Queen Elizabeth Shares Emotional Commonwealth Day Speech

At 95 years old, Queen Elizabeth II has spent close to 70 years ruling over the United Kingdom, an event that will soon be celebrated with her Platinum Jubilee in June (via People). Though Her Majesty is accustomed to being in the spotlight, she doesn't necessarily relish in the added attention. "She's not someone who directly enjoys the limelight, but she recognizes these anniversaries are moments for people and communities to come together," a royal insider revealed to People. 

The events of her Platinum Jubilee are also expected to highlight Prince Charles and Prince William, who are heirs to the throne, which takes some attention off Queen Elizabeth. Her son, Prince Andrew, — who has allegedly made secret visits to Queen Elizabeth — will appropriately be absent from the events, given the recent lawsuit he's facing from Virgina Giuffre (via Express).

Despite this controversy, there will be no shortage of celebrations for revelers and well-wishers to take part in. This is likely to boost morale, especially when considering the events of the last two years. "The celebrations embody the emotional and spiritual elements of the monarchy and what it means to peoples' hearts," royal expert Robert Lacey said (via People). "People feel them as milestones in their own lives, too."

Queen Elizabeth II will become the first U.K. monarch to celebrate a Platinum Jubilee. In 2015, she surpassed Queen Victoria's previously-held record as longest-ruling monarch — Queen Victoria's reign lasted 63 years and 216 days (via ThoughtCo.). Ahead of these events, Her Majesty shared an emotional Commonwealth Day speech with the people of the U.K. 

Her Majesty is looking ahead on Commonwealth Day

This Monday, March 14, marks Commonwealth Day, a holiday celebrated by people from around the world (via The Commonwealth). Commonwealth Day is typically marked each year by a service at Westminster Abbey, but this year Queen Elizabeth II will not be partaking. Instead, Prince Charles will be filling in for his mother (via Town & Country). Despite Queen Elizabeth's recent COVID diagnosis, the palace insists that the reason she won't be present at the service is more about the Queen's comfort rather than her health. She's now living at Windsor Castle, rather than her previous home at Buckingham Palace (per Reuters).

Instead, Queen Elizabeth addressed the Commonwealth nations on Friday, sharing her emotional state ahead of this summer's Jubilee. "In this year of my Platinum Jubilee, it has given me pleasure to renew the promise I made in 1947, that my life will always be devoted in service," the Queen shared (via the royal website). Her Majesty also took time to honor the Commonwealth, which consists of 14 Realms.

"Today, it is rewarding to observe a modern, vibrant and connected Commonwealth that combines a wealth of history and tradition with the great social, cultural and technological advances of our time," the Queen said. "That the Commonwealth stands ever taller is a credit to all who have been involved." She concluded her message by saying that she wishes for everyone to continue to support one another, and to remain influential sources of good in the world.