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  1. I have behind me not only the splendid traditions and the annals of more than a thousand years but the living strength and majesty of the Commonwealth and Empire; of societies old and new; of lands and races different in history and origins but all, by God’s Will, united in spirit and in aim.
  2. At Christmas, I am always struck by how the spirit of togetherness lies also at the heart of the Christmas story. A young mother and a dutiful father with their baby were joined by poor shepherds and visitors from afar. They came with their gifts to worship the Christ child.
  3. First, I want to pay tribute to Diana myself. She was an exceptional and gifted human being. In good times and bad, she never lost her capacity to smile and laugh, nor to inspire others with her warmth and kindness. I admired and respected her — for her energy and commitment to others, and especially for her devotion to her two boys.
  4. It is easy enough to define what the Commonwealth is not. Indeed this is quite a popular pastime.
  5. What were once only hopes for the future have now come to pass; it is almost exactly 13 years since the overwhelming majority of people in Ireland and Northern Ireland voted in favour of the agreement signed on Good Friday 1998, paving the way for Northern Ireland to become the exciting and inspirational place that it is today.
  6. 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.
  7. I have been aware all the time that my peoples, spread far and wide throughout every continent and ocean in the world, were united to support me in the task to which I have now been dedicated with such solemnity.
  8. Like all best families, we have our share of eccentricities, of impetuous and wayward youngsters and of family disagreements.
  9. To all those who have suffered as a consequence of our troubled past I extend my sincere thoughts and deep sympathy. With the benefit of historical hindsight we can all see things which we would wish had been done differently or not at all.
  10. At its heart, engineering is about using science to find creative, practical solutions. It is a noble profession.
  11. Grief is the price we pay for love.
  12. I cannot lead you into battle. I do not give you laws or administer justice but I can do something else — I can give my heart and my devotion to these old islands and to all the peoples of our brotherhood of nations.
  13. Madam President, speaking here in Dublin Castle it is impossible to ignore the weight of history, as it was yesterday when you and I laid wreaths at the Garden of Remembrance.
  14. Like all the best families, we have our share of eccentricities, of impetuous and wayward youngsters and of family disagreements.
  15. No one who knew Diana will ever forget her. Millions of others who never met her, but felt they knew her, will remember her.
  16. For many, Christmas is also a time for coming together. But for others, service will come first.
  17. The upward course of a nation’s history is due in the long run to the soundness of heart of its average men and women.
  18. I have in sincerity pledged myself to your service, as so many of you are pledged to mine. Throughout all my life and with all my heart I shall strive to be worthy of your trust.
  19. To what greater inspiration and counsel can we turn than to the imperishable truth to be found in this treasure house, the Bible?
  20. I myself prefer my New Zealand eggs for breakfast.

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