Today, I join with the whole United Kingdom, the Commonwealth and friends across the world, in expressing my sorrow at the death of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II.
I know you will join me in sending our sincere condolences to His Majesty the King, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward, and to the entire Royal Family and Royal households, with the assurance of our heartfelt prayers as they grieve. We pray they may know the peace and comfort of Christ in the loss of their mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and friend.
And through our own grieving, individually and collectively, we give thanks to God for her long life and her dedicated service to this nation and the Commonwealth.
After so many decades in public service, I expect we will each have a memory or image of Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, engaged in such a wide range of contexts as she travelled the nation and the globe, and as she supported causes close to her heart. Her commitment to those seeking to help others was enormous – she was patron of hundreds charitable organisations.
Her Late Majesty’s personal faith was deep rooted and steadfast. In her Christmas message of 2014, she said: “For me, the life of Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace, whose birth we celebrate today, is an inspiration and an anchor in my life. A role model of reconciliation and forgiveness, he stretched out his hands in love, acceptance and healing. Christ's example has taught me to seek to respect and value all people of whatever faith or none.”
Her Late Majesty’s strength of faith and her constant seeking to follow Christ through good times and bad in her own life, serves as a wonderful example to all of us at this difficult time.
I have a number of fond, personal memories of Her Late Majesty, from occasions public and personal. I recall her charming, welcoming and gracious manner and the complete attention she afforded me during our times together. I admired her lively engagement with issues facing the world, appreciated the interest she showed in me and my family, and valued the opportunity to reflect on our faith.
As we mourn and mark her passing, let us remember her always putting the interests of others ahead of her own and, in so doing, providing an outstanding example of Christian discipleship. As we look to the future, I pray we can take inspiration from her long life, well lived in the service of God and neighbour.
May Her Late Majesty rest in peace and rise in glory.
God save the King.
The Rt Reverend Libby Lane
Bishop of Derby
Printable prayer cards (A4 sheet - print double sided)