Oprah Winfrey praised Queen Elizabeth’s sacrifice to live a life of service while speaking to Access Hollywood at the Toronto International Film Festival over the weekend. “You know, everybody gets called the queen, there really was one, and she is the standard for all the rest of us, whoever get called queen, and the reason she was is because of her service,” Oprah said of the late British monarch.
“Martin Luther King said that it is the greatest offering anybody can bring to the world is service, because greatness is determined through service, and I think what she did was serve her countrymen and serve everyone for 70 years. And the sacrifice that that takes to make when you’re 25 years old and to say, ‘I’m going to offer myself in sacrifice to my country.’ That’s what she did,” Oprah added.
Before she became Queen in 1952, then-Princess Elizabeth gave a speech broadcast on the radio from Cape Town in 1947, pledging to dedicate her life to service. She said, “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 family to which we all belong.”
Queen Elizabeth, who became the first British monarch to celebrate a Platinum Jubilee this year—marking 70 years of service to the people of the United Kingdom, the Realms and the Commonwealth—passed away on Sept. 8. She was 96. Oprah famously sat down for an interview with Her Majesty’s grandson Prince Harry and Meghan Markle back in 2021.
The Duke of Sussex has paid tribute to his grandmother following her passing. In a statement shared on his and Meghan’s Archewell website, Harry thanked his granny for her “commitment to service,” as well as for her “sound advice” and “infectious smile.” The Duke said, “We, too, smile knowing that you and grandpa are reunited now, and both together in peace.” Queen Elizabeth’s state funeral is scheduled to take place on Monday, Sept. 19.