How Queen Elizabeth II Lived Her Christian Faith Amid All Her Privileges

How Queen Elizabeth II Lived Her Christian Faith Amid All Her Privileges

As the world mourns the death of Queen Elizabeth II, Britain's longest-reigning monarch, it's important to note how the Queen lived her Christian faith despite all the privileges given her.

Maintaining one's faith, whatever it may be, is never easy when you have millions of people willing to listen to your views and loyal servants always at your beck and call.

Yet, despite all her human shortcomings, Queen Elizabeth II has shown her brand of allegiance to her Christian faith amid all worldly titles and advantages over her subjects and even those beyond her realm.

Here are some of the things that show how the late Queen lived as a Christian despite all privileges millions could only dream of:

Her stoicism during Prince Phillip's funeral

No less than former Oxford's Campion Hall master, Jan Harvey, S.J., noted the late Queen's stoicism during her husband's funeral at St. George's Chapel. The Queen sat alone beside Prince Phillip's coffin due to prevailing COVID-19 social distancing measures.

Yet, despite her apparent loneliness in her time of great grief, Queen Elizabeth II displayed steely resolve and a show of dignity that moved millions who watched footage of the funeral proceedings. Only someone who clings to her Christian faith can maintain such stoicism amid grief.

She viewed monarchy as a vocation, not a privilege

Father Harvey continued to note that the media often failed to understand that Queen Elizabeth II saw the monarchy as a tool to practice her vocation and not to enjoy her privileges.

Harvey explained that while the late Queen did not choose to become monarch, she did face the enormous challenge of leading entire nations as sovereign. In her life as monarch, the Queen experienced a life of privileges, but she also coupled it with a lifetime of service.

The late Queen told her people to value their Christian faith

An obituary to the late Queen published by Christianity Today pointed out how Queen Elizabeth II told her people to embrace and value their Christian faith.

"For me the teachings of Christ and my own personal accountability before God provide a framework in which I try to lead my life. I, like so many of you, have drawn great comfort in difficult times from Christ's words and example," the Queen reportedly said in 2000.

The article noted how the late monarch stressed faith's critical role in someone's life, which is why she advocated for it.

She let her faith sustain her in her lowest moments

Like her stoicism during her late husband's funeral, Queen Elizabeth showed similar respect to her Christian faith when the Queen Mother and her sister, Princess Margaret, died in 2002.

During her Christmas broadcast that year, the Queen told her people that her faith sustained her. 

"I know just how much I rely on my own faith to guide me through the good times and the bad. Each day is a new beginning. I know that the only way to live my life is to try to do what is right, to take the long view, to give of my best in all that the day brings, and to put my trust in God," Christianity Today noted the Queen saying.

She showed and advocated for tolerance to all faiths

In 2012, Queen Elizabeth attended a multifaith gathering at Lambeth Palace in Canterbury. The event is part of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee celebration as monarch and featured religious leaders from various faiths in the UK.

During the gathering, Queen Elizabeth explained how vital faith is for people.

"Faith plays a key role in the identity of millions of people, providing not only a system of belief but also a sense of belonging. It can act as a spur for social action. Indeed, religious groups have a proud track record of helping those in the greatest need, including the sick, the elderly, the lonely and the disadvantaged. They remind us of the responsibilities we have beyond ourselves," the Queen told attendees, which included leaders of Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, and Buddhism.

Her tolerance and acceptance of various faiths earned her the Sternberg Interfaith Gold Medallion from the Three-Faiths Forum.

She remained committed to her Christian faith until the end of her life

The Queen's devotion to her Christian faith did not escape the attention of religious leaders worldwide.

Cardinal Nichols told Catholic News Agency that Queen Elizabeth II's "Christian faith marked every day of her life and activity."

Meanwhile, Nottingham's Bishop Patrick McKinney said the Queen was "a woman of faith, as a Christian, whose faith always inspired and shaped the way she lived."

Scotland's Catholic Bishops' Conference President Hugh Gilbert mentioned that the British monarch's "determination to remain active to the end of her life has been an example of Christian leadership."

In essence, the late Queen Elizabeth may not have been the sinless leader of the Commonwealth of Nations and the Commonwealth Realms. Still, she was a staunch defender, advocate, and example of a steadfast devotee to the Christian faith.

In the end, it is what matters most.

Related Article: Churches Commemorate Late Queen Elizabeth II, Archbishop of Canterbury Reveals She Had "No Fear of Death"