April 21, 1947 – Princess Elizabeth’s Incredibly Powerful 21st Birthday Message Transcript
Speaking from South Africa on the occasion of her 21st birthday in 1947, Princess Elizabeth dedicates herself to the service of the Empire and calls upon its young people to support her in the endeavor. Read the transcript here.
Transcribe Your Own Content
Try Rev and save time transcribing, captioning, and subtitling.
Speaker 1: (00:00)
Her Royal Highness Princess Elizabeth speaking from South Africa on her 21st birthday marks the occasion with this simple, but historic message.
Princess Elizabeth: (00:08)
Let me begin by saying thank you to all the thousands of kind people who have sent me messages of goodwill. This is a happy day for me, but it is also one that brings serious thoughts, thoughts of life looming ahead with all its challenges and with all its opportunity. Will you, the youth of the British family of nations, let me speak on my birthday as your representative? Now that we are coming to manhood and womanhood, it is surely a great joy to us all, to think that we should be able to take some of the burden off the shoulders of our elders who have fought and worked and suffered to protect our childhood. If we all go forward together with an unwavering faith, a high courage and a quiet heart, we shall be able to make of this ancient commonwealth, which we all love so dearly an even grander thing, more free, more prosperous, more happy, and a more powerful influence for good in the world then it has been in the greatest days of our forefathers.
Princess Elizabeth: (01:27)
To accomplish that, we must give nothing less from the whole of ourselves. There is a motto which has been born by many of my ancestors, a noble motto I serve. Those words were an inspiration to many bygone airs to the throne when they made their nightly dedication as they came to manhood. I cannot quite do as they did. But through the inventions of science, I can do what was not possible for any of them. I can make my active dedication with a whole empire listening. I should like to make that dedication now, it is very simple. I declare before you all with my whole life, whether it be long or short, shall be devoted to your service and to the service of our great imperial family, to which we all belong. But I shall not have strength to carry out this resolution alone, unless you join in it with me, as I now invite you to do. I know that your support will be unfairly given. God help me to make good my vow, and God bless all of you who are willing to share in it.