That same year, it was the year of the European City of Culture for Liverpool, Her Late Majesty came to Liverpool and there was a formal lunch. I was at a table not far away from her. Also at the table with her was a Rwandan woman who had escaped the genocide but lost almost her entire family and seen most terrible horrors. At the end of lunch, the Queen invited her to come and sit next to her, and talked to her for at least 20 minutes, while some of her staff hovered, twitching. And when I spoke to her later, she said, ‘there was healing’.
Both Her late Majesty and His Majesty treat others as special because for both their faith is built on the same rock. The rock of Christ. It is a rock on which we too can stand. There is room on that rock for every human being, however important or unimportant. Our sure hope comes from the fact the monarchy is not in a person, it is in God’s loving grace that he poured upon the Queen and pours upon the King – ‘Thy choicest gifts in store, on him be pleased to pour’.
This is the faith that enabled Her Late Majesty to be such a blessing to us, and to people around the world, an example of wisdom and reconciliation. Some of us will remember seeing on television her visit to Ireland in 2011 when, at the formal state dinner, she opened her speech in the Irish language, and Mary MacAleese, the then President of Ireland, looked at her neighbour at the table and went ’wow’. Or when Her Majesty in 2012, chose quite literally to extend the hand of friendship to Martin McGuinness, despite their differences and painful history – including the very personal history for the Queen of the death of her beloved uncle Lord Mountbatten as a result of an IRA attack in 1979. She was able to offer her hand because she stood on the rock of Christ.
She knew that every person is part of the flock, she saw every one of her subjects and every person she met as part of God’s treasured people. She knew that even in the shadow of the valley of death the Good Shepherd was with here. She knew that throughout this country’s darkest days and greatest victories, the hand of the Lord seeks us out and guides us. His Majesty knows the same. We have continuity, we have stability through grace.
Her life made sense in the light of Jesus Christ, her Lord and Saviour. So does that of His Majesty.
An online book of condolence is available on our website where you can send a tribute to Her Majesty The Queen:
— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) September 11, 2022