Elizabeth Alexandra Mary, Queen Elizabeth II, was born the 21st of April 1926 and sadly died on the 8th of September 2022. She was Queen of the United Kingdom and other Commonwealth realms from the 6th of February 1952.
Born a princess and part of a royal lineage, she had a carefree upbringing, as almost any ordinary child would in an ordinary family. She had no concept of what was to come. She had no idea how her life was going to change. She had no idea the impact she would have on the peoples of the world. She was unaware in her youth, in her new marriage, or as a very young mother, what great worldly task would come to her. It was a task many would run away from, and yet her courage and the love she had for her country gave her the determination to accept this royal position.
It was on the veranda at the Treetops Hotel in Kenya, in 1952, that the devastating moment came of her father’s death. At that moment, she became the Queen and no longer part of the ordinary world. After the loss of her beloved father, she said that there is no magic formula to change your sorrow into happiness. And yet, change is the only thing we can ever rely on. Nothing is constant.
The Queen was an extraordinary connection for me. She felt she had a duty to her family and her fellow citizens to become the Queen of her beloved United Kingdom, the outer realms, and the Commonwealth, and to be the Defender of the Faith.
She was queen regnant of 32 sovereign states during her life and served as monarch of 15 of them at the time of her death.
Her devoted connection to Christ and the gospels was her deep resonance that always sustained her. In her Christmas 2014 message, she said this:
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.
She said that her faith took her through the good times and bad, when all the world was torn with grief. This was her 2020 Easter message, during the coronavirus pandemic:
As dark as death can be—particularly for those suffering with grief—light and life are greater. May the living flame of the Easter hope be a steady guide as we face the future.
A golden thread of spiritual engagement was woven, and a young princess became a queen, an extraordinary queen.
For me, she has been a constant. She was my family when I felt alone in this world, someone to come home to when I felt life had gone awry, someone I loved to see because of her radiance and positivity. She was this not only to me but to hundreds of millions of people around the world. She taught me an enduring love, a selfless love; she taught me that people matter, that who people are, what they want, and what they do is important.
Behind the scenes, she was an ordinary country girl at heart, yet a businesswoman and wife, a mother, a grandmother, a daughter, an aunt, a friend, and a natural beauty. She was an icon and an embodiment of elegance.
She lived through the changes and the upheavals with a dignity that has taught me to simply carry on as best as I can.
She was a cultural queen of humanity. She was wise beyond logic, and one of her phrases that always made me smile was this: Humans have a propensity for good, don’t they? She saw the good in everyone and that love is their first and most natural state. She recognized that no one is immune from the negative impacts of the world, including herself. And so, to me, she was the real deal as a right and true human being—ordinary and extraordinary.
I think that is what made her so popular and so endearing—her elegant ability to touch someone in the most humane way while living that oh-so-grand lifestyle. It must have put some people off, approaching her. And yet, for hundreds of millions of us, she was our friend, our mother, our sister, our grandmother, our companion for life. She had that impact on us all. She made everyone feel important—presidents and prime ministers, archbishops and spiritual leaders, film stars and actors, the poor, the sick, and all the ordinary folk like me. All felt her love, and we knew it was real. We all knew her love, and her commitment to serve was real.
She was the most famous woman in the world, the most filmed and the most photographed, the most documented. How she turned up, so ready with such a passion and lust to do her job and smile away, was a sheer joy to experience. She exemplified tolerance, acceptance, and loving endurance.
This poem, by William Blake, speaks to her passing:
The Door of Death is made of Gold,
That Mortal Eyes cannot behold;
But, when the Mortal Eyes are clos’d,
And cold and pale the Limbs repos’d,
The Soul awakes; and, wond’ring, sees
In her mild Hand the golden Keys;
The Grave is Heaven’s golden Gate,
And rich and poor around it wait;
O Shepherdess of England’s Fold,
Behold this Gate of Pearl and Gold!
To dedicate to England’s Queen
The Visions that my Soul has seen,
And, by her kind permission, bring
What I have borne on solemn Wing
From the vast regions of the Grave,
Before Her throne my Wings I wave;
Bowing before my Sov’reign’s Feet,
“The Grave produc’d these blossoms sweet
In mild repose from Earthly strife;
The Blossoms of Eternal life!”
This Australian Aboriginal Proverb, which the Queen loved, also speaks to her life and her departure from us now:
We are all visitors to this time, this place. We are just passing through. Our purpose here is to observe, to learn, to grow, to love…and then we return home.
Through her, I’ve learned so much—her legacy of life will live through me and all of us who she served, and hopefully will continue on and on throughout time.
Her legacy for life showed itself last Tuesday when she got up from her bed to welcome our new prime minister. She did her duty as a servant. Two days later, she passed away. Her dedication to her country, her people, the ordinary and the extraordinary, is a magnificent legacy of life, and she has passed that on to us all.
She was our constant and our stay, our Sovereign, our Servant, and now a Saint in the golden halls of God’s house, reunited with her beloved Philip and the rest of her family.
For me, I am experiencing my intimate connection to her and through her as I grow into myself, my life, and love, to the very best of my ability, until I return home. She taught me that we are all extraordinary in our human capacity. She was human too, yet she thoroughly exemplified the sovereign superhuman.
Maybe she’s made us all realize our sovereign superhuman self. What is your connection to your sovereign self? What is your relationship to your sovereignty? I know she would enquire.
God bless our Queen, our global and noble Queen.
September 19, 2022