This evening I wish to say a few words of farewell while the lights of Ceylon are still in sight. When my husband and I landed at Colombo twelve days ago my own knowledge of Ceylon was only at second-hand. As your Queen and as Head of the Commonwealth, I had the great advantage of being able to learn something of your Island from your statesmen when they visited London for conferences and to attend my Coronation.
The resident High Commissioners, too, and many others had told me of the loyalty and friendliness for which you are famous. But, even so, I could not then feel that I know you, my people of Ceylon, as well or as intimately as I desired.
Today our relationship is strikingly different. Your welcome, given so generously and spontaneously in city and countryside, has brought you very near to us both, and though we should have liked to stay longer in your beautiful island, we nevertheless feel that our time here has taught us much about your lives, your work and your ideals, which we shall certainly never forget.
Many in Ceylon, both great and small, have helped to make our visit a success. The Governor-General and the Prime Minister, with all the resources of the Ceylon Government, have worked together to plan and carry out our tour. Soldiers, sailors and airmen, the police and police volunteers, the civil service and many civic and charitable organisations have lent their powerful support. We thank them all most warmly and above all we thank you, the people of this land, for your kindness and for your goodwill.
Your country's past is long and famous, but from what I have seen I am convinced that the future holds even more for Ceylon and for her people. Provided that you remain united and industrious you have nothing to fear and you may always rest assured that I, as your Queen, will watch your growing prosperity with the deepest pride and affection.