I have been sitting on these words which came to me through the night following the demise of Queen Elizabeth II of England and the Commonwealth. For me, timing and perspective at sensitive times like this is necessary. One never wants to come across as trite. There has already been much said and the beautiful statement that our now King Charles III has proffered for his mother’s life of sacrifice and unstinting service has touched me. May he rule well in his own regard and in the power of the Lord Jesus Christ.
What I write now is my genuine feelings and a genuine reflection of what Queen Elizabeth II has meant to me in the context of the country I was born in and a review of the pressing circumstances that she has had to grapple with leading up to her passing. I end with a prayer for the King and our country.
I write as a black woman. I see myself as Black British. I love and respect my Caribbean heritage and sensitive to the issue of the devastating impact that slavery had on my people and the effect of colonial rule historically and where Britain and her rulers played a significant part.
Yet, as a Christian , i am called to love and forgive and i write from a human perspective at the passing of a great woman , a mother, and grandmother, God has permitted to sit on a earthly throne for over 70 years.
I start with the premise that we are promised three score years and 10 and by reason of strength a bit longer. The Queen has surpassed this. Her passing therefore is not a tragedy, rather a sadness and inevitable, given the physical nature of man. It is indeed appointed unto man, once to die. The sadness however is heightened i think by her later and more recents years peppered with unsavory events brought on by members of her family and of course the loss of her husband , Prince Philip. The Queen was able to put much of these difficulties behind her and behaved admirably during the passing of her husband our recent health challenges and worked right up until the end.
Like many have said i have known no other monarch . Born in the 60”s i grew up with my parents acknowledging our head of state. My own mother shares the same birth month (days apart) as the Queen and she when she used to follow horoscopes… she used to revel in the fact that they shared the same sign.
As i have watched my own mother age, i have often noticed the other similarities to the monarch . A matriarch growing elderly and having to cope with the jostling of a number of children , their adult decision making and the threat and impact that some of those decisions (including my mothers own) have had on the family unit over the years.
The first time i saw the Queen troubled was at the death of Princess Diana when she admits (if i remember correctly) she had ‘misjudged the nations mood’. I saw the strain on her face and how she humbled herself and came down to mingle with the people in those dark and sad days.
I am not a royalist but i am a Christian and as Boris Johnson has said this morning – it was her sense of humanity and that which exists in us where one cannot but, be moved by her passing and to respond in the proper way with love.
I don’t need to tell you the story. It has been said but these are my reflections. Queen Elizabeth II was not only the Head of state but a woman, a mother, grandmother and great grandmother and her passing will significantly affect both on the private and public sphere. I have some understanding of the inherent tensions between public and private – the tensions between wanting to say and correct things, but not having the permission to do so.
God tells us to love so as a Christian i don’t ..shouldn’t have to dig too deep. My compassion and heart is for a woman who dedicated her life to a task that fell into her lap as a result of her Uncle’s own choices and her own Father’s relatively early demise.
The royal family is really no different from our own. Wherever we look in our world , families have challenges , members commit ills, families have brokenness and the monarchy has had its own pain and dare i say ‘dirty washing’ being hung out for the world to see. I know how difficult it has been for my own mother to deal with the competing needs and choices and errant behavior of a number of her children and over the years and in a changing society and where there has been a decline in the respect for elders and even common decency. The Queen’s experience has been no different but she has shown dignity, compassion, humility and fortitude throughout her reign .
I am not oblivious to the fact that financially our Queen was in a better situation than my own mother ever was and that she had a more privileged life and better supports to respond and deal with those challenges. That she was able to remain in what appears to be a strong marriage is a testament of a woman able to make and stick to covenants both the one for God and the UK, commonwealth, realm and the lands to which she was figure head .
I was surprisingly moved by the passing of Prince Phillip and now know that many of the things he had done in his life had been done without broadcasting. The photos over the years shows how he respected the call and anointing on the Queen’s life . He knew his place and didn’t usurp. This union in my opinion was a divine choice.
There has always been controversy during my own life in the events that followed the marriage of Diana and our now King Charles III. Diana and I shared the same birth month two – days apart…. Like many i had been excited about the freshness she brought to the monarchy and the hope of a good future for the realm. For the Queen, all that transpired must have been a thorn in the flesh which appears to have resurgence at different points over the years . But lets be honest the breakdown in the marriage and all that went with it, is no different from the many marital breakups and divorces that happen in our modern society.
The Queen has sought to manage these events happening on the public stage to the best of her ability whilst also seeking to protect her privacy and dignity. She was able to put her own views to one side and permit Charles’ remarriage to a divorcee., now , Queen Consort , Camilla. The Bible gives a view about divorce and remarriage whilst one party is alive and i cannot add to it or take away. However, I have seen Charles much happier man since his marriage to second wife and long may he reign and represent the Crown well with the supports that are around him.
It is very sad to be hearing and seeing the breakdown of the relationship between him and his younger son. King Charles’ continued love for his younger son and his young son’s family was demonstrated in his first speech to the nation. It is hoped that the bitterness and juxtaposition between the now Wales and Sussex’s will cease and attempts made to rebuild relationships and not continue to tear down.
As i was preparing to tidy up this reflection the words ‘the throne is established by righteousness’. Proverbs 16:12. came to mind and for this we pray and that righteousness will exalt our nation.
I share the rest of the chapter from Proverbs 16 here as the warnings it brings are pertinent and to assist and to lead us into wider prayer.
The preparations of the heart in man,
and the answer of the tongue, is from the LORD.
2 All the ways of a man are clean in his own eyes;
but the LORD weigheth the spirits.
3 Commit thy works unto the LORD,
and thy thoughts shall be established.
4 The LORD hath made all things for himself:
yea, even the wicked for the day of evil.
5 Every one that is proud in heart is an abomination to the LORD:
though hand join in hand, he shall not be unpunished.
6 By mercy and truth iniquity is purged:
and by the fear of the LORD men depart from evil.
7 When a man’s ways please the LORD,
he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him.
8 Better is a little with righteousness
than great revenues without right.
9 A man’s heart deviseth his way:
but the LORD directeth his steps.
10 A divine sentence is in the lips of the king:
his mouth transgresseth not in judgment.
11 A just weight and balance are the LORD’s:
all the weights of the bag are his work.
12 It is an abomination to kings to commit wickedness:
for the throne is established by righteousness.
13 Righteous lips are the delight of kings;
and they love him that speaketh right.
14 The wrath of a king is as messengers of death:
but a wise man will pacify it.
15 In the light of the king’s countenance is life;
and his favour is as a cloud of the latter rain.
16 How much better is it to get wisdom than gold!
and to get understanding rather to be chosen than silver!
17 The highway of the upright is to depart from evil:
he that keepeth his way preserveth his soul.
18 Pride goeth before destruction,
and an haughty spirit before a fall.
19 Better it is to be of an humble spirit with the lowly,
than to divide the spoil with the proud.
20 He that handleth a matter wisely shall find good:
and whoso trusteth in the LORD, happy is he.
21 The wise in heart shall be called prudent:
and the sweetness of the lips increaseth learning.
22 Understanding is a wellspring of life unto him that hath it:
but the instruction of fools is folly.
23 The heart of the wise teacheth his mouth,
and addeth learning to his lips.
24 Pleasant words are as an honeycomb,
sweet to the soul, and health to the bones.
25 There is a way that seemeth right unto a man,
but the end thereof are the ways of death.
26 He that laboureth laboureth for himself;
for his mouth craveth it of him.
27 An ungodly man diggeth up evil:
and in his lips there is as a burning fire.
28 A froward man soweth strife:
and a whisperer separateth chief friends.
29 A violent man enticeth his neighbour,
and leadeth him into the way that is not good.
30 He shutteth his eyes to devise froward things:
moving his lips he bringeth evil to pass.
31 The hoary head is a crown of glory,
if it be found in the way of righteousness.
32 He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty;
and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city.
33 The lot is cast into the lap;
but the whole disposing thereof is of the LORD. A man’s heart deviseth his way:
but the LORD directeth his steps.
10 A divine sentence is in the lips of the king:
his mouth transgresseth not in judgment.
So Lord, these are the things we pray for , for our King and his family . For wisdom to prevail in the decision making and those giving counsel to the rest of the members of the family. Let forgiveness be the default mode of family members in line with what the Christian faith stands for and for what Elizabeth had worked for over the 70 years of her reign. Let genuineness and pleasant words be the exchange amongst the family members at this times.
We pray for healing for those who have suffered loss , who feel crushed or marginalized. We pray for the inevitable impact of loss and bereavement and the resurgent memories it might bring. We pray for compassion and peace to reign between this family and its members . Let strife and evil scheming cease. We pray for just weights and balances and for truth to prevail.
We pray against the merchandising of events and for respect to be given to the Crown instituted and permitted by God, in this last hour and over the preceding years of our country. We remember the warnings of Apostle Paul not to judge for he said …. ‘ to his own master ….King Charles ……stands or fall. (Romans 14:4 and summarized here ) .
King Charles III has declared his allegiance to the Christian faith and long may that continue within the UK and our shores. We pray for the realms and the countries where there remains jurisprudence and power from our monarchy. We pray for protection of our monarchy and our country. We ask God to protect our borders and our shores. We declare that King Charles and his household be holden up by the inherent and supernatural power of the Lord Jesus Christ and what was accomplished on the cross over 2,000 years ago. We know that despite any perceived human frailties ‘…..God is able to make Charles and his family stand or fall, for God’s own divine purpose.
We pray that the Lord and his holy angels safeguard the coming and goings of the Head of state and the family, individually and collectively. We come against any plots or schemes that might seek to sully, dishonor or disable the plans that God has permitted.
Finally, we pray for the next generation of children born into this family who are subject to the decision making of parents and others. We pray that wisdom will prevail and that the throne be established in righteousness.
Draft , will be subject to further revision and as the Lord leads – in the meantime , pray.
Evangelist Linda J UK