Princess Elizabeth | Queen Elizabeth II's journey to the throne

The 21st Birthday of Princess Elizabeth

Princess Elizabeth's speech to the Commonwealth from Cape Town.

CHANNEL | Home Service

FIRST BROADCAST | 21 April 1947

DURATION | 5 minutes 49 seconds

FIRSTBROADCAST

1947

Synopsis

In a speech recorded while touring South Africa and Rhodesia (today known as Zimbabwe), Princess Elizabeth expresses her thanks for messages of congratulation on her 21st birthday. She pays tribute to the people of the Empire and Commonwealth and dedicates her life to serving them.

Did you know?

The Queen did not visit South Africa again until 1995, after the end of apartheid and the first democratic elections there. During this historic visit, South Africa rejoined the Commonwealth, which it had left in 1961. South Africa hosted the Commonwealth Heads of State Meeting for the first time in 1999 and the Queen attended.

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