“God save our gracious Queen!The British National Anthem
Long live our noble Queen!
God save the Queen!”
“We have resolved, by the favour and blessing of almighty God, to celebrate the solemnity of our royal coronation upon Tuesday, the second day of June, in the year of grace 1953.”Proclamation of Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation celebration
“I don’t know that anyone had invented the term Platinum for a 70th anniversary when I was born. You weren’t expected to be around that long. I’ve seen one coronation and been the recipient in the other, which is remarkable. It is a pageant of chivalry and old-fashioned way of doing things.”Queen Elizabth II
The Platinum Jubilee celebrations of the longest-reigning British monarch begin today for four days.
Her Majesty The Queen Elizabeth II is the oldest, serving monarch in the world and in British history, and one of the most photographed and filmed women in history.
The timetable for the four-day celebrations was published a year ago and the happy occasion has now arrived. A digital map of events is here. In the absence of any event organised in Inverness, this blogpost will have to suffice, with sincere Christian congratulations to Her Majesty and the heartfelt Christian prayer “God save the Queen”.
When I watched the Queen’s Silver Jubilee procession pass the crowds outside Glasgow Royal Infirmary in 1977, where I was a final-year medical student, little did I realise that we would both see this day 45 years later. We “know not what a day may bring forth”Proverbs 27:1.
7 June 1977 – The Queen’s Silver Jubilee
3 June 2002 – The Queen’s Golden Jubilee
5 June 2012 – The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee
2 Jun 2022 – The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee
19 May 2018: even the Royals need the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
9 Apr 2021: death of Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh.
19 Apr 2021: the Church of England ‘at its best(?)’ for the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral.
21 Apr 2021: Queen Elizabeth II’s 95th birthday.
3 Jun 2022: the BBC broadcast of the Service of Thanksgiving in St. Paul’s Cathedral, London, began by referring to the Queen’s request in her first christmas broadcast in 1952 – in which she asked the people of Great Britain and the Commonwealth to pray for her as she prepared to dedicate herself to her new role as their Monarch. This was a good way to begin public life and to begin such a commemorative programme.
Since then, she has referred to this in these terms: “I do not regret nor retract one word of it.”
Earlier, on 21 Apr 1947 Princess Elizabeth declared her lifelong commitment to serve the nation and added; “God help me to make good my vow, and God bless all of you who are willing to share in it.”
The Thanksgiving Service quoted Ps 122, Ps 105:1-8 and 1Ch 16:8-15,31-34, notably omitting 1Ch 16:16-22.
Ps 122 began the service, the same as began the coronation service in 1953.
The other quotations above include two of the only three biblical references to “a thousand generations”, indicating the longevity of the biblical Millennium.
This Thanksgiving Service was a grand display of ecclesiastical pomp and ceremony, although not matching the military ceremony at the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral. However, this service had better theological content than Prince Philip’s funeral, although it omitted God’s covenant with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob to give the land of Canaan to Israel for ever 1Ch 16:16-22, omitted from the Old Testament reading (1Ch 16:8-15, 31-34).
The Prime Minister Boris Johnson read Php 4:4-9 from the New Testament but it was noticeable that when he read through the virtues in verse 8 “Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things”, he paused in reading each phrase except “whatever is pure”, from which he hurriedly moved on to the next phrase. The inappropriateness of his personally reading this passage is seen in his reading v9 “Keep on doing the things that you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you.”
This reading of Scripture was followed by the Archbishop of York’s pause, in a self-meditating prayer, and beginning his address by repeating the last verse and clarifyng that the “me” is the apostle Paul, the writer, and that he was only worth following because Paul followed Jesus. “Jesus is worth following because Jesus shows us Who God is.” He commended the “joy that through Christ’s dying and rising we have the promise of life eternal.” He moved on to the purpose of the occasion by reminding his listeners that although the Queen could not attend the service this morning yet she is still “in the saddle”, a reference to her love of horses and horse-riding. To put it more plainly and starkly than Stephen Cottrell’s address put it– the Queen has never stopped working and is probably the hardest and longest working person in Great Britain today.