An Archbishop in the wings, a Priest on the stage. 4 pm GMT, September 19th, 2022. Her Majesty, The Queen, was being referred to in that very manner, one of Royal elevation and presumed glory, as the priest read out the various required pleasantries at the Royal ceremony of the Monarch being laid to rest at St George’s Chapel. He continued on and his remarks became more focused on committing Her to God and in effect, playing down her royal status. This sentiment was most profoundly displayed when she was, quite remarkably, relieved of her Royal titles, “so she can be buried as a servant of God”. Although this may appear as nothing more than tradition, I would propose that it is a Royal significance that mustn’t suffer an improper analysis and that it reveals the nature of The Queen’s role as a servant of God and her intimate relationship with Christ.
More commonly, and quite validly known as a royal, dignified figure; Her proposed excellency, Queen Elizabeth II would perhaps be more accurately described as a woman who, at her very core – was a person of principle and faith. Drawing not only from the materialisation of that observation in the monarchy that she ensured was one run on Christian principles but for instance her insistence on and commitment to keeping her hands clear of the boiling pot that is politics, or even the simple yet telling fact that she attended Church at Balmoral every Sunday. Throughout her 70-year-long reign, there existed a unique balance between the state’s Christian traditional requirements and The Queen’s personal faith and values. Though much of the state’s Christian traditions and practices required the Queen’s participation regardless of her beliefs, the perception and indeed reality of her intimate personal relationship with God enabled these anachronistic practices to be received in a much more genuine and relevant light.
Most revealing of all these practices, in my opinion, was the aforementioned act of her being relieved of her royal titles in order to be buried as a servant of God, a final public gesture, that she was voluntarily accepting of.
Allow me to for a moment, spend a few lines on Stephen Fry’s remarks on the significance of the Prime Minister having to visit The Queen every week and essentially run things by her. I believe this possesses much relevance to our current stream of thought. Fry talks about the fact that the Prime Minister having to attend a weekly meeting with the Monarch, ensured the Prime Minister did not stray too far from cooperation with and submission to the idea of serving a nation. The Queen is a symbol of the nation. He also elaborates on how if some other mentioned heads of state were required to go, every week to a symbolic representation of the people, and the state, and quite literally bow down to them, then that would have some sort of grounding and humbling effect on the Prime Minister which would be helpful and productive for all parties involved. This observation by Fry of course reveals the tremendous amount of, if not power, the influence she had on the country and the sobering effect she had on the role of the Prime Minister, but I believe that it also invites us to explore the proposition that the Queen herself might require a superior figure to bow to and submit to, and how that figure for her was indeed God.
The fact that someone as glorified and aggrandised as Her, still felt willing and if I may, ‘called’ to give her glory to God, and ventured forth into their reign with God as the foundation, is a truth which contains much substance and value. In fact, it might be surmised that if she had not had this superior figure, this deity embodied as a framework of perception and action rooted in the life of Christ, then her reign might have been…different. Possibly more tyrannical and the obvious risk of it all getting to her head if she did not have a superior being to devote herself to. The mere fact that a large population of her own country,
foreign presidents, prime ministers, world leaders and citizens of other countries address her as Your/Her Majesty, insists automatically that there is a possibility and perhaps invitation to the one being addressed in such terms to elevate themselves to such a sovereign and God-like level. What strikes me as interesting is the fact that she was involuntarily cast into a life of ruling and service and was placed at the highest level of the state at such a young age, so she approached the incontestable reality of her elevation to a sovereign and God-like level with a stance of total devotion and sacrifice to Christ.
Speaking of her religion and devotion to Christ, I feel it vital to mention that The Queen, although being a devout Christian and the head of the ruling institution of Britain founded and run on Christianity, was extremely determined to enable and promote the free practice of all religions in her country, an intention on which she delivered in many ways, one of which can be seen by the various large populations of different religions coexisting in Britain with support from the Royal establishment.
We now encounter the inevitable arrival of ‘What does this all mean?’, a question needed especially in this case of such an interpretational assessment. I suppose each one will make of it what they will but each one could also take note of the result and benefit of this life of faith and principle The Queen lived. Of course, she was not without her flaws and historical regrets, and her failures should be taken along with her victories. Perhaps it is a conjugation of all these estimates. but these are variables.
To look at a constant, was her.
From Churchill to Truss, she was the final say, the last level.
A symbol of the nation and The head of the state.
It nudges one to take awareness of the fact that by her being adorned with such a title as the Queen of the United Kingdom and the fact that other human beings refer to her as Majesty, and her role and stately perception as a sovereign figure, all cumulatively cast her into competition with God, a rival she can’t accept as one. So she takes herself – The Queen – a symbol of the nation, out of that competition by submitting to God, and perhaps the ultimate symbolic enactment of that idea was when her Crown Jewels, Orb and Sceptre were removed from her coffin and she was relieved of her royal titles to be submitted to God and to be buried as a servant of Him. From all this, I derive: Her Majesty, The Queen – A Servant, of God.