality and restraint.

The queen was married to Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, for 73 years - AFP
The queen was married to Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, for 73 years - AFP


But during her record-breaking reign, she regularly revealed snippets about her own life and family, especially during her annual Christmas broadcast.

Here are some notable quotes on family from the queen:

On marriage to Prince Philip

"My husband's absence at this time has made me even more aware than I was before of my own good fortune in being one of a united family."

-- 1956 Christmas broadcast, when Philip was on a Commonwealth tour on the Royal Yacht Britannia.

"No marriage can hope to succeed without a deliberate effort to be tolerant and understanding."

-- 1972 Christmas broadcast, as the couple celebrated 25 years of marriage.

"He (Philip) has been a constant strength and guide."

-- March 20, 2012 speech to parliament to mark her 60 years on the throne.

"I don't know that anyone had invented the term 'platinum' for a 70th wedding anniversary when I was born. You weren't supposed to be around that long."

-- 2017 Christmas broadcast, as Elizabeth and Philip celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary.

On being a grandmother

"Here at home, my own family is a little larger this Christmas.

"As so many of you will know, the arrival of a baby gives everyone the chance to contemplate the future with renewed happiness and hope."

-- Christmas broadcast 2013, after the birth of Prince George, the first child of her grandson Prince William and his wife, Catherine, on July 22.

"It's been a busy year for my family, with two weddings and two babies, and another child expected soon. It helps to keep a grandmother well occupied."

-- Christmas broadcast 2018, after two of the queen's grandchildren, Prince Harry and Princess Eugenie, got married, and Prince William and Zara Tindall both welcomed new babies.

On deaths and difficulties

"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'."

-- November 24, 1992 speech to mark her 40th year on the throne, after three of her four children saw their marriages break down, and a fire ravaged Windsor Castle.

"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."

-- September 5, 1997 broadcast to the nation after the death on August 30 of Diana, princess of Wales, in a car crash in Paris.

"Over the years I have met many people who have had to cope with family loss, sometimes in the most tragic of circumstances.

"So I count myself fortunate that my mother was blessed with a long and happy life."

-- April 8, 2002 message after the death of Queen Elizabeth on March 30 aged 101.

"Christmas can be hard for those who have lost loved ones. This year especially I understand why."

-- Christmas broadcast 2022, reflecting on the death of Prince Philip earlier that year.

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