The death of their monarch is a new experience for the majority of people alive in Great Britain today.
It is new for me and multitudes like me, who have known no other monarch than Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain, who died today.
Through our whole life she has been simply “The Queen”. Her lamented death brings to an end the second Elizabethan era in the long history of Britain. The BBC has dramatised it as “the moment history stops”.
The death of the first Good Queen Bess introduced the union of the Crowns of Scotland and England, when James VI of Scotland became James I of Great Britain in 1603AD. One hundred years later in 1707AD there followed the union of the Parliaments. The death of Queen Elizabeth II, “the mother of the nation”, occurs at another momentous moment in national and world affairs.
During the lifetime of our late, lamented Queen the global British Empire gave way to the British Commonwealth, which Commonwealth of Nations continues to stand as a model and example to developing nations of the transition of power, a topic that has been taken for granted by the western world since World War II but which is becoming fractious even in the United States of America.
We are in uncertain times and the transition of the British monarchy will hopefully be as seamless as the exemplary public life of our departed Queen who herself oversaw the transition and constitutional modernising of the British monarchy.
Death – the great leveller
The death of our monarch is a new experience for many British citizens. Our own death will also be a new experience for each one of us. The Bible tells us to prepare to meet our God Amos 4:12. The godly have done so and the rest are encouraged to do so.
Even the Royals need the Gospel, and our Queen professed to know the Gospel. There are many who say that they know Christ, who neither know Him nor His Gospel. Jesus will tell them, “I never knew you.” Many prayers were made for Queen Elizabeth II and eternity alone will reveal the answer.
Dying Samuel Rutherford was summoned to Parliament to answer a charge of treason for his book Lex, Rex: The Law and the Prince. He replied that he had received another summons to a higher Court, “I behove to answer my first summons; and, ere your day arrive, I will be where few kings and great folks come.” It does not have to be this way. We have a Gospel of the hope of eternal life.
Our Queen lived till 96 years old but she has now gone the way of all flesh. The Bible reminds us repeatedly that this world is our short home, while eternity is our “long home” Ecc 12:5, and so we are encouraged to seek the heavenly city that will last forever Heb 13:14.
Death levels us all bodily, but it is the portal for our immortal spirit to the eternal world where very different standards pertain than here on Earth. Jesus Christ tells us that He is the door to the Father’s house Jn14:3 and all who hear His Gospel are invited to come to Him and to partake of the water of life freely Rev 21:6.
8 Sep 2022: national concern for the Queen began after Buckingham Palace published a Statement:
“Following further evaluation this morning, The Queen’s doctors are concerned for Her Majesty’s health and have recommended she remain under medical supervision.
The Queen remains comfortable and at Balmoral.”Buckingham Palace Statement
12:36 p.m. the Speaker of the House of Commons paused proceedings to make an announcement on behalf of the Commons that “we send our best wishes to Her Majesty the Queen, and that she and the Royal Family are in our thoughts and prayers at this moment.” An account of what transpired on the Front Benches in the House of Commons.
4:30 p.m. the Prime Minister Liz Truss was informed of the death of the Queen.
6:45 p.m. A rainbow appeared at Windsor Castle while the flag was lowered to mark The Queen’s death.
7:13 p.m. my condolences on the death of “the mother of the nation” who died at Balmoral Castle.
7:19 p.m. The Scottish Christian Party expressed its condolences to the Royal Family.
7:29 p.m. Clarence House announced that the new King will be known as King Charles III.
7:49 p.m. Prime Minister Lizz Truss tweeted what she had said earlier outside 10 Downing Street, that she was “the rock on which modern Britain was built”, during which she pre-empted Clarence House with the name of our new King, Charles III.
The global tributes demonstrate the worldwide respect for Queen Elizabeth. The Australian Prime Minister’s tribute, whose office had leaked the funeral arrangements last June. António Guterres, the UN’s secretary-general, said Queen Elizabeth was “a reassuring presence throughout decades of sweeping change, including the decolonization of Africa and Asia and the evolution of the Commonwealth”. Although the Queen never visited Israel, Israel’s President Isaac Herzog wrote that “Queen Elizabeth was a historic figure: she lived history, she made history, and with her passing she leaves a magnificent, inspirational legacy”.
8:20 p.m. during a tour of Kenya in 1952, Princess Elizabeth stayed at the Treetops Hotel in the branches of a mugumo tree (mgumu strangler fig) to view the country’s wildlife. On 5 Feb 1952 she went to sleep a princess and awoke a Queen on 6 Feb 1952 because her father King George VI had died during the night. Similarly, I had family worship this morning with a Queen, and at family worship this evening, I had a King. Charles arrived at Balmoral as the Prince of Wales and will leave it as King Charles III. All Queen’s Counsels automatically become King’s Counsels. Things change, but Jesus Christ the King of kings is “the same yesterday, today and forever” Heb 13:8. The godly fall asleep “in Jesus” and awaken with Jesus in heaven, in the Father’s house Jn 14:1-3.
9 Sep 2022 12:05 p.m. one-minute’s silence in the House of Commons and tributes to Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
King Charles had his first audience with the new Prime Minister Lizz Truss, a meeting rarely publicized, but done so here.
10 p.m. BBC news: 94% of the global population were born after Queen Elizabeth became Queen and 31% of the UK population say that had seen or met the Queen in person. She dealt with 15 UK Prime Ministers and 14 US Presidents. Her first Prime Minister was Winston Churchill born in1874, and her last Prime Minister Liz Truss was born 101 year later in 1975.
10 Sep 2022: 10 a.m. the Accession Council met in the Picture Gallery then the Throne Room in St James’ Palace, the original Royal Palace, to witness the new King’s Declaration and Oath to uphold the established Church of Scotland and as Defender of the Faith to support the true Protestant religion in accordance with the 1707AD Treaty of Union between England and Scotland, and to proclaim Charles III as the new King.
11 a.m. the principal Royal Proclamation was made at St James’ Palace with the Coldstream Guards playing the new National Anthem “God save the King.”
12 noon: the next Proclamation was at the Royal Exchange, London, affirming and proclaiming the new King. The proclamation will continue around the United Kingdom over succeeding days.
1:00 p.m. The Speaker of the House of Commons and the Prime Minister swore the Oath of Allegiance to the new King and his heirs and successors. The latter phrase applied under Queen Elizabeth II so that swearing the Oath again was not strictly necessary. There is no procedural requirement to do so, and it was done voluntarily by those who did so.
10 Sep 2022: lying-in-state in St Giles’ cathedral, Edinburgh. Queuing all night. It seems evident to me that the late Queen planned her death to be in Balmoral. She knew and loved the local Balmoral people, and in this manner they had opportunity to participate in the national mourning her loss, and similarly by her lying-in-state in Edinburgh. If she had died in London, much of the country would have missed out.