Queen Elizabeth II, 1926-2022, has always been in the backdrop of my life. Her ascension to the throne was before I was born; and her example of faithful service and integrity has been a constant reminder that privilege and responsibility are twins.
Windsor Castle carries another memory. Visiting as a teenager, I came home with a simple small leaflet that was given out on behalf of Her Majesty: and it simply set out the Queen’s own faith as a Christian monarch. I remember being impressed that Royalty acknowledged a King higher than her important status and role in national life.
There will be a time of national mourning for Queen Elizabeth; I trust that this will be respected and honoured by all, royalist or republican, so that the sadness of many will be acknowledged.
Public respect matters- we should give thanks for a lifetime dedicated to public service, many burdens borne, and national tragedies and celebrations that have been guided by a reassuring presence with humble and eloquent words shared from the Palace. The Queen will be remembered for her national broadcasts: wisdom and hope shared every Christmas, a treasured institution for many of us.
Such a life of service requires determination beyond the norm. The Queen publicly spoke of her Christian faith as a source of strength, inspiration, and hope. A fitting tribute is to quote her own words:
“When I was 21, I pledged my life to the service of our people and I asked for God’s help to make good that vow. Although that vow was made in my salad days, when I was green in judgement, I do not regret, or retract, one word of it.”
Rest in peace; rise in glory in the Presence of the King of Kings and Queens.
Thank you, Your Majesty: and may God aid the King.
"There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace." Ecclesiastes 3 v1-9