During the second world war Princess Elizabeth and her sister, Princess Margaret Rose, spent most of their time safely away from the bombing in London, living mostly at Balmoral Castle in Scotland and at Windsor. In this radio broadcast Princess Elizabeth, then aged 14, speaks to the children of Britain, in particular those who had been evacuated and were now separated from their parents, as she often was herself at this time. Princess Margaret adds her voice to the farewells at the end.
This is an edited extract from a longer recording.
In wishing you all good evening, I feel that I am speaking to friends and companions who have shared with my sister and myself many a happy children’s hour.
Thousands of you in this country have had to leave your homes and be separated from your fathers and mothers. My sister Margaret Rose and I feel so much for you, as we know from experience what it means to be away from those you love most of all. To you living in new surroundings, we send a message of true sympathy and at the same time we would like to thank the kind people who have welcomed you to their homes in the country.
All of us children who are still at home think continually of our friends and relations who have gone overseas, who have travelled thousands of miles to find a wartime home and a kindly welcome in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and the United States of America. My sister and I feel we know quite a lot about these countries: our father and mother have so often talked to us of their visits to different parts of the world. So it is not difficult for us to picture the sort of life you are all leading and to think of all the new sights you must be seeing and the adventures you must be having. But I am sure that you to are often thinking of the old country. I know you won’t forget us. It just because we are not forgetting you that I want, on behalf of all the children at home, to send you our love and best wishes to you and to your kind hosts as well.
Before I finish, I can truthfully say to you all that we children at home are full of cheerfulness and courage. We are trying to do all we can to help our gallant sailors, soldiers and airmen and we are trying too to bear our own share of the danger and sadness of war. We know, every one of us, that in the end all will be well, for God will care for us and give us victory and peace. And when peace comes, remember, it will be for us, the children of today, to make the world of tomorrow a better and happier place.
My sister is by my side and we are both going to say goodnight to you. Come on, Margaret. (Margaret: “Goodnight children”). Goodnight, and good luck to you all.