When I think of Queen Elizabeth II, the descriptive words that come to mind are faithful perseverance. She has stayed the course and continues to run her race doggedly even at ninety. She obviously paces herself well – something to be admired.
Queen Elizabeth II (Fabulous artistic video)
Such a contrast to Argentina’s Eva Peron from the musical Evita: “The choice was mine and mine completely. I could have any prize that I desired. I could burn with the splendor of the brightest fire, or else – or else, I could choose time. Remember… I was very young then. And a year was forever and a day. So what use could fifty, sixty, seventy be? I saw the lights, and I was on my way. And how I lived. How they shone! But how soon the lights were gone.”
Britain’s longest reigning monarch has lived firmly and prudently. Now, there is word one rarely hears these days. She has lived through so much history and I would like to invite anyone reading this humble blog to share what you may know about her from your sources. Below I shall bullet point some of the interesting facts to me about her life (largely taken from a a newly released tribute titled, The Servant Queen and the King she serves):
- She was born in 1926
- She never went to university, but she has been the adviser and confidante to twelve Prime Ministers.
- She still works over 40 hours a week.
- She employs 1200 people but feeds her own dogs.
- She can rebuild the 6-cylinder engine of an Austin K2 Ambulance.
- She can trek hatless for hours on her Fell pony across the windswept Highland moors.
- She attends church weekly, even on holidays, and prays daily – when she is in residence at the Sandringham Estate, she often slips in quietly through the side entrance, not wanting to draw attention to herself.
- Her trust in Jesus Christ is central to her.
- She doesn’t have to invite a different church minister every weekend of her Balmoral holiday to spend time with her family, but she does.
- She has been married to one man for 69 years! Now that is something to be amazed at in this day and age, right?!
- There are no reliable recorded incidents of the Queen losing her temper, using bad language, or refusing to carry out a duty expected of her. (OK, that is completely humbling!)
- She was a Girl Guide.
- She lost her father, King George VI (King’s Speech king) when she was only 26.
- She had her mother around until she was 76, her mother died at 102.
- She lost her mother and younger sister the same year.
- Her husband, Prince Philip gave up all his foreign titles as an heir to the Greek throne to marry her, and his income as a Navy Lieutenant was only £11 a week.( He is a whole other interesting man that perhaps I shall share what I know of on another post.)
- Before her official public coronation, she was anointed by the Archbishop in a simple white dress in a secret ceremony, committing to serve rather than be served. (She says that that private ceremony was the most solemn and important moment of her entire life.
- She does not determine policy but she takes her constitutional right and duty to express her views on government matters very seriously – usually through the use of questions. (she obviously has coaching skills)
- She praises the work of the everyday citizen regularly.
- She drove the Crown Prince Abdulluh of Saudi Arabia herself around the grounds of Balmoral estate – now there is a strong statement of empowering women! (1998)
- She keeps most of her thoughts to herself unlike so many celebrities today. For example she met with Margaret Thatcher every week for 11 years, but there is no public account of what she thought of her. Or Tony Blair for that matter.
- She is almost never late for anything or anyone, regardless of their rank, because she sees lateness as a mark of disrespect. (Humbled again!)
- She never treats her staff like servants and almost never calls upon them when they are off duty.
- She receives thousands of letters and cards but she has an amazing memory for detail and tremendous care for individual people.
- On the day of Princess Diana’s death she and her grieving grandsons went to their local church in Balmoral.
- One of the rare times she was late was when in 2005, she was visiting Auschwitz for the 60th anniversary of its liberation along with a large group of Holocaust survivors – she stayed and stayed listening to every person’s personal story. Wow!
- Caring for one’s neighbor is the recurring theme in the Queen’s broadcasts, and apart from the accounts of Jesus’ birth, the passage of the Bible she most often cites is Jesus’ Parable of the Good Samaritan.
- She still rides her horses and values taking time to rest.
- She highly values family even with all the schedule demands.
- She has shown herself highly adaptable to changes in technology and culture, growing up before TV, the internet or the jet engine. (Prince Philip has helped her with this.)
- She was “delighted” to make her film debut in the “Bond”-themed cameo at the opening of the 2012 Olympics.
- In all her years as Queen, there has never been a whiff of scandal about the Queen herself. Amazing!
She has shown herself a woman of integrity and consistent of character. May the Lord bless and keep her and the Royal Family. May His strength carry her through until He calls her home, for she certainly will hear, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” Don’t you think? Here is my favorite picture of her! Perhaps she is part mermaid! I love her all the more!