Rome 06/02/2012

Toast by the President Napolitano dinner on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the rise to the throne of H.M. Queen Elizabeth II

(Courtesy translation)

Mr. Ambassador,
I wish to thank you and your spouse for the opportunity you have offered me to express from Villa Wolkonsky my homage and sincere best wishes to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth for the 60th anniversary of Her accession to the Throne.

For people of my generation, the figure of Elizabeth II is identified first of all with the image of the young Princess who appeared, in the uniform of the Auxiliary Service, at the balcony of Buckingham Palace on May 8th of 1945 - beside the Sovereigns and Winston Churchill - to welcome the historic victory over nazi-fascism. Event that led to European unity within the framework of peace and freedom.

Since 1952, the Reign of Elizabeth II unfolded itself before the eyes of the world in the fullness of its functions.

It was carried out with wisdom, decisiveness and utmost dignity at the summit of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth. The British model of constitutional monarchy remains exemplary. The prestige and consensus that surrounds it today owes very much to the respect and love that the Queen has capably gained and constantly renewed.

Mr. Ambassador,
I ask you to kindly extend to Her Majesty my gratitude for the kind and friendly message that She has forwarded today through you. On the occasion of the three audiences that Elizabeth II granted to us at Buckingham Palace during my Presidential mandate, my wife and I had the opportunity to deeply appreciate her regal courtesy and her extraordinarily unaffected and affable personality.

In this spirit - certain as I am to interpret also the sentiments of the Italian people - I wish to renew to Her Majesty my warmest best wishes.
Long live the Queen! Vivat Regina!