This month we will be celebrating the Queen’s official 90th birthday and her remarkable reign. Queen Elizabeth II is the world’s oldest reigning monarch and in 2015, she became the longest reigning British monarch in history.
During her reign, she has seen relentless change and worked with twelve British Prime Ministers. She has seen major constitutional changes, such as devolution in the United Kingdom, Canadian patriation and the decolonisation of Africa. Through this time she has worked relentlessly, no matter what the cost to her personally. She has worked for more than 50 hours a week for most of her working life, and at 90, she still does a full working week. The Queen has some surprising skills. For example, she is able to rebuild the 6-cylinder, 3462 cc engine of an Austin K2 Ambulance!
She has always been an example on how to behave in public life and as a leader of our nation. The political journalist Andrew Marr said about her: “There are no reliable recorded incidents of the Queen losing her temper, using bad language, or refusing to carry out a duty expected of her.”
The Queen is patron of over 600 organisations and charities. Every year, she has more than 50,000 people to lunches, banquets, dinners and garden parties. When an intruder found his way into her Buckingham Palace bedroom, she handled the situation calmly. She said afterwards, “You seem to forget that I spend most of my time conversing with complete strangers.” Every evening when Parliament is sitting, at around 7.30pm, she gets a report of the day’s parliamentary proceedings, written by a Government Whip. She always reads it that evening.
How does she find the energy to do all that? The Queen attends the church weekly and prays daily. Her faith in Christ has never been a secret. In her first Christmas Broadcast in 1952, before her coronation, she asked the people to pray for her. At 90, she says, “I have been – and remain – very grateful for your prayers and to God for His steadfast love. I have indeed seen His faithfulness.” It is noteworthy that the Queen links her faithful servanthood to God’s faithfulness. Paul says in 1 Timothy 2:13, “If we are faithless, He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself.” It is God’s faithfulness to us that makes our faithfulness to him possible. This month, let the Queen’s example of faithful servanthood – because of her trust in God’s faithfulness – inspire you also to serve God faithfully!