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Queen's 90th birthday: Her Majesty in her own words

Published 22/04/2016

The Queen is celebrating her 90th birthday
The Queen is celebrating her 90th birthday

Monarch shows strength of character and her sense of humour in these wise and witty quotes

“If you see someone with a funny hat, Margaret, you must not point at it and laugh.” — As a teenager, advising her sister Princess Margaret on garden party etiquette.

“How good he is, Crawfie. How high he can jump.” — To her nanny about Prince Philip as she watched him jump over the tennis nets at Dartmouth College during their first publicised meeting in 1939.

“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.” — As Princess Elizabeth on her 21st birthday.

“My own name, Elizabeth, of course.” — Asked by her private secretary what she wanted to be called after she became Queen.

“I am not a film star.” — To Princess Anne in 1968, after her daughter urged her to join the miniskirt era.

“Oh Philip, do shut up. You don’t know what you’re talking about.” — To the Duke of Edinburgh as he was sounding off on a subject on the Royal Yacht Britannia.

“Fine, let’s go. Stop mucking around.”  — On being told by her private secretary that she would soon have to start paying income tax in 1992.

“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’.” — The Queen’s speech at the Guildhall in London in 1992 to mark the 40th anniversary of her accession.

“We have all felt those emotions in these last few days. So what I say to you now, as your Queen and as a grandmother, I say from my heart.” — To the nation after the death of Diana, Princess of Wales in 1997.

“They stiffen but they do not curtsy.” — In 2001 about the knees of Cherie Blair, wife of the then prime minister Tony Blair.

“He has, quite simply, been my strength and stay all these years, and I, and his whole family, and this and many other countries, owe him a debt greater than he would ever claim, or we shall ever know.” — Speaking about the Duke of Edinburgh on their Golden Wedding anniversary.

“Grief is the price we pay for love.” — In a message to New York after the September 11 terror attacks.

“For goodness sake, don’t let Mummy have another drink.” — To a pageboy serving the Queen Mother.

“I was just putting on my tiara when the lights went out.” — On a power cut as she was dressing for dinner in Jamaica in 2002.

“How very reassuring.” — To a shopper in Sandringham who did not recognise her and remarked that she looked just like the Queen.

“I’m not changing anything. I’ve had enough dressing like this, thank you very much.” — On her way to be photographed in her garter robes by Annie Leibovitz.

“He’s a big boy — the first born is very special.” — On the birth of great-grandson Prince George of Cambridge, who weighed in at 8lb 6oz.

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