The Servant Queen

On 6 February 2022 Queen Elizabeth II celebrated 70 years since she acceded to the throne on the death of her father George VI. She has reigned longer than any other British Monarch and is also Queen of 14 Commonwealth realms. The words of the National Anthem, which are a prayer, have been fulfilled in a remarkable way in the life and reign of Queen Elizabeth: “God save our gracious Queen! Long live our noble Queen! God save the Queen! Send her victorious, happy and glorious, long to reign over us, God save the Queen.”

Although she holds an exalted position the Queen has been devoted to serving her people. On her 21st birthday she said, “I declare that my whole life, whether it be long or short, shall be devoted to your service.” She has now reaffirmed this promise, “As we mark this anniversary, it gives me pleasure to renew to you the pledge I gave in 1947 that my life will always be devoted to your service.” In 2016 The Bible Society published a book to mark the Queen’s 90th birthday. It was entitled “The Servant Queen and the King she serves” and included quotations in which the Queen expressed her Christian faith.

The Queen is very aware that, notwithstanding her high position, her Saviour, Jesus Christ, is “King of kings and Lord of lords”. He loved her and self-sacrificially gave his life to save her from her sins. She also knows that every day she needs his wisdom and help. In 2002 she said, “I know just how much I rely on my faith to guide me through the good times and the bad. Each day is a new beginning. I know that the only way to live my life is to try to do what is right, to take the long view, 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.”

Like us all, the Queen has experienced sadness and heartbreak. In 2011 she said, “Although we are capable of great acts of kindness, history teaches us that we sometimes need saving from ourselves—from our recklessness or our greed. God sent into the world a unique person – neither a philosopher nor a general – but a Saviour, with the power to forgive. Forgiveness lies at the heart of the Christian faith. It can heal broken families, it can restore friendships, and it can reconcile divided communities. It is in forgiveness that we feel the power of God’s love.”