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Friday, 3 May, 2002, 08:41 GMT 09:41 UK
The Queen's address to Parliament: Your views
The Queen has praised Britain's transition to a multicultural society in a personally-written address to Parliament.

The speech, which marked her 50th anniversary on the throne, was delivered inside Westminster Hall, where her mother laid in state earlier this month.

The Queen vowed to continue serving "the people of this great nation of ours".

And she praised Britain's "tradition of fairness and tolerance" which has allowed the peaceful "consolidation of our richly multicultural and multifaith society."

The Queen also paid tribute to the armed forces and people working in schools and hospitals.

What did you think of the Queen's speech?


This Talking Point has now closed. Read a selection of your comments below.


I intend to party hard on the Golden Jubilee

Andrew Schrader, England
Those who have reacted to the comments of Dave from Germany and others should never be surprised by republicans' never failing ability to display their ignorance of the monarchy and the British constitution. I love watching the politicians suck up to her. It is reassuring to live in a country where our politicians are occasionally reminded that they are servants, NOT masters, and also to have an independent, non-political Head of State. I wish Wayne of Australia felt the same way (she did mention the Commonwealth but it was an address to the British Parliament and she couldn't possibly mention each of her Realms and Territories individually). For my own part I intend to party hard on the Golden Jubilee and wish her long life and much happiness. God Save the Queen!
Andrew Schrader, Age 20, England, UK

Consider this. If we sold the Royal family's immense amount of jewels, artwork and other treasures, think about how many hospitals it could build, to save the lives of your loved ones, think about how many school refurbishments and equipment it would buy. Is her role really worth the immense wealth she lives in? How about scaling it all down?
Mark Cordell, England

It is so nice of the Queen to decide that she will rule us (and others) for a while longer - who ever asked her to? Can I get up there and say that I am going to rule?
Matthew, England

Ironic for her to refer to Britain's multi-faith society when if one of her family so much as marries a Roman Catholic they give up any right to succession. It would have been good if she could have shown some principle rather than just words and announced that she would support an end to the Act of Settlement that perpetuates this rule.
Ron, England


All of Britain should be proud of what she represents to the world

Amy, USA
I think it was a nice speech but she didn't say a whole lot. I'd think after 50 years she could have gone into a bit more detail. I suppose it really was just a speech to let people know she planned on sticking around for awhile. I like the Queen a lot and think she is a fantastic person. All of Britain should be proud of what she represents to the world. It is refreshing to hear someone speak who considers issues for their moral value rather than their political value. God Bless the Queen.
Amy, USA

Although I'm a BBC reporter I was in the Hall at Westminster listening to the Queen as a private citizen. It was a genuinely moving occasion and interesting to see how respectful our elected politicians are, not just to the monarchy as an institution, but to this individual who has done her best for 50 years. Contrary to interpretation she did not rule out abdication, but said she would continue to serve.
Wesley Kerr, UK


Isn't it time for Prince Charles to take over?

Guy Liddell, UK
Although I am a monarchist and deeply appreciative of all she does, I must confess to a little disappointment when she said she was carrying on. At 76, isn't it time for Prince Charles to take over?
Guy Liddell, UK

I am glad to be reassured that (despite the efforts of Labour and the media to make her, and us, believe otherwise) the Queen feels that a vow made before God and the people at her coronation ought to be kept.
Julia Taylor, UK

I would like to have seen the Queen take this opportunity to give public acknowledgement of The Duke of Edinburgh by giving him the title 'Prince Consort' in recognition of the support he has given over the past 50 years.
Peter, England


She was hardly going to set the world alight with a controversial speech

James, Shropshire, UK
She was hardly going to set the world alight with a controversial speech, was she? I wouldn't describe it as a memorable speech - she simply delivered what was expected of her, as a supposedly unbiased head of state. What a pity the Queen didn't allow the Duke of Edinburgh to have the right of reply though. I'd love to have heard his thoughts on the "multicultural and multifaith" nature of modern British society. Prince Phillip is the one Windsor that I will miss.
James, Shropshire, UK

A great speech and further proof, if any is needed, that the Monarchy is totally relevant to the UK today.
Michael Stubbs, UK

To hear unconstructive comments from people in countries that do not have the great advantage of a Monarchy does not surprise me in the least! Only those who are still fortunate enough to have such a great person representing our past and future can ever understand. Whilst the Queen may not be directly in a position to carry out solutions to the problems of the state - problems which exist in all countries - she can at least make a speech without all the usual political garbage we get from the House of Commons. It's great to have an independent mind representing our country.
L McKenna, UK

A speech that reflects the concerns of all the people of the Commonwealth, including us in Canada.
Mike, Canada


A dignified address

James, UK
As always, it was a dignified address from HM the Queen, and especially gratifying to hear her mention those of us in the armed forces. At a time when our friends and colleagues are risking their lives in the line of duty, it is reassuring and comforting to know that the monarch is thinking of them. God save the Queen!
James, UK

Her Majesty's speech reflected my emotions that I know are secure in the knowledge that she will continue to serve the people of the United Kingdom at home and abroad for many years to come. Although I have lived in the USA for 25 years, I am still proud of Her Majesty's love and devotion to her country and the great people in it. She is a remarkable person, reflected by her speech, beloved by myself and countless millions of others. Long may she reign!
Jonathan Woodward, Tennessee, USA

I have heard most of the speeches made by the Queen so I can assure everyone that this one was another great example of the rhetoric for which the Royal family is well known. The Queen needs to sit down and study the real social problems in her country, so that she can speak candidly about them.
James Stone, England/Sweden

I believe this was a very useful speech which looked to the past, present and future in a pragmatic and thoughtful way.
Robert Maule, Canada

Thank you BBC. I was able to see HM the Queen's speech here in Japan. I thought your coverage of the speech today with the panel was excellent, and as for the speech itself - the Queen was fantastic and has never looked better.
Tyler, Kyoto, Japan


I could not help but be impressed by the iron sense of duty she displays even at the age of 76

Darryl Burns, UK
I listened to the Queen's speech this morning and could not help but be impressed by the iron sense of duty she displays even at the age of 76. When most people are at least 10 years into retirement the Queen did not even flinch when she said that she 'would continue to serve this great nation of ours'. She truly represents all that is good about the British character and is the figurehead many nations are envious of. Today's speech also showed the unique position our Monarch holds in our constitutional framework. She is apolitical and can impartially warn and advise her Prime Ministers who have all said that they benefit greatly from the advice she has to give. Long may this position prevail.
Darryl Burns, UK

I believe that the whole concept of the monarchy is so out of touch with modern day life that it is derided elsewhere in the world. Most would say that it is quaint to have as a tourist attraction, but to imagine that her speech means anything is laughable. She is obviously going to say nothing other than "We, the English, are fantastic people and the world should follow our wonderful example," because she is speaking from within the framework that has created this archaic democracy.
Dave, Germany

Dave ridicules the Queen, but like many anti-monarchists he is ignorant of the role the Queen plays in our country. The Queen is there to perform the role of the head of state and whether Dave from Germany likes this or not, that will involve addressing Parliament. The Queen is an articulate and well respected individual, who has dedicated her life to this country. She deserves better than this spiteful criticism as she looks toward her Golden Jubilee.
Philip Shorter, England

A nice inoffensive speech, but I would have paid good money to hear what she really thinks about the issues facing Britain in the 21st Century.
John W, Liverpool, UK


To reign for 50 years is quite something, both in terms of experience and service to your country

I MacDonald, UK
A good speech from a good probably great Queen. To reign for 50 years is quite something, both in terms of experience and service to your country. Those of us in the UK who respect and admire the Queen as a person can also give thanks for her example of duty and service that are life long not just for a 4-5 year term. Let the republican critics mock all they want (it is after all a free country) but the majority of us who are proud to be British and our traditions can look forward to the future with the knowledge that we have a truly unique person as head of state, whose dedication and service to others represents the very best of this nation and its people.
I MacDonald, UK

The monarchy has and always should represents continuity for Britain in the changing world. Queen Elizabeth has served her nation well and we hope the royal family will continue as a symbol of unity for the future.
Don Church, USA

In response to Dave from Germany - our hereditary monarch is probably more in touch with her people than any of democratically elected presidents of European countries are with theirs.
Peter, UK

Yes Dave it may be an anachronism to have a monarchy in today's world. And although I agree, I feel somewhat comforted that our head of state can give a speech that is not mired in party politics. Her commitment to our country cannot be held in doubt, unlike many politicians, who often wish only to serve their own needs.
Tracey, England

To John W, Liverpool; If you want to know what the Queen thinks, get elected Prime Minister. The PM and the Queen meet every week and discuss events in private away from spin doctors, potential rivals to the PM and the media. With 50 years in the job I am sure she is well acquainted with the issues facing Britain.
Stephen, England


What symbolism do we outside the UK read into being ignored in her Jubilee speech?

Wayne, Australia
Not a bad speech for what it was, but it struck me as almost nationalistic for the head of state of so many countries. Despite referendum results here, it seems she has decided she should only address her Jubilee speech to one country. The monarchy is nothing but symbolic and institutional status conferred by citizens of nations. What symbolism do we outside the UK read into being ignored in her Jubilee speech? Oh well I'm sure she'll say something nice on her next 10 yearly visit. But she'll have lost what remains of the institution here by then.
Wayne, Australia

So Dave thinks the monarchy is archaic! He obviously wasn't in London for the recent lying in state or funeral of the Queen Mother. He would have learnt that it still has relevance to the heart of this nation - why else would you queue for up to ten hours in biting winds?
Eileen, England

I liked the speech, although I wish she would be a bit more relaxed when speaking, as it would take a lot of the "stiff upper lip" image away, but nevertheless very appropriate speech.
Alex, UK / Germany

Watching and listening to the Queen today reminded me how glad I am to live in a monarchy. As someone who lives in Northern Ireland, I am keenly aware of the value of institutions which represent our "British" identity. The Queen does this wonderfully. I think this was symbolised by the fact that the 'Humble addresses' were presented to Her Majesty by two Scots, before English, Welsh Irish and Scottish MPs and Lords - all united, despite many differences, by their loyalty to the Crown. I was also glad to hear Her Majesty reaffirm her intention to continue to serve her people. She has such a firm sense of duty, that for her, abdication is unthinkable. We are fortunate to have such a wonderful woman as Queen - let's hope she has many more years "to reign over us". God Save the Queen!
Sam, UK (N Ireland)

See also:

30 Apr 02 | UK Politics
The Queen's 50 'unforgettable' years
29 Apr 02 | UK Politics
Queen dines with her prime ministers
24 Apr 02 | UK Politics
Jubilee tributes to the Queen
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