Thursday, December 16, 2010

”A Special Kind of Courage”. The Queen’s 1957 Christmas Message.

"Today, we need a special kind of courage. Not the kind needed in battle, but a kind which makes us stand up for everything that we know is right. Everything that is true and honest. We need the kind of courage that can withstand the subtle corruption of the cynics, so that we can show the world that we are are not afraid of the future. It has always been easy to hate and destroy. To build and to cherish is much more difficult." - Queen Elizabeth II




The Queen's 1957 Christmas Broadcast was an historic event, as it was the first to be televised. It was also the 25th anniversary of the first Christmas Broadcast on the radio. The broadcast was made live from the Long Library at Sandringham, Norfolk:



Excerpts:


It’s inevitable that I should seem a rather remote figure to many of you, a successor to the kings and queens of history, someone whose face may be familiar in newspapers and films but who never really touches your personal lives, but now at least for a few minutes I welcome you to the peace of my own home.

That it’s possible for some of you to see me today is just another example of the speed at which things are changing all around us. Because of these changes, I’m not surprised that many people feel lost and unable to decide what to hold onto and what to discard; how to take advantage of the new life without losing the best of the old. But it’s not the new inventions which are the difficulty. The trouble is caused by unthinking people who carelessly throw away ageless ideals as if they were old and outworn machinery.

They would have religion thrown aside. Morality, in personal and public life made meaningless. Honesty counted as foolishness and self-interest set up in place of self-restraint. At this critical moment in our history, we will certainly lose the trust and respect of the world if we just abandon those fundamental principles which guided the men and women who built the greatness of this country and commonwealth.

Today, we need a special kind of courage. Not the kind needed in battle, but a kind which makes us stand up for everything that we know is right. Everything that is true and honest. We need the kind of courage that can withstand the subtle corruption of the cynics, so that we can show the world that we are are not afraid of the future. It has always been easy to hate and destroy. To build and to cherish is much more difficult. That’s why, we can take a pride in the new commonwealth we are building. This year, Ghana and Malaya joined our brotherhood. Both these countries are entirely self-governing. Both achieved their new status amicably and peacefully…….

In the old says, the monarch led his soldiers on the battlefield, and his leadership at all times was close and personal. Today things are very different. I cannot lead you into battle. I do not give you laws or administer justice. But I can do something else I can give you my heart, and my devotion to these old islands and to all the peoples of our brotherhood of nations. I believe in our qualities and in our strengths. I believe that together we can set an example to the world which will encourage upright people everywhere.


Merry Christmas.

No comments:

Post a Comment