FPI / September 11, 2022
Faith was "absolutely key and central" to who Queen Elizabeth II was, Robert Hardman, a British journalist who wrote several biographies of Elizabeth, noted.
Elizabeth was "probably the one person in British national life — the one lay person in public life," who was "internally confident discussing their faith," Hardman added.
The House of Windsor, over which she presided, has been a hotbed of sex scandals and the subject of conspiracy theories. The Queen's public image and self-effacement countered the almost daily Fleet Street reports.
On Christmas Day 2021, in what turned out to be her final Christmas message, Elizabeth said Christ’s teachings “have been the bedrock of my faith."
In November of last year, Elizabeth commented on the impact of Covid on believers:
“For people of faith, the last few years have been particularly hard, with unprecedented restrictions in accessing the comfort and reassurance of public worship. For many, it has been a time of anxiety, of grief and of weariness. Yet the Gospel has brought hope, as it has done throughout the ages, and the church has adapted and continued its ministry, often in new ways — such as digital forms of worship."
Addressing Britain and the world on Christmas Day in 2016, the queen declared her faith openly: “Billions of people now follow Christ’s teaching and find in him the guiding light for their lives. I am one of them because Christ’s example helps me see the value of doing small things with great love, whoever does them and whatever they themselves believe.”
“Her faith is a real cornerstone of her life. She isn’t showy about it. It helps guide her really every day,” biographer Sally Bedell Smith told The Washington Times. “And heaven only knows it has helped her endure any number of setbacks that have occurred to her during her life.”
In a Sept. 8 report for The Washington Times, Mark A. Kellner noted that Elizabeth had "endured the unexpected death of her father, King George VI, when she was 25, her subsequent accession to the throne, family issues involving her sister, Princess Margaret, and divorces for three of her four children, including Charles, who succeeds her as king."
Kellner added: "The queen also had to navigate the aftermath of the fatal August 1997 automobile crash that took the life of Diana, Princess of Wales, who remained a part of the family after her divorce from Prince Charles and was the mother of the queen’s grandsons Princes William — now first in line to the throne — and Harry. Nearly a quarter century later, she lost her husband."
Elizabeth often said her faith saw her through such times of difficulty and tragedy. Matthew Dennison, the author of a 2021 biography, told The Washington Times that Elizabeth’s annual Christmas messages since 2000 were “much more about her own Christian faith and the Christ teachings as a kind of guide to life that is available to everybody. She says in one of the broadcasts that [this] guide is something that is available to everybody at no cost. And that’s the example of Christ’s life.”
American evangelist Billy Graham, whose friendship with the monarch lasted decades before his death in 2018, noted Elizabeth’s curiosity about Christianity:
“I always found her very interested in the Bible and its message,” he wrote in 2016. “After preaching at Windsor [Castle] one Sunday, I was sitting next to the Queen at lunch. I told her I had been undecided until the last minute about my choice of sermon and had almost preached on the healing of the crippled man in John 5. Her eyes sparkled and she bubbled over with enthusiasm, as she could do on occasion. ‘I wish you had!’ she exclaimed. ‘That is my favorite story.’”
But her primary focus was the British empire.
Five years before she acceded to the throne, a 21-year-old Princess Elizabeth, speaking from South Africa, said: “I declare before you all that my whole life, whether it be long or short, shall be devoted to your service and the service of our great imperial family to which we all belong.”
To those solemn words, she quickly added, “God help me to make good my vow, and God bless all of you who are willing to share in it.”
Free Press International
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