Six Reflections for the Queen’s 90th Birthday – and a sincere apology…

Rachel Jones | April 21st 2016

**WARNING: Contains an overflow of royalist sentimentality – you have been warned**

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II turns 90 years old today. So here are six things I particularly appreciate about our sovereign—do take the opportunity to add your own below.

1. You’ve kept up with the times

In 1926 people in Britain still went to the cinema three times a week instead of slumming in front of Netflix, and the only thing that made the phones smart were the bright red boxes they were housed in. Most people shared their bathroom with neighbours. But despite living in a Georgian Grade 1 listed buildings, you’ve kept up with the times. You were the first head of state to send an email (in 1976), and also love to drive yourself around still. Brilliant.

2. You’ve got an amazing sense of style

You’re never afraid of being too matchy-matchy. You rock a fuchsia hat with fuchsia coat, fuchsia skirt and fuchsia handbag. That’s true bravery.

3. We admire how you have given yourself to serving others

I know a lot of people will be saying this today, but seriously—you are a model of what is means to serve. I can’t imagine what it’s like to be born into a role like yours. But you’ve spent your life shaking hands and nodding interestedly and waving at school children nonetheless. And not just in those public ways. You have worked tirelessly advising and supporting your Prime Minister and successive governments. As the Queen of the Commonwealth, you’ve played a pivotal role in foreign relations. And we know (because you’ve said it time and time again), that your model is King Jesus, who “did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10 v 45). Thank you that you’ve given us more than 60 years of opportunities to look from you to him, and worship.

Thank you that you’ve given us more than 60 years of opportunities to look from you to him, and worship.

4. You keep your private life private

This is what makes you a great monarch—you rise above controversy and can be who we want you to be in each arena—a wife, mother and grandmother, as well as a head of state. Alistair Begg draws an interesting comparison in a new book he’s writing for us: “The Queen’s greatness is revealed in how isolated she is from us—but God’s greatness is revealed in his intimacy with us.”

5. … Although we do know what food you like

Ever noticed the royal crest on the back of certain foodstuffs, where it says “By Appointment to HM The Queen”? It means the royal household buys it, and us plebs can do the same. Mind you, there’s not much with the Royal Warrant for sale in my local Aldi—but maybe one day if I keep grafting I too will rise to the heights of eating HM approved Shreddies instead of generic “Malted Wheats”. And finally…

6. We get really excited that you talk about Jesus in your Christmas speeches

The real Jesus, not just the nice-guy Jesus we often get in the media. I think my favourite was this from 2011: “Although we are capable of great acts of kindness, history teaches us that we sometimes need saving from ourselves—from our recklessness or our greed. God sent into the world a unique person—neither a philosopher nor a general, important though they are, but a Saviour, with the power to forgive. Forgiveness lies at the heart of the Christian faith.” You’re clearly a convinced Christian woman who has looked for and found strength in God to meet the challenges you have had to face in life. What a good example you are to us all.

Oh, and I think I owe you an apology. As a Christian, I’m meant to be praying for you. Paul writes: “I urge … that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people—for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness” (1 Timothy 2 v 1-2). How often do I do that? Unless I’m sitting in an Anglican service, the answer is rarely. I’m sorry.

What do you most appreciate about the Queen? Do share your thoughts, or stories about how you met her, and what happened.

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Rachel Jones

Rachel Jones is the author of Is This It? and the award-winning Five Things to Pray series, and an editor at The Good Book Company. She leads Bible studies for young adults and helps teach kids at her church, Chessington Evangelical Church, in Surrey, UK. Rachel studied History at Manchester University before joining TGBC.

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