On her 21st birthday in 1947 Princess Elizabeth broadcast from Cape Town in South Africa:
I declare before you all that my whole life, whether it be long or short, shall be devoted to your service and the service of our great Imperial country to which we all belong … God help me to make good my vow and God bless all of you who are willing to share it.
The Queen’s relationship with her 12 Prime Ministers (8 Conservative and 4 Labour) over the past 60 years demonstrates how she has fulfilled that vow, writes historian DR Thorpe.
Read Queen Elizabeth II and her 12 Prime Ministers in full.
Read more about the 2013 Queen’s Speech.