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The Queen’s Best Speeches: Learning from Royal Rhetoric

The passing of Queen Elizabeth II is the end of a rich legacy

In more than seventy years on the throne, Queen Elizabeth II made many memorable speeches

In this article, we’re taking a look at the queen’s best speeches and how she

Queen Elizabeth started out her reign with a memorable speech

But their spirit and their meaning shine through the ages never, perhaps, more brightly than now

Throughout all my life and with all my heart I shall strive to be worthy of your

In the opening sentence, Her Majesty uses imagery, which is often overlooked as a rhetorical device by

“Veiled in the mists of the past” captivates the audience with a vivid description

” This contrasting picture shows her hope for a better future under her rule

Queen Elizabeth says she has “pledged myself to your service, as so many of you are pledged

” The parallelism emphasizes her point that the Queen’s relationship with the Commonwealth is not one-sided: she

While the opening of Parliament might not sound like the most exciting event to most people, Her

The strength, efficiency and well-being of the police will be their continuing concern; and they will seek

Authority will be sought for an increase in the number of judges in the Supreme Court

A Bill will be introduced to extend the investment powers of trustees

Legislation will be laid before you to amend the Weights and Measures Acts

My Government will submit to you proposals for reforming the structure and functions of the British Transport

She uses the phrases “My government will” and “Legislation will be” many times

Why is this effective? While anaphora is generally used for emphasis, it serves a different purpose here

It creates a rhythm to a speech that is, essentially, a long list

In 2004, Queen Elizabeth visited France to celebrate a century of good relations, after nearly a millennium of

Her Majesty had a sense of humor, and she used this humor in her address

To break up her discussion of their serious past and uncertain future, she jokes about their differences

She notes that life would be dull, especially for everyone else in the world who makes fun

It was a momentous occasion, and cause for celebration, which makes the Queen’s humor even more

I hope in the years to come everyone will be able to take pride in how they

And those who come after us will say the Britons of this generation were as strong as

That the attributes of self-discipline, of quiet good-humoured resolve and of fellow-feeling still characterise this country

It reminds me of the very first broadcast I made, in 1940, helped by my sister

Today, once again, many will feel a painful sense of separation from their loved ones…

We should take comfort that while we may have more still to endure, better days will return:

Queen Elizabeth talks about pride, and she emphasizes this point using alliteration

She continues into the next sentence by accentuating the /p/ sound of pride with “part,” “past,” and “

Interestingly, she also uses allusion to her very first broadcast speech

She addressed the children of Britain, and their families, in a time of fear and uncertainty amid

Now that we know Her Majesty’s remaining time was short, this allusion is even more powerful

As writers, we look forward to seeing a new era of royal rhetoric