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Queen Elizabeth's First Radio Broadcast 80 Years Ago - Listen Here!

Queen Elizabeth's First Radio Broadcast 80 Years Ago - Listen Here!
October 14, 2020 - 11:50 / Anna Valenzuela Rosas

On October 13th, 1940, in the throes of World War II, then Princess Elizabeth took on her Royal duty and addressed the children of Britain and the Commonwealth. Her gorgeous words brought much comfort to those who she was speaking to. Hear her speech in its entirety here.

When young Princess Elizabeth was only 14-years-old, she took on her duty and gave a powerful speech aimed at her scared fellow youth during World War II. It was only the beginning of her speech-giving reign, and boy was it a powerful start. 

Queen Elizabeth's First Speech in 1940

When the Queen to-be Princess Elizabeth was a mere 14-years-old, Prime Minister Winston Churchill implored the young lady to give a speech to boost morale in the younger generation. Due to the tragic state of World War II, countless children had been separated from their families and sent to the countryside, Canada, America, New Zealand, South Africa or Australia to protect them against incoming Nazi raids. 

So Princess Elizabeth penned incredible words and delivered the speech for the BBC's Children's Hour program on October 13th, 1940, with her younger sister Princess Margaret by her side. Elizabeth started, "My sister, Margaret Rose and I, feel so much for you as we know from experience what it means to be away from those we love most of all. To you, living in new surroundings, we send a message of true sympathy."

Queen Elizabeth and Princess Margaret in 1940.

The speech was such a great success that it led to a regular broadcast feature for young evacuees. In 1946, Derek McCulloch who organized the broadcast wrote in the Sunday Dispatch that Elizabeth's father King George VI, was tentative about his daughter being put on air but he was wildly impressed with the outcome. He explained, "The King rushed into the room after the first rehearsal exclaiming to me, 'She's exactly like her!" meaning the Princess's voice was extraordinarily like that of the Queen, and everyone knows how excellently the Queen broadcasts."

Queen Elizabeth mentioned this great moment in her most recent speech back in April in hopes of comforting her countrymen in quarantine when she said, "It reminds me of the very first broadcast I made, in 1940, helped by my sister. We, as children, spoke from here at Windsor to children who had been evacuated from their homes and sent away for their own safety. Today, once again, many will feel a painful sense of separation from their loved ones. But now, as then, we know, deep down, that it is the right thing to do."

Queen Elizabeth's speeches are impressive, strong, and inspirational. She gives a yearly speech on Christmas day summarizing the year and we cannot wait to hear her again. Listen to her full 1940 speech here: