Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II is 90! We’re most inspired about her Faith which has in turn rub off on her service through the years.
In a new book just in time for her 90th birthday, the Queen reflects on Jesus’ central role in her life in calling Christ “the King she serves” in the title.
“I have been — and remain — very grateful to you for your prayers and to God for his steadfast love,” the British monarch writes in the foreword to The Servant Queen and the King She Serves.
Thousands of churches will reportedly be giving away copies of the book, which is being published by HOPE, Bible Society and the London Institute for Contemporary Christianity, according to the Church of England.
“As I’ve been writing this book and talking about it to friends, to family who don’t know Jesus, to my Jewish barber, I’ve been struck how very interested they are to discover more about the Queen’s faith,” said Mark Greene, executive director of LICC, who is the co-author of the book.
“The Queen has served us all her adult life, with amazing consistency of character, concern for others and a clear dependence on Christ. The more I’ve read what she’s written and talked to people who know her, the clearer that is,” he added.
The Star Tribune noted that besides her faith, the queen also talks about the ongoing mass persecution of Christians in the Middle East in her book, which is a subject she has touched upon on a number of occasions.
She highlighted the persecution of Christians in her Christmas address of 2015, which Church observers called the “most Christian message yet” of her 60-plus year reign as monarch.
Michael Nazir-Ali, the former Bishop of Rochester, said at the time that “if people in this country gave greater heed to what the queen says about the importance of Christianity in our personal as well as our national life, then we would be in a better place to confront it.”
He noted that “the queen will also be aware that Christians and others have faced unprecedented persecution over the last year in parts of the Middle East, and could even face extinction.”
HOPE’s Executive Director Roy Crowne said that the book on Elizabeth’s birthday, which is on April 21, will be a chance for Christians “to say thank you to God and to the Queen for her life and example as a follower of Jesus Christ.”
Paul Woolley, deputy chief executive at the Bible Society, added: “In drawing attention to the central role of the Queen’s faith in her life and reign, The Servant Queen will be a unique 90th birthday publication. The book will inform, surprise, entertain and challenge, all at the same time.”
In the space of a few months a number of remarkable landmarks pass in the life of Queen Elizabeth II. On 9 September 2015, Elizabeth became the monarch who has ruled the Commonwealth for the longest period, surpassing her great-great-grandmother Queen Victoria. And 21 April 2016 marks her 90th birthday.
A pound coin in the UK bears an image of the Queen’s head, surrounded by the words: ELIZABETH II D.G.REG.F.D.’ It stands for: ‘Elizabeth II Dei Gratia Regina Fidei Defensor.’ These words are in Latin and they mean: ‘Elizabeth II, by the Grace of God, Queen, Defender of the Faith.’
The faith of which the queen is a defender is Christianity.
What does it mean for the Queen to be Defender of the Faith? It has a formal meaning, because it indicates that the Queen is the Supreme Governor of the Church of England. But it also has a personal meaning, because her reign has been characterised by acknowledgement of her dependence on Jesus Christ. This has been central to both her public pronouncements and her private devotions.
Queen Elizabeth II succeeded to the title upon her coronation on 2 June 1953. However, her personal faith in God was clear before that. On the occasion of her 21st birthday in 1947 she made a radio broadcast in which she said this:
‘I declare before you all that my whole life, whether it be long or short, shall be devoted to your service and the service of our great imperial family to which we all belong.
‘But I shall not have strength to carry out this resolution alone unless you join in it with me, as I now invite you to do. I know that your support will be unfailingly given. God help me to make good my vow, and God bless all of you who are willing to share in it.’
In 2015, as part of the television broadcast she makes to the nation and the commonwealth, the queen said this:
‘For me, the life of Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace, whose birth we celebrate today, is an inspiration and an anchor in my life.
A role-model of reconciliation and forgiveness, He stretched out His hands in love, acceptance and healing. Christ’s example has taught me to seek to respect and value all people of whatever faith or none.’
We celebrate Queen Elizabeth II today… #HappyBirthdayYourMajesty
Stay tuned to Praiseworld Radio to listen to exclusive gospel tunes and exciting programs all day every day.