On 6th February, 1952, a 25-year-old woman named Elizabeth Windsor, received the terrible news that her Father, King George VI had died.
In mourning, she immediately flew home from Kenya, knowing that as the eldest of two sisters, she would now be required to dedicate her entire life to the service of her country and her people.
On 2nd June, 1953, people all over the UK crowded around whatever television set they could find, to watch the BBC Broadcast of the Coronation. In fact, more TV sets were bought in the two months prior to the Coronation than in any other period of time since!
Amidst the earthly wealth of glittering crowns and golden carriages, a solemn promise was about to be made:
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. 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 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.
A HIGHER KING
The Queen fully understood the significance of the role she was taking on and that ultimately, she served a Higher King – Jesus Christ – her Lord and Saviour.
Many of the rituals, symbols and artefacts that were used during the ceremony carried a far deeper meaning than one might first detect.
A golden orb, originally made for the Coronation of King Charles II in 1661, encrusted with over six hundred jewels was given to the Queen. On top of the Orb was a cross, symbolising the rule of Jesus Christ over the earth.
A single diamond, the magnificent ‘Star of Africa’ mounted in one of the royal scepters, is believed to have carried a value of £400 million. But when the Moderator of the Church of Scotland stepped forward to present the Queen with a Coronation gift, he described it as: ‘the most valuable thing this world affords’. It was a bible.
Sixty-one years later, during her Christmas Day broadcast, the ongoing reliance and inspiration drawn from the Queen’s Christian faith remained clearly evident:
I hope that like me you will be comforted by the example of Jesus of Nazareth, who often in circumstances of great adversity, managed to live an outgoing, unselfish and sacrificial life.
Countless millions of people around the world continue to celebrate His birthday at Christmas, inspired by His teaching.
He makes it clear that genuine human happiness and satisfaction lie more in giving than receiving; more in serving than being served.
We can surely be grateful that two-thousand years after the birth of Jesus, so many of us are able to draw inspiration from His life and message, and to find in Him a source of strength and courage.
Words taken from the Queen’s Christmas Broadcast, 2008
Here in the UK, from 2nd – 5th June, people all over the UK are enjoying a rare four-day weekend in honour of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. No other monarch in UK history has ever reached the milestone of reigning for 70 years!
Red, white and blue bunting festoons our streets and shop window displays. Lanterns are being lit all over the country and street parties are taking place.
Over the next few days, I hope to post some photos of the celebrations!
It’s a joy to join in the wonderful Jubilee Celebrations of a Queen who has so honourably and openly held fast to her faith, often during seasons of great difficulty and testing.
I hope you will enjoy some of the photos and images of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.
Queen Elizabeth, thank you for serving us so well!