Many of the royals and nobles of the world have gone down in history for their dramatic lifestyles or their bold and noteworthy actions. From the kings and queens who conquered territories or advanced nations, to the aristocrats who influenced politics or discovered new worlds, the deeds of this captivating social order have gone on to become the stuff of legend.
But there are some royals and nobles who are more memorable for their words than their deeds. Whether in spoken or written form, there are numerous inspirational quotes from royalty and nobles that have endured over the ages to provide solace or delight to others, often many generations after their words were first shared.
Here are some of the inspiring words from the minds, mouths or pens of history’s royals and aristocrats.
Elizabeth 1, Queen of England
“I know I have the body but of a weak and feeble woman; but I have the heart and stomach of a king, and of a king of England too”.
In an age when women were deemed the weaker, gentler sex, Queen Elizabeth I proved herself to be a fearless warrior queen.
The above quote is taken from her inspiration and uplifting speech delivered to her troops at the battle camp in Tilbury, prior to their defence against the Spanish Armada.
Not only did Queen Elizabeth’s words go down in history, they also rallied the troops enough to defeat the mighty Armada, and established her as a formidable monarch, regardless of her gender.
Pope John Paul II
“Chess holds deep wisdoms of the people. It is truly an image of life, the reflection of human fate that has shown us the earthly way of suffering in darkness and permanent shortage of time. Like in chess, we encounter all kinds of traps, mistakes, settlements, sacrifices, kings, and queens, doubled pawns, and extraordinary moves while we are on the board ourselves.“
This quote, from ecclesiastical royalty, John Paul II, is an inspiring take on the rich and varied nature of life.
Pope John Paul II was one of the most popular and enduring Catholic Popes of modern times, and his words brought comfort and inspiration to many around the world, both within the Catholic faith and beyond.
He is credited for ushering in a new spirit of harmony and contrition within the church and the wider world. Although Pope John Paul II died in 2005, the legacy of his teachings and wisdom – both spoken and written – still serves to uplift and inspire people around the world today.
Queen Elizabeth II
“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.”
Following in the footsteps of her regal namesake, England’s popular and enduring monarch has also contributed to the canon of royal wisdom and inspiring quotes.
Renowned for her stoicism and steadfastness, the quote above is typical of her remarkably done-to-earth approach to life and the human experience.
After an astonishing seven decades on the throne, Queen Elizabeth will likely have witnessed the broadest range of people and places, yet it is comforting to see that her many years of experience as the Queen of England have only served to enhance her humble devotion to her country and fellow humans, something that is reflected through her inspiring words every year in her famous televised Christmas Day speeches.
“This above all: to thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.”-Hamlet, Act I, Scene III
Perhaps the most quoted source of all time is the legendary playwright, William Shakespeare, who many scholars are convinced was a nobleman.
The idea that Shakespeare enjoyed an elevated rank in society is supported by the depth of detail and knowledge of the intricacies of royal life and the people of court who moved closely in royal circles.
Though his exact heritage and noble rank remain open to speculation, what is indisputable is the enormous vault of inspiring words and wisdom he bequeathed to generations – words that are as popular as ever in modern times.
The inspiring quote above is an encouraging reminder that one of the most important values to live by is that of being true to ourselves. These words, along with so many other insightful lines from his enormous body of work, are as true today as when they were first shared in the play Hamlet, one of his most popular and enduring works.
The Duchess Of Cambridge
“Imagine if everyone was able to help just one child who needs to be listened to, needs to be respected, and needs to be loved – we could make such a huge difference for an entire generation.”
Perhaps inspired by her famous and legendary Grandmother-in-law, Queen Elizabeth II, the Duchess of Cambridge has shown herself to be an inspiring advocate for the simple values and virtues of living a good life that supports others and makes a positive difference in the world.
In her work for bringing awareness to mental health and addiction issues, as well as her courageous honesty regarding the challenges of motherhood, the words of this thoroughly modern Duchess have brought both comfort and insight to many.
It’s equally inspiring to see a member of the royal family using their influence and media presence to advance worthy causes and create real change in the areas of society that are most deserving and necessary.
Much as the lives and works of the royals and nobles of history have varied greatly, so too have their words and the literary legacy they have left for future generations.
From the motivational speeches on the field of battle, to the more prosaic insights of daily living, to the deep and profound truths that can highlight the complexity of the human experience, the words written and spoken by royals and nobles throughout the ages provide an inspiring collection of quotes, insights and thought-provoking concepts that reach far beyond the realm of royal life and aristocratic living.