This weekend, we celebrate 70 years of the reign of Queen Elizabeth 2. My parents married in the same month as the coronation but I’ve no idea if I am named after the Queen or not. Both of my parents are long gone, but Queen Elizabeth remains, still working at the age of 96. My personal favourite story about the Queen is that of two tourists who allegedly met a headscarf wearing elderly lady and a policeman while out walking near Balmoral. “Have you ever met the Queen?” they asked the old lady. “No” she told them. Pointing to the policeman she added “But he has”. I’ve no idea if this story is true, but it displays the honesty and humour I believe she embodies.
The Queen has rightly been praised for doing an outstanding job since she came to the throne at the age of just 25. And for 70 years she’s done her work as Queen, Head of the Commonwealth, and Supreme Governor of the Church of England with amazing diligence, great grace, astute intelligence, deep humility, and tremendous effectiveness.
Where does all that come from – the clarity of vision, the stamina, the steadfastness in duty and care? What has shaped and sustained this remarkable stateswoman? While we know very little about what she thinks about a whole host of issues, she has been extraordinarily clear about where her guiding principles come from. Her answer can be summed up in one word: Jesus.
It is, as she testifies, Jesus’ teaching that has shaped her, Jesus’ example that has inspired her, and Jesus’ power that has enabled her to do the job God called her to do. We can see it in her actions. We hear it in her words, most notably in her Christmas addresses.
licc in partnership with The Bible Society have produced a book which looks deeply at the character of the Queen’s faith: its biblical roots, and her understanding of Jesus and his priorities. And it explores how those have shaped her as a disciple, her vision for her role as sovereign, her vision for the nations and their citizens, and her vision for the Commonwealth. It uses the Queen’s Christmas Day broadcasts as a basis to explore the importance of her faith in Jesus to the Queen.
The book is available as a print copy (£10 for 10 copies) or as a free download from licc The Queen's faith