King George VI's speech on D-Day

Published 05 June 2019

After nearly five years of toil and suffering, we must renew that crusading impulse on which we entered the war and met its darkest hour.

Four years ago, our Nation and Empire stood alone against an overwhelming enemy, with our backs to the wall. Tested as never before in our history, in God's providence we survived that test; the spirit of the people, resolute, dedicated, burned like a bright flame, lit surely from those unseen fires which nothing can quench.

Now once more a supreme test has to be faced. This time, the challenge is not to fight to survive but to fight to win the final victory for the good cause. Once again what is demanded from us all is something more than courage and endurance; we need a revival of spirit, a new unconquerable resolve. After nearly five years of toil and suffering, we must renew that crusading impulse on which we entered the war and met its darkest hour. We and our Allies are sure that our fight is against evil and for a world in which goodness and honour may be the foundation of the life of men in every land.

That we may be worthily matched with this new summons of destiny, I desire solemnly to call my people to prayer and dedication. We are not unmindful of our own shortcomings, past and present. We shall ask not that God may do our will, but that we may be enabled to do the will of God: and we dare to believe that God has used our Nation and Empire as an instrument for fulfilling his high purpose.

I hope that throughout the present crisis of the liberation of Europe there may be offered up earnest, continuous and widespread prayer. We who remain in this land can most effectively enter into the sufferings of subjugated Europe by prayer, whereby we can fortify the determination of our sailors, soldiers and airmen who go forth to set the captives free.

The Queen joins with me in sending you this message. She well understands the anxieties and cares of our womenfolk at this time and she knows that many of them will find, as she does herself, fresh strength and comfort in such waiting upon God. She feels that many women will be glad in this way to keep vigil with their menfolk as they man the ships, storm the beaches and fill the skies.

At this historic moment surely not one of us is too busy, too young or too old to play a part in a nationwide, perchance a worldwide, vigil of prayer as the great crusade sets forth. If from every place of worship, from home and factory, from men and women of all ages and many races and occupations, our intercessions rise, then, please God, both now and in a future not remote, the predictions of an ancient Psalm may be fulfilled: "The Lord will give strength unto his people: the Lord will give his people the blessing of peace."

Related content

The King's speech at the State Banquet for the Republic of Korea

As our nations strive towards a harmony between progress and preservation, between the past and the present, we can look to the future with great confidence as our peoples...

21 November 2023

The Queen's speech at the Foreign Press Association Awards 2023

Yours is an awe-inspiring responsibility: you question, debate and analyse and thus protect what is so easy for us to take for granted – true freedom of expression.

20 November 2023

The Queen's speech at The Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Competition 2023

Well done to each and every one of you – you are quite brilliant and I have, as ever, enormously enjoyed reading your entries.

16 November 2023
News

The King turns 75

14 November 2023
The King
News

Remembrance 2023

09 November 2023
The King salutes The Cenotaph

Remarks by His Majesty The King at the United Nations Office Nairobi, Kenya

As we look ahead to COP twenty-eight in another months time, we must remember what President Ruto said at the Africa Climate Summit – “we go far when we go together”.

01 November 2023
Press release November 2023

The King will attend COP28 UAE

Read more

A Speech by His Majesty The King at the State Banquet, Kenya

We both take considerable pride in renewing the ties between the United Kingdom and Kenya, a country that has long held such special meaning for my family.

31 October 2023
Press release 30 October 2023

The Duchess of Edinburgh visits Canada

Read more
News

State Visit to Kenya

03 November 2023
The King and Queen at Sheldrick Wildlife Trust Elephant Orphanage
Press release 11 October 2023

The King and Queen will undertake a State Visit to Kenya

Read more
Press release 09 October 2023

The Duchess of Edinburgh visits Ethiopia

Read more
Press release 26 September 2023

State Visit by the President of the Republic of Korea

Read more