“I declare before you all that my whole life whether it be long or short shall be devoted to your service… But I shall not have strength to carry out this resolution alone unless you join in it with me, as I now invite you to do: I know that your support will be unfailingly given. God help me to make good my vow, and God bless all of you who are willing to share in it.”
Princess Elizabeth, 21st April 1947
These words spoken four years before King George VI died on 6th February 1952, show how greatly aware the young Princess Elizabeth was of her role and life as the nations’ future Queen. You could say that these words were spoken not only in anticipation of that event, but to prepare the nation that one day it would eventually come (as we are seeing similar signs today), and when it did, the young princess immediately became Queen at the age of 25, although her Coronation wasn’t until 2nd June 1953. Although it hasn’t always been easy, the Queen has remained a faithful servant to the United Kingdom and its citizens, gaining huge respect, here and abroad, and especially so in her role as the head of the Commonwealth. On the 6th February 2022, she became the first British Monarch to reign for 70 years and we will celebrate her Platinum Jubilee at the beginning of June – what a wonderful achievement!
Of course, over the past 70 years our nation has seen immense change, in terms of medical, technological and societal advances, and our economy has sometimes had to take the rough with the smooth, but in all that time the Queen has been a steadfast constant and stabilising influence, comforting many who had lived with her through the war years, and demonstrating how it is possible to embrace the future with a quiet and confident optimism. Her mature and majestic example has been a great source of inspiration and admiration both to world leaders and members of the general public.
No doubt, alongside her late husband Prince Philip, the Queen has been greatly sustained by her Christian faith which she has spoken about more naturally and openly in recent years, most notably through the broadcast of her Christmas messages. Her royal upbringing and personal faith in Jesus Christ as her Lord and Saviour has not only enhanced her sense of duty, but given her a greater understanding of Christian service and a better perspective of what is truly worthwhile and of lasting value.
As we collectively say ‘thank you’ to Her Majesty for 70 years of loyal service, may her life continue to be an example and encouragement to us all. May God bless the Queen!
Lord of our lives and Father of all, let our thanksgiving prove itself in service to you and to our Queen, our country and one another, for your Name’s sake. Amen.
Prayer of Dedication from the Silver Jubilee Year