“The Lord reigns, he is robed in majesty; the Lord is robed in majesty and armed with strength; indeed, the world is established, firm and secure. Your throne was established long ago; you are from all eternity. The seas have lifted up, Lord, the seas have lifted up their voice; the seas have lifted up their pounding waves. Mightier than the thunder of the great waters, mightier than the breakers of the sea – the Lord on high is mighty. Your statutes, Lord, stand firm; holiness adorns your house for endless days.” (Psalm 93 NIVUK)
Queen Elizabeth’s Christmas broadcasts numbered amongst those few speeches that she always entirely wrote herself.
1952: (her first Christmas broadcast, while grieving the loss of her father) “Pray for me…that God may give me wisdom and strength to carry out the solemn promises I shall be making, and that I may faithfully serve Him and you, all the days of my life.”
2000: “For me the teachings of Christ and my own personal accountability before God provide a framework in which I try to lead my life.”
2008: “I hope that, like me, you will be comforted by the example of Jesus of Nazareth who, often in circumstances of great adversity, managed to live an outgoing, unselfish and sacrificial life.”
2011: “Forgiveness lies at the heart of the Christian faith. It can heal broken families, it can restore friendships and it can reconcile divided communities. It is in forgiveness that we feel the power of God’s love.”
2012: “The carol, “In the Bleak Midwinter” ends by asking a question of all of us who know the Christmas story, of how God gave himself to us in humble service: ‘What can I give him, poor as I am? If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb; if I were a wise man, I would do my part…’ The carol gives the answer, ‘Yet what I can I give him – give my heart’.’”
2021: (her last Christmas broadcast, while grieving the loss of her husband) “In the birth of a child, there is a new dawn with endless potential. It is this simplicity of the Christmas story that makes it so universally appealing, simple happenings that formed the starting point of the life of Jesus – a man whose teachings have been handed down from generation to generation, and have been the bedrock of my faith. His birth marked a new beginning. As the carol says: ‘The hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight.’”
Regina mortua est. Requiescet in pace. Viva rex.
(The Queen is dead. Rest in Peace. Long live the King)