The Queen, in quotation marks

Queen Elizabeth does not often speak publicly and those who meet her are asked to keep their conversations private.
Queen Elizabeth, at the Chelsea Flower Show in London on May 24, 2010, has been in the public eye all her life. (Matt Dunham/Associated Press)

Although she is one of the most recognizable people on the planet, Queen Elizabeth does not often speak publicly. Those who meet her, in fact, are asked to keep their conversations private.

Here are some of the notable things the Queen has said during her many years in public life. They show a monarch who is committed to her role, a mother and wife devoted to her family, and — apparently — a woman who missed out on Cream and Blind Faith during her younger years.

"I declare before you all that my whole life, whether it be long or short, shall be devoted to your service and the service of our great imperial family to which we all belong." — Speaking to her future subjects on her 21st birthday, in April 1947.

"I cannot lead you into battle, I do not give you laws or administer justice but I can do something else, I can give you my heart and my devotion to these old islands and to all the peoples of our brotherhood of nations." — From the Queen's first televised Christmas address, in 1957.

The Queen speaks during the Concert for Human Rights in Winnipeg on July 3, 2010. (John Woods/Canadian Press)

"We lost the American colonies because we lacked the statesmanship to know the right time and the manner of yielding what is impossible to keep." — Commenting on the American bicentennial in Philadelphia in July 1976.

"Like all the best families, we have our share of eccentricities, of impetuous and wayward youngsters and of family disagreements." — Quoted in London's Daily Mail newspaper in October 1989.

"1992 is not a year on which I shall look back with undiluted pleasure. In the words of one of my more sympathetic correspondents, it has turned out to be an annus horribilis." — From a November 1992 speech, commenting on her children's marital troubles and a fire at Windsor Castle.

"No one who knew Diana will ever forget her. Millions of others who never met her, but felt they knew her, will remember her. I, for one, believe there are lessons to be drawn from her life and from the extraordinary and moving reaction to her death. I share in your determination to cherish her memory." — From remarks broadcast around the world in September 1997, after Diana's death.

"He has quite simply been my strength and stay all these years, and I and his whole family and this and many other countries owe him a debt greater than he would ever claim or we shall ever know." — Speaking about Prince Philip during golden wedding anniversary speech in 1997.

"Have you been playing a long time?" — Speaking to guitar legend Eric Clapton at a Buckingham Palace reception in March 2005.

"When life seems hard, the courageous do not lie down and accept defeat; instead, they are all the more determined to struggle for a better future." — From the Queen's Christmas address in 2008.

"In this special year, as I dedicate myself anew to your service, I hope we will all be reminded of the power of togetherness and the convening strength of family, friendship and good neighbourliness, examples of which I have been fortunate to see throughout my reign and which my family and I look forward to seeing in many forms as we travel throughout the United Kingdom and the wider Commonwealth." — From the Queen's Diamond Jubilee message in 2012.