The religious faith of a Queen. Ahead of her 90th birthday, Elisabeth II speaks of God

The longest-reigning monarch in the history of England, Supreme Governor of the Church of England, has written in a book about her religious faith in God, and of how her faithfulness has accompanied her entire life, both public and private. She described being a Queen as mission and vocation, at the service of God and of the Country.

A few days ahead of the 90th birthday, April21, when she will be recorded in history as the longest-reigning monarch in the United Kingdom, Queen Elizabeth decided to publically talk about her Christian faith for the first time.

In the book by the Bible Society, HOPE and the London Institute for Contemporary Christianity, released throughout parishes of the Church of England, the Queen – who is also the Supreme Governor of the Church of England – reflects on her Christian faith. She said her religious experience dates back to when she was a child, during the dark years of World War II, following the death of her beloved father, during the long-lived and altogether happy marriage with a man with a sometimes difficult temperament, along the three tormented divorces of her children and throughout the death of her daughter-in-law Diana, when, abandoned for the first time by her subjects, the Queen experienced the most critical moment of her long Reign.

“’I know just how much I rely on my own faith to guide me through the good times and the bad”,

Elizabeth wrote in the publication titled “The Servant Queen and the King She Serves.” “Each day is a new beginning, I know that the only way to live my life is to give of my best in all that the day brings, and to put my trust in God. I draw strength from the message of hope in the Christian Gospel.”

Those who are well acquainted with the personality of the Queen, as her personal biographer Ben Pimlott, know that her coronation, on June 2 1935, was the time when her life changed forever.

When, unseen by video cameras, dressed in white, no jewels, just like a bride, Elizabeth was consecrated with the oil by the Archbishop of Canterbury, at the service of God and of the Nation, being the Queen became her mission and vocation. Thus began her life made of hard work and long journeys abroad, where it was impossible to bring her children, while very young. Even today, at ninety, she dedicates over 40 hours a week reading documents and taking part in public functions every day of the year, except Christmas and Easter. Every Sunday, the Queen attends an Anglican function and regularly invites bishops to spend the holidays with her.

In her Christmas messages she often spoke of Jesus as “a perfect example of sacrificial love that has transformed the world”, asking us “to make the most of our talents because the responsibility whereby we face life’s challenges is only ours.”

This Queen, who never arrived late and never disturbed any of her employees outside working hours, whom no one has ever experienced a bout of nervousness or bad mood, has put into practice those words, placing her faith in God.

Precisely like the poem that Elizabeth, just turned thirteen, gave to her father, King George V, to be read to the nation worn out by the First World War, preparing to face the Second.

“I said to the man who stood at the Gate of the Year, ‘Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown’. And he replied, ‘Go out into the darkness, and put your hand into the hand of God. That shall be to you better than light, and safer than a known way”.



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