Queen Elizabeth II is the longest-reigning monarch in British history, having ruled for 66 years and counting. She has led the nation through both triumphs and tragedies, including World War II and the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Her coronation ceremony at Westminster Abbey was presided over by Archbishop Geoffrey Fisher and took place on June 2nd, 1953. At that time she swore her oath with her hand placed upon a Bible once owned by King Charles II"”an act which has been repeated by most British monarchs since then. She was 27 years old when she started her 70-year reign.
Queen Elizabeth's christian faith
It's no secret that Queen Elizabeth II has a strong Christian heritage. Her coronation ceremony was held on February 2, 1953, and during the event she swore an oath to serve God as "defender of the faith." The coronation also included prayers from both Anglican and Roman Catholic priests"”a first for a British monarch since Henry VIII split with Rome in 1534.
In addition to her faith, Queen Elizabeth II has always been an advocate for religious freedom around the world. In 2015 she made headlines by speaking out against Islamic terrorism in the Middle East at Westminster Abbey when she delivered an address at a service commemorating World War I Armistice Day: "We must not forget those who lost their lives in conflicts which have caused so much suffering."
She attended a service for the 700th anniversary of the birth of Geoffrey Chaucer, and quoted a line from his Canterbury Tales at the service: "Patiently on God to call." The quote is from the prologue to The Canterbury Tales.
Public support to Christianity includes defense of traditional marriage
Queen Elizabeth II's public support of Christianity included her strong defense of traditional marriage. She publicly supported the Church of England, which is headed by the British Monarch as Supreme Governor. Queen Elizabeth has also been known to quote from the Bible at important events and services. In a speech at the Church of England's General Synod meeting in York in 2018, she said she was "deeply saddened" by the decision of some churches and synod members to allow same-sex marriages.
Encourages people to go beyond themselves
In an address to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, Queen Elizabeth said: "Even if we are not able to join our voices in prayer, we may unite in thinking of one another, and in our thoughts embracing each other and all our fellow citizens, as we commend ourselves and our concerns into God's gracious care." This quote comes from Romans 12:19. It's a verse that has been used by many Christian leaders over the centuries as a means of encouraging people to look beyond themselves during difficult times.
This quote is emblematic of her coronation ceremony at Westminster Abbey when she was crowned queen at age 25 in 1953. She took her oath then saying: "I pledge myself to your service." The Archbishop of Canterbury performed this rite after which he said: "Elizabeth Alexandra Mary do solemnly promise and swear that I will faithfully execute ... my office ... according to law... So help me God!"
Queen Elizabeth tells believers not to take revenge
"We must not let evil win. And if we meet it with endurance, and if we meet it with courage, and if we never forget the values that are important to us as a people, then I am sure that we will succeed."
It's no wonder Queen Elizabeth II chose this passage from Romans 12:19 for her speech at St Paul's Cathedral after the terrorist attacks on 9/11. It emphasizes not only endurance (a word she uses in her address) but also courage, which is crucial when combating evil in the world. The quote also focuses on one of Christianity's key tenets: never forgetting our values as a people. This message isn't just applicable during times of war; it applies every day of our lives and reminds us that what unites us is greater than anything that divides us
Queen Elizabeth took her oath with her hand placed upon a Bible
As you, or your children, study the history of the English monarchy and its impact on world events, it's important to acknowledge that this great institution was founded in religious beginnings. In fact, England has a long tradition of being led by monarchs who were strong advocates for Christianity.
It's not surprising that Queen Elizabeth II was coronated with her hand placed upon a Bible once owned by King Charles II. The book was given to him by his brother James when they were children studying at Oxford University together; they both would later become kings of England themselves. The Bible has since been known as "The Book" and is much more than just an ordinary copy"”it contains handwritten notes from both boys throughout their time at university and early adulthoods as well as several signatures from notable figures throughout church history such as John Wesley (founder of Methodism) and John Calvin (theologian).
A queen we will love forever
Queen Elizabeth II has had a long and impressive life, but the most important thing to remember is that she always remained true to herself. Her religious legacy was defined by her conviction that Christianity and other faiths are a vital part of our national identity. Through her actions, words and deeds, we can see just how much she valued that connection between religion and nationhood"”and why it matters for all Americans today. With that, Queen Elizabeth II isn't just a monarch with countless legacies we will remember for as long as we live - she's a Queen, our Queen, forever.