The pontiff has sent a telegram to Buckingham Palace with his greeting for the queen, who celebrates 70 years on the throne this year.
On Thursday, Pope Francis congratulated Queen Elizabeth II on her 70 years serving on the British throne. He issued a congratulatory message through a telegram sent to Buckingham Palace to mark the celebrations across the United Kingdom that began on Thursday.
"On this joyful occasion of your Majesty's birthday, and as you celebrate this Platinum Jubilee year, I send cordial greetings and good wishes, together with the renewed assurance of my prayers that Almighty God will bestow upon you, the members of the Royal Family and all the people of the nation blessings of unity, prosperity and peace," the Bishop of Rome wrote, as reported by Fox News.
Pope Francis Offers a Cedar of Lebanon to the Queen's Green Canopy Initiative
On March 29, Pope Francis sent a message to Queen Elizabeth, wherein he expressed appreciation for her commitment to the nation and "the advancement of its people, and the preservation of its illustrious spiritual, cultural and political heritage."
In celebration of the queen's Platinum Jubilee year, the pontiff has also offered a Cedar of Lebanon to the Queen's Green Canopy project, which dedicates a network of 70 Ancient Woodlands in the United Kingdom and identifies 70 Ancient Trees to celebrate Her Majesty's seven decades of service to the throne. The initiative encourages people around the world to plant a tree in honor of Queen Elizabeth II's Platinum Jubilee, Vatican News reported.
Pope Francis said that he hopes the tree "which in the Bible symbolizes the flourishing of fortitude, justice and prosperity, would be a pledge of abundant divine blessings" onto Queen Elizabeth II.
The last time the queen and the pope met was in 2014 in the Vatican in a meeting that marked the centennial anniversary of the re-establishment of diplomatic relations between the Holy See and the United Kingdom. Following the 2014 meeting, Pope Francis presented Queen Elizabeth II and her late husband, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, a facsimile of Pope Innocent XI's order extending the cult of St. Edward the Confessor.
The Queen Celebrates Her Platinum Jubilee Amid Concerns for Her Health
Queen Elizabeth II, who ascended to the throne when she was just 25 and who is now 96 years old, is now being celebrated by the United Kingdom in a four-day long fanfare. According to the Washington Post, the celebrations began with the Queen's Birthday Parade, described as Trooping the Colour, a 260 year old tradition involving 1,400 soldiers in tunics and caps marching in precision drills. It was followed by an record-breaking 82-gun salute and concluded with a "flypast" by the Royal Air Force with 70 fighter planes and helicopters flying in formation to create the number "70" as the Queen herself watched from the palace balcony.
But concerns for the queen's health hung over the celebrations. While the palace announced that Queen Elizabeth II "greatly enjoyed" the parade and aerial display, tshe "did experience some discomfort" and would not be attending Friday's thanksgiving service at St. Paul's Cathedral. Despite concerns for her health, the queen enjoys an 86% approval rating from polling firm Ipsos and many want her to continue on.