Coronation broadcast 

6 May 2023 tbs.pm/79060

A broadcast by HM King George VI
on the occasion of his coronation

 

Radiated by all BBC transmitters
at 8pm on 12 May 1937
followed by a 10 minute interval

 

King George VI

King George VI photographed by Walter Stoneman

It is with a very full heart I speak to you to-night. Never before has a newly crowned King been able to talk to all his peoples in their own homes on the day of his Coronation. Never has the ceremony itself had so wide a significance, for the Dominions are now free and equal partners with this ancient Kingdom, and I felt this morning that the whole Empire was in very truth gathered within the walls. of Westminster Abbey.

I rejoice that I can now speak to you all, wherever you may be, greeting old friends in distant lands and, as I hope, new friends in those parts where it has not yet been my good fortune to go. In this personal way the Queen and I wish health and happiness to you all, and we do not forget at this time of celebration those who are living under the shadow of sickness or distress. Their example of courage and good citizenship is always before us, and to them I would send a special message of sympathy and good cheer.

I cannot find words with which to thank you for your love and loyalty to the Queen and myself. Your good will in the streets of to-day, your countless messages from overseas and from every quarter of these islands, have filled our hearts to overflowing. I will only say this, that if, in the coming years, I can show my gratitude in service to you, that is the way above all others that I should choose.

To many millions the Crown is the symbol of unity. By the grace of God and by the will of the free peoples of the British Commonwealth, I have assumed that Crown. In me, as your King, is vested for a time the duty of maintaining its honour and integrity.

This is, indeed, a grave and constant responsibility, but it gave me confidence to see your representatives around me in the Abbey and to know that you, too, were enabled to join in that infinitely beautiful ceremonial. Its outward forms come down from distant times, but its inner meaning and message are always new; for the highest of distinctions is the service of others, and to the ministry of kingship I have in your hearing dedicated myself, with the Queen at my side, in words of the deepest solemnity. We will, God helping us, faithfully discharge our trust.

Those of you who are children now will, I hope, retain memories of a day of carefree happiness such as I still have of the day of my grandfather’s Coronation. In the years to come some of you will travel from one part of the Commonwealth to another, and moving thus within the family circle will meet many whose thoughts are coloured by the same memories, whose hearts unite in devotion to our common heritage.

You will learn, I hope, how much our free association means to us, how much our friendship with each other and with all other nations on earth can help the cause of peace and progress.

The Queen and I will always keep in our hearts the inspiration of this day. May we ever be worthy of the good will, which, I am proud to think, surrounds us at the outset of my reign. I thank you from my heart, and may God bless you all.

 

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