American conductor, composer, and humanitarian, Leonard Bernstein, once said: "To achieve great things, two things are needed: a plan and not quite enough time."
And while there is much truth in that, in the UK and in many parts of the world, people are celebrating and acknowledging the unprecedented achievements of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II during her historic Platinum Jubilee year.
Whether you’re a devoted royalist who would happily camp for days for the best views of the Trooping of the Colour or an anti-monarchist, more likely to be humming the Sex Pistols version of ‘God Save the Queen’ all weekend, most will agree that Queen Elizabeth II has lived a remarkable life of service and integrity, and is a source of inspiration to people around the world.
Many things are and will be written and said - but I thought it perhaps more fitting to look at some of her own inspirational words from her past 70 years as Monarch, and so here are five of my favourite quotations by Her Majesty:
- “When life seems hard, the courageous do not lie down and accept defeat; instead, they are all the more determined to struggle for a better future.”
- “Over the years, those who have seemed to me to be the most happy, contented, and fulfilled have always been the people who have lived the most outgoing and unselfish lives.”
- "I know of no single formula for success. But over the years I have observed that some attributes of leadership are universal, and are often about finding ways of encouraging people to combine their efforts, their talents, their insights, their enthusiasm and their inspiration to work together."
- “It has always been easy to hate and destroy. To build and to cherish is much more difficult.”
- “Let us not take ourselves too seriously. None of us has a monopoly on wisdom.”