A speech by Princess Elizabeth (later Queen Elizabeth II) on opening the new shopping centre in Coventry, and calling on the spirit of enterprise needed for the rebuilding of the city.
MS Princess Elizabeth (later Queen Elizabeth II), the Mayor of Coventry and others on platform, the Mayor tells Princess Elizabeth the order of events (not fully audible). Princess Elizabeth comes forward and cuts ribbon / tape to open new shopping centre. (Applause). LS Elizabeth walking to microphone to speak. MS Princess Elizabeth speaking: "Today we are looking forward to the future and I do not intend to dwell on the horror of that night in November 1940 when the flames destroyed so much of your city. It is, I hope, receding into history. If we can summon to our aid in peace those high qualities with which we met the evil challenge of war, if the spirit which the citizens of Coventry showed on the night of November 14th 1940 can be reborn in the hearts of our people today, then we shall indeed see the fruits of peace." LS Princess Elizabeth speaking (cont.): "They will be far richer and far more plentiful than we have found the fruits of victory to be. Here in this central square of Coventry, we are burying the bitter and painful memories of the past." MCU Princess Elizabeth speaking (cont.): "I hope that before many years I shall come back to this place where we now stand (applause) to find a new Broadgate as fine as modern taste and craftsmanship can build it and worthy of the great city of which it will be the centre. I find it most encouraging that here in Coventry you are so alive to these problems and that your plans take full account of them. It is equally encouraging that you are not content with mere blueprints but are vigorously pressing forward with the actual task of reconstruction. However formidable the task before us, it has never been the custom of our people to admit discouragement. Let us be sure that in ourselves and in the personal effort which the times demand from each one of us, there is to be found the same spirit of enterprise, which is rebuilding Coventry and the other towns of Great Britain. A spirit alive to the great opportunities of our day." She returns to her seat and sits down.