Happy Birthday Queen Elizabeth II!
|Queen Elizabeth II (b. 1926) – U.K. monarch – The Servant Queen and the King She Serves (foreword) (2016)
Read about Queen Elizabeth in this mini-biography here and the BBC biography here
Watch documentary footage of the Queen, with her narration, speaking of her life
Queen Elizabeth II delivers a Christmas message every year which she herself writes. Here is an excerpt from her 2016 Christmas message:
…to be inspirational you don’t have to save lives or win medals. I often draw strength from meeting ordinary people doing extraordinary things: volunteers, carers, community organisers and good neighbours; unsung heroes whose quiet dedication makes them special.
To mark my 90th birthday, volunteers and supporters of the six hundred charities of which I have been patron came to a lunch in the Mall. Many of these organisations are modest in size but inspire me with the work they do.
From giving friendship and support to our veterans, the elderly or the bereaved; to championing music and dance; providing animal welfare; or protecting our fields and forests, their selfless devotion and generosity of spirit is an example to us all.
When people face a challenge they sometimes talk about taking a deep breath to find courage or strength. In fact, the word ‘inspire’ literally means ‘to breathe in’. But even with the inspiration of others, it’s understandable that we sometimes think the world’s problems are so big that we can do little to help. On our own, we cannot end wars or wipe out injustice, but the cumulative impact of thousands of small acts of goodness can be bigger than we imagine.
The message of Christmas reminds us that inspiration is a gift to be given as well as received, and that love begins small but always grows.
I wish you all a very happy Christmas.
Watch this World War II newsreel showing the teenage Princess Elizabeth as a driver in the Auxiliary Territorial Service. (1945)
Watch news footage of Princess Elizabeth’s wedding on November 20, 1947.
2014 portrait of Queen Elizabeth II by David Bailey
Visit the British Monarchy Facebook page here