The kings and queens of the world have provided a great legacy to humanity in sharing their wisdom and perspective from their unique role in society. Here is a collection of some of the famous lines quoted by royals throughout the ages, as well as some insightful details of the stories behind them.
“There is little that can withstand a man who can conquer himself.”Louis XIV of France
Louis XIV was the legendary King of France from the middle of the 17th century, until his death over seven decades later. He was renowned throughout history as The Sun King due the sun image that he adopted as his personal emblem, as a reference to his role as an absolute monarch. The quote above is a reflection of the many challenges he faced throughout his reign, as well as the strength of character required to become such a great and enduring sovereign.
“I may not be a lion, but I am a lion’s cub and I have a lion’s heart.”Queen Elizabeth I
In this quote, the great warrior queen of England displays both her humble nature and her fierce determination, as well as her indomitable heritage. As the daughter of the legendary King Henry VIII, Queen Elizabeth I inherited a strength of spirit that led to her becoming one of history’s greatest queens, with the quiet confidence suggested in this short but powerful quote.
“It is in misfortune that you realize your true nature.”Marie Antoinette
Marie Antoinette, the Austrian archduchess who became the infamous Queen of France, is perhaps most often associated with the legendary line, “Let them eat cake,”, in reference to the peasants’ lack of bread. However it has been largely proven that those words were not hers. The quote above, however, is shared by one of her most esteemed biographers, Antonia Fraser, as a genuine quote from the French queen herself. This short phrase tells the story of her tumultuous life and its unprecedented challenges, as well as a quiet stoicism and profound wisdom that is at odds with the scandalous and self-serving persona that the history books often present.
“The greatest support that a woman can get is from another successful woman who lifts her up and tells her, ‘You can dream, you can succeed’.”Queen Rania of Jordan
These inspiring words are from a very modern queen who is yet to make her full impression in the history books of the future. Although still young and enjoying the early years as Queen of Jordan, Queen Rania has already proven herself to be an admirable advocate of the women’s empowerment movement. This quote reflects her passionate belief in the power of women to support each other and make a positive difference for the whole world.
“I like to be a free spirit. Some don’t like that, but that’s the way I am.”Princess Diana
Princess Diana, the famous Queen of Hearts, was renowned for her willfulness and desire to live life on her own terms. In her later years, this maverick streak manifested in her trail-blazing work for charities. This commitment to the free spirit lifestyle was undoubtedly at odds with the strict rules of the royal family she married into however, and her reluctance to change reflected in the quote above perhaps explains some of the more tragic aspects of her story.
“Of all losses, time is the most irrecuperable for it can never be redeemed.”King Henry VIII
While the great King Henry VIII of England has become renowned as a fierce and bullish character, driven only by his desires and lust for power, this quote attributed to him suggests a deeper intelligence and a softer, more reflective nature. Yet kings and queens, like all men and women, are multi-faceted, and the wistful tone of the quote above gives an intriguing glimpse into the mind of a king who was undoubtedly more than the stereotype portrayed by the history books.
“We will not have failure – only success and new learning.”Queen Victoria
Queen Victoria is perhaps one of the most legendary queens of all time. Her reign as Queen of Great Britain lasted over 60 years and set a precedent for longevity as a British Monarch. Queen Victoria was also Empress of India, a role that she allegedly cherished, being an admirer of the Eastern culture. In the quote above, this formidable English queen gives a sense of the resilience and optimism that were a core aspect of her character and undoubtedly contributed to the success of her reign.
“There is great weight in the modern times of being monarch, the scrutiny and access is much more than in times gone by.”King Edward VIII
King Edward VIII was the infamous British monarch who gave up his throne for the woman he loved. Though his abdication shocked the world when the news broke in 1936, historians believe that his actions may not have been all that surprising to those who knew him well. The quote above is certainly telling in that it reflects his apprehension about being a twentieth-century king, a sentiment he expressed privately many times prior to his ascension to the throne.
“I wish nothing but good, therefore every man who does not agree with me is a traitor and a scoundrel.”George III
George III was King of Great Britain from 1761 and is perhaps best known for the mental decline of his later years which inspired the popular film, The Madness of King George. The quote above is a reflection of the blunt irreverence that he became renowned for as his illness increased, though it may also be an indication of a deeper intelligence, a display of irony and humour that may seem shocking on the surface, but actually contains more profound truths on closer examination.
“I will assume the undertaking for my own crown of Castile , and am ready to pawn my jewels to defray the expenses of it, if the funds in the treasury should be found inadequate.”Queen Isabella of Castile
Isabella, Queen of Castile during the 15th century, has become a legendary figure in the history of Spanish Queens. This quote is credited to Queen Isabella, as evidence of her sterling support for the explorations of Columbus in his discoveries of the New World. Although the queen faced doubt and criticism over Columbus’s endeavors, her staunch support and faith in the mission resulted in the great discoveries and the subsequent success and prosperity of the Spanish lands.