HRH Queen Elizabeth II, Constitutional Monarch and the Head of State, is an enigma in the eyes of most other Western democratic nations. She is also the Head of the Commonwealth and the Church of England. All this appears to some both inside and outside Britain to be quirky relics of a by-gone age, soon to be swept aside. When the time comes, the one who succeeds the Queen will certainly be facing a different world from the one she encountered in 1952.
We have a peculiarly British form of Monarchy, with Parliament doing the actual governing. But she is far from a mere figure head and the Monarchy with its pomp and pageantry is much more than just a tourist attraction. Over the last 70 years she has proved to be a bastion of Britishness – a model of conservative, dignified and a “let’s-just-get-on-with-it” approach to life.
The Bible tells us to pray for rulers and those in authority. This is important not only for the general well-being of society, but particularly for ensuring peace, security and freedom of religion. For us, this means the freedom to follow Christ openly and publicly. Throughout her reign, Christianity has been upheld as both the foundation and the heritage of the nation. At the same time, the multi-faith nature of the Commonwealth, has been respected by Her Majesty, showing not only her personal tolerance of those who believe differently, but also a society based on Christian principles, historically-speaking, at least.
Longest Serving British Monarch
The Queen’s 70-year reign makes her the longest serving monarch in British history. In her Platinum Jubilee message on the eve of the anniversary of when she became Queen, she renewed the pledge first made pledge as a young woman in 1947, that her life would always be devoted to the service of the people of Great Britain.
Queen Elizabeth has stood firm in her resolve while adapting to the changes in society. She has suffered personal grief and many anxious family moments, but her faith in Christ has always sustained her. In fact, she has often been the strongest public Christian voice in the nation. For that we can praise God.
With the issue of succession drawing ever nearer we must be vigilant in prayer. We must ask that God may grant godly influence upon the transition and grace for what is likely to come afterwards. It is not too hard to imagine that there are influences in our nation that would not want to see the Monarchy so tied to one particular religion. Pressure will likely be exerted to set it aside, to lay it to rest altogether. Almost certainly, what we have enjoyed over the last 70 years will not be repeated.
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