President Katalin Novák congratulated Queen Elizabeth II in a Facebook video on the occasion of the seventieth anniversary of Her Majesty’s accession to the throne.
“When Hungary was going through some of the darkest times of her history, Your Majesty has witnessed our fight for freedom against the Soviet and Communist tyranny and so the fall of the iron curtain,” the President began her message.
She continued by mentioning a visit to Hungary by the Queen: “In 1993, Your Majesty had the chance to meet our freedom-loving nation and see with your own eyes that Hungary is, after decades and centuries of hardships, a proud country in the heart of Europe. Homeland of Liszt, Bartók, and many others who contributed to the values and virtues of humankind.”
FactFerenc Liszt (or Franz Liszt) was a Hungarian composer, pianist, and teacher of the Romantic era. Liszt gained renown in Europe during the early nineteenth century for his virtuoso skill as a pianist. The Budapest Airport is even named after him.
Béla Bartók was also a Hungarian composer, pianist, and ethnomusicologist. He is considered one of the most important composers of the 20th century; he and Liszt are regarded as Hungary’s greatest composers. Through his collection and analytical study of folk music, he was one of the founders of comparative musicology, which later became known as ethnomusicology.
Queen Elizabeth visited Hungary several times, the last time in 1993, the visit to which President Novák referred. The Queen and her husband, Prince Philip, arrived in Budapest on May 4, 1993, where they were received by the then President of Hungary, Árpád Göncz. They not only visited the capital but also Kecskemét and Bugac. We have reported more about the ties between the Royal Family and Hungary in the article below:
Novák said that Hungary “has become a country once again that we can be truly proud of,” adding that “Your Majesty can also be proud of your great-great-grandmother, who was born on Hungarian soil.”
The Queen’s great-great-grandmother was Klaudia Rhédey, a countess born in Transylvania. Her son, Prince Teck, married an English princess, whose child, Princess Maria, became the wife of King George V. Today it is her granddaughter, Elizabeth II, who sits on the British throne.
The President of Hungary also highlighted the role of women, saying that “Throughout British history, women have played a vital role in managing the affairs of state.” She also said that “It was certain that many more excellent female leaders are to come in the future.”
Finally, Novák expressed her congratulations on the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, “not only as the President of Hungary but also as a woman and a mother of three children. To be there for the nation, to be there for a family – God bless the Queen, the woman, the mother, and God bless Hungary.”
You can watch the President’s video message (in English with Hungarian subtitles) below:
Featured image: screen capture from Katalin Novák’s Facebook video