Queen - longest reign 4
Church of England

Elizabeth II becomes our longest-reigning monarch – God Save The Queen!

 

Today, 9th September 2015, sometime around 5.30pm, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II becomes the longest-reigning monarch in British history, beating the record previously set by her great-great grandmother Queen Victoria, of 63 years, 7 months, 2 days, 16 hours, and 23 minutes; who herself beat the previous record set by her grandfather, King George III, who reigned for 59 years, 96 days, sundry hours and unknown minutes.

Congratulations, Your Majesty.

The tributes have been bountiful; the appreciation abundant, and esteem effusive. They talk of untiring duty and tell of faithful service. They speak of warmth, honour and compassion, and proclaim loyalty, pride and devotion. It is a time for national rejoicing, bell-ringing, trumpet fanfares and bonfire-burning the length and breadth of the United Kingdom of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Queen Elizabeth II has steered the good ship Monarchy from the moral gloom of post-war austerity to the postmodern indulgence of moral relativity. Her cheeks have worn, her costumes modified and her progress morphed to each decade, but eyes have never dimmed, and the radiance of her faith has been constant. She has survived by the Grace of God, and carried her country, commonwealth and church with her.

Throughout her Kingdom and Dominions beyond the seas, millions upon millions of postage stamps, coins and banknotes have borne her likeness as a symbol of all that is good, noble, true and virtuous. Through an era of unprecedented change and social revolution, she has been a rock of majesty; an anchor, compass and counsellor to 12 prime ministers and seven archbishops of Canterbury. When it has rained, her sun has shone because the Son dwells in her heart, transforming to the likeness of saintliness, servanthood and sacramental kingship. You may think all this smacks of obsequious fawning and sycophantic hyperbole: you know nothing of the image of God.

Today, Queen Elizabeth II becomes not only our longest-reigning monarch, but also our longest-serving Supreme Governor (/’Head’, prior to 1559) of the Church of England – the Catholic and Reformed establishment of the Church in England. And what a service it has been – of modesty and majesty; morality and dignity; holiness and elegance. as the XXXIX Articles announce:

Being by God’s Ordinance, according to Our just Title, Defender of the Faith and Supreme Governor of the Church, within these Our Dominions, We hold it most agreeable to this Our Kingly Office, and Our own religious zeal, to conserve and maintain the Church committed to Our Charge, in Unity of true Religion, and in the Bond of Peace … We have therefore, upon mature Deliberation, and with the Advice of so many of Our Bishops as might conveniently be called together, thought fit to make this Declaration following … That We are Supreme Governor of the Church of England…

She has no Empire, unlike her great-great grandmother, and yet she is imperial, bestriding the narrow world in an absolute reflection of unparallelled sovereignty and matchless blessing. Princes, prime ministers, presidents, popes and potentates have come and gone. She, with steadiness and supreme statesmanship, endures. And we – the new Elizabethans – love her. Our royal cup overflows with joy and delight. Her popularity may occasionally wain, but the love does not dim. On her throne or on walkabout; shaking hands with kings, commanders or school cleaners, she embodies the essence of the Prince of Peace.

God knows what history will make of her reign: the first Elizabethan age was golden: an era of stability, Shakespeare, via media settlement and global expansion. This second Elizabethan age is prosperous and peaceful; individual and technological; fractured and terrorised. At least that’s how it now seems: historians will doubtless imagine differently. But as the noise of this magnificent reign has shifted from the wireless to the worldwide web, Elizabeth II has been permanent, constant and consistent.

In commemoration of the Queen becoming our longest-reigning Monarch and longest-serving Supreme Governor, the Church of England has issued special prayers. We pray them now in love, with gratitude, honour and pride.

A Collect for use after the Collect of the Day at BCP services
Almighty God, who hast set our gracious sovereign Queen Elizabeth upon the throne of this realm, and given her to surpass all others in the years of her reign: Receive our heartfelt thanks for her service to her people, confirm and encourage her in the continuance of the same, and keep her in thy heavenly wisdom; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who took the form of a servant for our sake, and reigneth now in glory with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, world without end.
Amen.

A modern-language prayer drawing on Philippians 2
Almighty God, whose Son Jesus Christ exchanged the glory of a heavenly throne for the form of a servant, we thank you that you have given Elizabeth our Queen a heart to serve her people, and have kept her devoted in this service beyond all who were before her: encourage us by her example to serve one another, and to seek the common good, until you call us all to reign with Christ in your eternal kingdom.
Amen.

God Save The Queen!

  • David

    A truly excellent article, and thank you for it, Your Grace.
    What a good read to start ones day !
    Her sense of duty and fidelity stands in sharp contrast to the distrusted politicians who continue to mislead us. If they had a fraction of her integrity we would be a happier nation.
    But then she has faith in God, and how many of our prominent politicians truly
    believe in Him and his Word anymore ? Cursed will be this nation until it returns to the old paths of faith.

  • At 5:30 this evening, I will be joining the rest of the local bell ringers in the Parish Church to mark the occasion. Hopefully, we will be able to ring for about half an hour with a few breaks as most of our ringers are well past retirement age! Some towers will be ringing peals (lasting for around 3 hours non-stop) or quarter peals, but until we get some new and younger ringers unfortunately even a quarter peal is now beyond us.
    But we will do our best for the Queen.

    • David

      A splendid way to mark the date.
      Our parish church has but one bell, so it is not exactly joyous.

      • Ours has eight, but the heaviest weighs over a ton so can be quite hard work for someone who is getting on in years!

    • avi barzel

      Ha! An honest to goodness member of the honourable bell ringers on this very blog! Good luck peeling the lazy-loaf yoots from their devices for some serious pealing!

      • We rang 63 call changes so that our two learners could participate followed by a short touch of Bob Triples. About all we can manage these days!

        • avi barzel

          Whoa, too technical for me! Sadly for me synagogues don’t have bells, which is just as well, I suppose, because we’d be forming advisory and executive committees, splintering into factions of traditionalits and modernists and the big donors would be screwing-on commemorative plaques for themselves to the bells until they ring like old buckets.

          A curiosity you may not have come across; many old monasteries and churches in the Balkans still keep old wooden sound boards which they used to strike instead of bells. This was because the Turks banned church towers and bells.

          • Our plaques, aka peal boards are all fixed to the walls of the ringing room. Peals are usually rung for special occasions, and on our eight bells take around three hours.

          • avi barzel

            I just knew it would be more complicated then it seems. I imagine this refers to the fancy, complex bell ringing such as the kind I used to enjoy hearing up until about ten years ago when the little Gothic-revival Anglican church three blocks away shut its doors and became a Montessori school.

          • dannybhoy

            “Whoa, too technical for me! Sadly for me synagogues don’t have bells,
            which is just as well, I suppose, because we’d be forming advisory and
            executive committees, splintering into factions of traditionalits and
            modernists and the big donors would be screwing-on commemorative plaques
            for themselves to the bells until they ring like old buckets.”
            That’s what I heard.

  • Inspector General

    An absolutely magnificent show, your majesty!

    Your grateful humble servant, ma’am

  • CliveM

    Good photo choice.

    When I was born she wasn’t new to the throne. I remember my school celebrating her Silver Jubilee. I am now closer to retirement then I will like to say.

    My whole life she has been Queen. She has reigned with dignity and dedication and I hope she continues for many more years. She sets an example to the nation.

    • dannybhoy

      Mehhhh, you’re just a kid…

      • CliveM

        So you old Republican, are you going to congratulate her? :0)

        • dannybhoy

          I upvoted Anton’s comment, what more requirest thou?
          I am a lukewarm Monarchist. I admire Her Majesty’s devotion to her role. I don’t envy her in the slightest.
          I like William ‘n ‘Arry. They want to be themselves, do something useful and have true friends; not sycophants or ‘angers on.
          And there’s the rub..
          I don’t like privilege, meaningless unearned honours or snobbery; and I’m afraid that is what comes with monarchy.

          • Inspector General

            Of course, by having a monarchy, we’ve missed out on President Blair, President Mandelson and President Benn, and we are going to miss out on President Salmond, President Cameron and President Corbyn. Even President Tatchell

            The sacrifices we’ve made, what!

          • dannybhoy

            No, I don’t want a republic Inspector. A slimmed down monarchy with the Monarch having a more ‘hands on’ role, when it comes to say committing our forces to war, a more relevant honours system and perhaps another avenue of appeal on certain issues.

          • Inspector General

            Best leave what we have well alone then Danny…

          • dannybhoy

            My wife and I have been to one of her garden partys, but my ideas met with a rather cool reception…. :0)

          • Inspector General

            One thinks Cranmer deserves a gong for his goodly work on the world wide whatever, so next time you’re there…

          • avi barzel

            Gosh, first Jack using a possessive instead of a plural, now you write “partys” ? Slow down and mind your mother-tongue, boys, we have standards to uphold!

          • carl jacobs

            I keep telling them, but they don’t listen.

          • avi barzel

            Can’t blame them, you only speak Americanese.

          • carl jacobs

            Is that some kind of Canadianism for “Standard English”?

          • dannybhoy

            “Gosh, first Jack using a possessive instead of a plural..”

            Jack will do anything to get himself noticed on this blog, shameless hussy.
            I thought ‘partys’ looked wrong when I typed it, but garden ‘parties’ didn’t look right either…
            Thanks for the correction Avi. I truly appreciate it.
            (Thinks)
            “That’ll wipe the smug grin off of his face… ;0)

          • Anton

            Ah, but President Corbyn wished to make taxation to fund the armed forces a matter of individual conscience.

            http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3224653/Labour-leadership-favourite-Jeremy-Corbyn-said-taxpayers-able-opt-funding-Army-idea-branded-bonkers-military-brass.html

            Some senior retired generals have grumbled but I think the principle is not necessarily a bad one and might usefully be extended to other facets of government policy…

          • dannybhoy

            We’d end up with Dad’s Army, Anton..

          • Anton

            O, those who opt out can be mandatorily tasked with organising their own defence force. Or preferentially conscripted in the event of war.

          • dannybhoy

            Our country is too big, too (dare I say influential) not to have an effective, well trained and equipped military capability.
            I think what needs to change is the ease with which the military has been thrown into dubious, disastrous and morale sapping conflicts. There needs to be a more representative or prescriptive procedure.

          • Inspector General

            We’re not going to have much of an army if their head of army staff, some Lieutenant General whose name escapes the Inspector isn’t kicked out. If one reads him correctly, he’s not too keen on recruits unless they are the type to hug homosexuals, applaud men who think they’re women and dress accordingly, and one presumes from all that, respect men who would not be averse to joining a paedo ring if they were so invited…

          • Anton

            O dear, people are taking my advocacy of Corbyn’s view a bit too seriously… I was making the point that it would be nice to opt out of various tax-and-spend social engineering policies…

          • Phil R

            If he does offer an opt out it will set a precedent to push for other opt outs.

          • Phil R

            Taxation a matter of individual conscience. .

            Making legal what is current practice?

          • CliveM

            Not from where I’m sitting.

          • Phil R

            That is what is so unfair with the present system.

    • David

      Well put !

  • Anton

    Compared to the Commons, she has the worst job in the world… responsibility for the law without meaningful power to set it. Let us give thanks for her dignity in that situation.

  • The Explorer

    No Linus to lower the tone in any discussion about royalty.

  • David Keen

    As any good Archbishop (living or dead) can testify, Jesus is our longest reigning monarch

    • David

      Very true !

    • sarky

      With less power than the Queen it would seem.

      • Anton

        His hand is stayed by his own choice, as the New Testament explains. Not forever, though.

  • alternative_perspective

    The monarchy in this post-modern, media manipulated age is an anachronism.
    Its strange that the most experienced and wise of leaders is permitted the least of political influence.
    In my opinion, the monarchy needs to change systematically.
    As Anton points out she has final responsibility for legislation and military action yet has no meaningful instrument to affect these. Perhaps a small court or body, similar to Germany’s “wise men”, led and chaired by the monarch with real power to reject legislation and declare / stop declarations of war should be created.
    As it is, the house of commons is becoming a wild and reactionary legislative body and the PM and his cabinet presidential and populist. Who in politics is there, to force the PM to make hard decisions; row back on bad ones and keep the political machine on a straight course? It is the Queen’s responsibility but she has been robbed of the moral power to do this job by republican elements in the press.
    We need a change.

    • CliveM

      Yes look what happened when the HofL was updated. Leave well alone.

    • chiefofsinners

      But would you want to give the same power to Charles, and to she that weareth the britches? I durst not speak the name lest she turn I into a newt.

      • Newt’s shed their tails when they are captured ….

        • chiefofsinners

          That be lizards, brother Jack. I have tried it.

          • … and newts.

          • chiefofsinners

            No, not newts. Most of my youth was spent among newts, which is why I am so learned in their lore.

            Have you been a little newt like in your imbibement this evening, Jack? Toasting her majesty or such like?

          • Jack stands corrected in the presence of ‘Newt Man’. They have strange mating habits, don’t they?

          • dannybhoy

            Not newts Jack. Lizards and slow worms and very good secret agents..

          • Anton

            It is a matter of pride that my pet slow worm (long deceased) became sufficiently hand tame that he never did this.

        • avi barzel

          Newts, Jack, not newt’s. You don’t want visitors here to think we spell like old Chinese greengrocers.

          • There’s always someone ready to fill the vacuum left by Linus.

          • avi barzel

            Nature abhors vacuum, they say.

          • You were a tad unkind towards Chinese grocers, Avi.

          • avi barzel

            I spend enough on their produce; they can take it.

          • Jack’s never met one. Plenty of Chinese takeaway owners but never a grocer.

          • avi barzel

            Best greengrocers in Toronto. The fellows get up hours before dawn to pick out the best produce at the Ontario Food Terminal. A vanishing group; they are all getting on in years and their kids are all physicists, big money managers or concert pianists.

          • dannybhoy

            I thought they scoured the neighbourhood looking for stray ca-rrots and courgettes…

      • bluedog

        ghastly woman.

  • IanCad

    Wonderful!! May she live as long as her mother.
    Let’s see now; Charles will be about eighty when he ascends the throne.
    Another record!

    • DanJ0

      Can’t we put him out to pasture?

      • sarky

        He can spend his days talking to the grass 🙂

      • IanCad

        If wisdom comes with age he might do just fine.

  • avi barzel

    Well said, Your Grace. May the Almighty protect Her Majesty, her family and the people and allies of Britain and the Commonwealth. God save our Queen!

    • dannybhoy

      A voice from the wilderness!
      It’s our Czecho-Cockney speaking pal Avi!! With a benediction like that all manner of things shall be well.

      • avi barzel

        ¯_(ツ)_/¯

        • Hey …. you donated that image to Jack for his exclusive use.

          ¯_(ツ)_/¯

          • dannybhoy

            Avi can be fickle Jack..

          • avi barzel

            Exclusive use? Do you have the deed?

          • Now he’s the backroom lawyer.

        • Anton

          Weirdest Hebrew I’ve ever seen!

    • CliveM

      Eloquently put.

  • Anton

    She just broke the record in terms of elapsed time, seconds ago!

  • bockerglory

    Congratulations to the Queen…

    How will history judge her? Has she really defended the Christian faith? She has distanced herself from trouble and maintained an air of regal discipline.

    I suppose history will judge her especially when her official papers are released fifty years after her death.

    She has been resoundingly successful in making the monarchy popular. But at what cost?

    • alternative_perspective

      Quite: in response to republican attacks on our constitutionless country the queen has ensured the survival of the monarchy by sacrificing its political relevancy.
      Even if the armed forces at the whim of some dictatorial left wing PM start rounding up enemies of the state I can see HM staying above the fray. In my opinion, that’s not good enough.

      • Anton

        The Palace’s initial comment about the Scottish Referendum over independence last autumn was “The Queen is above politics.” She (sorry, “a spokesman”) changed tune to match the politics, but if she regards herself as above the division of her realm into two then there is so little apart from God that she isn’t above that one wonders what is the point. At least Charles has the guts to call modern architecture the crap that it is.

        • Ivan M

          She could have made some noises about abortion too. Defend the weakest elements of society, but I guess she is above that.

  • Bernard from Bucks

    God save the weak and the persecuted. God save the babies that are slaughtered before they are born. God save Christians around the world from persecution and death. God save the infirm and terminally ill from further suffering.
    Need I say more?

    • CliveM

      Well it would help if you would explain what it is you’re talking about?

      • Bernard from Bucks

        Equality perhaps?
        Are we not all entitled to be ‘saved’?
        “In fact not even one sparrow dies and falls on the ground without God noticing it.”

  • Inspector General

    Queen Victoria stayed a night in Cheltenham when aged 14. She never came back, but there is a famous photograph of her train passing through Lansdown station on one occasion. The assembled were there to wave. It did not stop…

    • sarky

      I can remember being taken to see her ‘drive’ through my town when I was a kid. My dad had me on his shoulders and I got a glimpse of her yellow hat as she was driven by.

      • In Perfect Ignorance

        You saw Queen Victoria’s yellow hat? Looks like you’re a bit of record setter yourself.

        Bearing in mind that Queen Victoria never wore any colours other than black and white after the death of Prince Albert, who died in 1861, and that few if any children form permanent memories before the age of 3 or 4, that makes you not far off 160 years old. The oldest Briton ever! If you ignore biblical stories of fantastic lifespans, you’re actually the oldest human ever.

        Surely that’s a much bigger story than the Queen’s record beating reign.

        • sarky

          Ha ha serves me right for skimming through the comments 😉

          • Inspector General

            Just your attention deficient hyperactivity disorder shining through…

        • Inspector General

          : – >

          • Inspector General

            The bible is scattered with little gems to remind us that it is not the direct work of God but merely man’s hand. Moses was 120 years old when he died, so they say. If God had so directed the scribe to put this down, then it shows an astonishing contempt for his human creation…

        • Guglielmo Marinaro

          It must have been in a previous incarnation.

          • In Perfect Ignorance

            Do Christians reincarnate? It’s news to me if they do.

          • Guglielmo Marinaro

            I really don’t know. It has certainly never been proved that there is such a thing as reincarnation, but if there is, I see no reason to assume that Christians would be exempt.

          • Inspector General

            Bad people come back as muslims perhaps…

          • dannybhoy

            Or ‘Frenchies..’ :0)

  • avi barzel

    We have two gems with top-notch photos of Her Majesty as a child and as a young woman. My wife just brought them back to Toronto from her recent visit to my in-laws who retiredt o one of the Gulf Islands of British Columbia. I wonder if anyone else has them. They were bought in London in the early 60s:

    Louis Wulff, M.V.O., *Queen of To-morrow: An Authentic Study of H.R.H. The Princess Elizabeth,* London: Dampson Low, Marston & Co. Ltd., 1948.

    Marion Crawford, *The Little Princesses,* London, Cassell & Co., Ltd., 1950.

    • CliveM

      Regards the Little Princesses see link

      https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marion_Crawford

      You say its a photo??

      • avi barzel

        Oh dear, I hashed up my sentence. They are both books, a little yellowed and smelling of Pacific Ocean coastal mists. The Little Princess is the one with the numerous photos, nany taken in casual circumstances.

        Intetesting, The Little Princess is the first unauthorized biography by a royal servant…who was punished by not receiving further Christmas cards and invites to the Palace. Which is rather better than being thrown in the Tower or getting drawn and quartered. I unpacked the books yesterday and only looked at the numerous b&w photos and the seven badly retouched colour plates.

        • CliveM

          There was a book a few years back that suggested that she was set up by the Queen Mother who had actually let it be known she wanted it to happen in the first place.

          Didn’t read the book, like pretty much all conspiracy theories, my eyes rolled heavenwards and I moved onto something else.

          • avi barzel

            I read Crawford’s book last night. Yes, it was an invasion of privacy, in its frank describtion of personalities and events, but it din’t gossip or malign. Compared to the paparazzi and yellow journalism nowadays, it’s a hagiography.

          • CliveM

            So I’ve heard. On the assumption it wasn’t a put up job by the Queen Mother, I suppose it would be irritating.

  • bluedog

    A remarkable reign, Your Grace, long may Her Majesty live.

    It is interesting to reflect that in 2070 AD the Hanoverian-Saxe-Coburg-Windsor dynasty will rival the tenure of the Plantagenet dynasty, whose 356 years on the throne of England remain unchallenged. One wonders whether the monarch of the day will mark the occasion, your communicant will not.

    • 2070? Will any of us be here to mark the occasion? Jack most certainly will not be.

      “Man, that is born of a woman, hath but a short time to live, and is full of misery. He cometh up, and is cut down, like a flower; he fleeth as it were a shadow, and never continueth in one stay.”

      • bluedog

        Come, come HJ, won’t those Essence of Monkey Gland suppositories you’re always boasting about carry you over the line?

        • Oh, they are suppositories. Are you sure? Jack did wonder. Perhaps that’s why they don’t seem to be working.

          • Anton

            For all the good they did, he might have shoved them up his ****.

          • Where else is a man supposed to place a suppository?

  • Owl

    From my English and my Irish side, I wish dear Liz all the best. She has always shone a graceful consistency in difficult times which deserves respect. My hat is off.