A speech by The Queen at the 90th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge
Published 09 April 2007
The Canadian Corps transformed Vimy Ridge from a symbol of despair into a source of inspiration.
Ladies and gentlemen,
In any national story there are moments and places, sometimes far from home, which in retrospect can be seen as fixed points about which the course of history turns, moments which distinguish that nation for ever. Those who seek the foundations of Canada's distinction would do well to begin here at Vimy.
Until this day ninety years ago, Vimy Ridge had been impregnable, a lesson learned at terrible cost to the armies of France and Britain. For the Allies, this ridge had become a symbol of futility and despair. It was against this forbidding challenge that the four Divisions of the Canadian Corps were brought together as a single army for the first time.
En l'espace de quelques heures, en ce matin froid et maussade du lundi de Pâques, les Canadiens devinrent maîtres de la crête, réussissant ce que nombreux avaient cru impossible. Leur victoire fut le fruit non seulement d'un ingénieux plan de bataille élaboré par les commandants canadiens, mais surtout du courage et de la détermination avec lesquelles les soldats canadiens exécutèrent leur mission.
No fewer than four Canadians were awarded the Victoria Cross for conspicuous bravery during the battle, though it could easily be said that every soldier in the field demonstrated conspicuous bravery, such was the verve of the Canadian attack. It was a stunning victory. More, in capturing this formidable objective, the Canadian Corps transformed Vimy Ridge from a symbol of despair into a source of inspiration. After two and a half years of deadly stalemate, it now seemed possible that the Allies would prevail and peace might one day be restored.
Ici, en cette terre sacrée par le sacrifice de tant, nous commémorons leur courage et leur exploit. Leur victoire fit davantage que de donner l'espoir; elle permit au Canada, qui le méritait tant, d'occuper sa place sur la scène internationale à titre de fière nation souveraine, forte et libre. Le Monument commémoratif du Canada à Vimy témoigne de la grande force du Canada et de son attachement à la liberté. Il témoigne aussi de la profonde solidarité qui lie le Canada et la France. En dernier lieu, il témoigne surtout de la vaillance, du courage et du sacrifice des braves Canadiens qui ont inspiré un jeune pays à devenir une magnifique nation.
To their eternal remembrance, to Canada, to all who would serve the cause of freedom, and to those who have lost their lives in Afghanistan, I rededicate this magnificently restored memorial.
A speech by The Queen to 1st Battalion, Grenadier Guards, 2010
The Colours, that I am presenting to you this morning, represent the spirit of the Regiment, past and present.
A speech by The Queen at the South Africa State Banquet, 2010
South Africa and the United Kingdom have long been the closest of friends.
A speech by The Queen at the opening of CHOGM, 2009
Our shared pledge to “the pursuit of peace, liberty and progress” that my father helped to enshrine in the London Declaration in 1949 means as much today as it did then.
A speech by The Queen in Trinidad and Tobago, 2009
Prince Philip and I are delighted to be back in Trinidad and Tobago after more than twenty years, renewing our happy association with your country.
A speech by The Queen in Bermuda, 2009
The United Kingdom will continue to follow and support Bermuda's progress to the very best of her ability
A speech by The Queen at the Indian State Banquet, 2009
Relations between our two countries are built on strong and deep foundations, and are set fair for the 21st century.
Visit by The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh to Bermuda, and Trinidad and Tobago
The Queen's broadcast to the Armed Forces, 1 July 2009
I greatly hope that the Elizabeth Cross will give further meaning to the nation’s debt of gratitude to the families and loved ones of those who have died in the service of our...
A speech by The Queen on the 500th anniversary of Gentlemen at Arms
Your service to the Crown continues in a distinctive way and reinforces the very best values of those who came before you.
A speech by The Queen at RAF Cranwell, 2009
You can be justly proud of your achievements, as – I am sure – are your families and friends.
A speech by The Queen to the 1st Battalion Irish Guards, 2009
You have the greatest cause to be proud of your achievements.
A speech by The Queen at the Mexican State Visit Banquet, 2009
British engagement in independent Mexico has contributed other interests, not the least of which has been the introduction of the game of football, a subject about which I...
The Queen's Commonwealth Day message, 2009
We can rightly celebrate the fact that the founding members’ vision of the future has become a reality.
A speech by The Queen at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting dinner, 2009
I am delighted to welcome you all here this evening.
Christmas Broadcast 2008
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.
A speech by The Queen at the '1914-1918 Vigil' at Canada House
Among the millions who lost their lives in the Great War were many Canadians who came to Europe to fight for peace.
A speech by The Queen at the Slovakian State Banquet, 2008
Prince Philip and I are delighted to be visiting Slovakia for the first time, at a moment in our history when our two countries work side-by-side.
A speech by The Queen at the Slovenian State Banquet, 2008
I hope that this visit will demonstrate the importance the United Kingdom attaches to our relationship with Slovenia, as a partner in Europe and an ally in NATO, with whom we...
A speech by The Queen at the Presentation of new Colours to the RAF
I hand over my Colour with confidence that you will guard it well, just as you continue to guard your heritage, ethos and unique contribution to Defence.
A speech by The Queen to The Duke of Lancaster's Regiment, 2008
As a nation we maintain a deep and enduring gratitude for the selfless work undertaken by our Armed Forces, and to their families who endure so much.
A speech by The Queen to the Royal Tank Regiment, 2008
My best wishes to you all, and 'Fear Naught'.
A speech by The Queen at the Turkish State Banquet, 2008
You are playing a key role in promoting peace, political stability and economic development in some of the world's most unsettled areas.
A speech by The Queen at the Royal Naval College, Dartmouth
My grandfather, father, husband and two sons have all undergone training here, and I have had many visits over the years.
A speech by The Queen at the France State Banquet, 2008
With a growing spirit of mutual understanding on so many levels, we stand ready to face the global challenges ahead, knowing that when we work together we can produce...
Christmas Broadcast 2007
The Christmas story also draws attention to all those people who are on the edge of society
State Visit to the UK by the President of the French Republic
A speech by The Queen at CHOGM, Uganda, 2007
Recognising that each one of us is made up of layer upon layer of identity and that each of our unique personalities has ties to culture, religion, community, country and...
A speech by The Queen at the CHOGM Dinner, Kampala, 2007
I am so very pleased to be with you again and wish you every success in your deliberations.
A speech by The Queen at the Parliament Building in Kampala
It gives me great pleasure to address this House today in recognition of the importance of parliamentary democracy to the Commonwealth as a whole.
A speech by The Queen at the Ugandan State Banquet,2007
We are so pleased to be back in Uganda.
A speech by The Queen at the Saudi Arabia State Banquet, 2007
The relationship between our Two Kingdoms is one of mutual benefit, learning and understanding.
The Queen's message to the President of the Republic of India
The Queen's message to the people of The Islamic Republic of Pakistan
Diamond Wedding Anniversary: Service of Celebration at Westminster Abbey
A speech by The Queen at Imperial College
By discharging this academic mission, you play a vital role in supporting this country's position on the world stage.
A speech by The Queen to the Honourable Artillery Company, 2007
I am entrusting these new colours, which chronicle so much of the Regiment's history, to your safekeeping.
A speech by The Queen at the White House Arrival Ceremony, 2007
I shall enjoy not only renewing old acquaintances and making new ones but also recognising the breadth and depth of the friendship we have shared for so long.
A speech by The Queen at the State Capitol in Richmond, Virginia, 2007
This four hundredth anniversary marks a moment to recognise the deep friendship which exists between our two countries.