I Serve

Queen Elizabeth II reigned for 70 years, longer than any other monarch in British history. It started when a 25-year-old princess ascended the throne and was crowned in a rich and moving ceremony experienced by thousands in Westminster Abbey and with about 38 million listening on radio and watching on television.

The coronation ceremony was full of meaning, and it centered on the Bible. The new queen was anointed with oil representing the Holy Spirit, and presented with the scepter with the dove and the scepter of the cross, as well as the orb with a cross, intended to signify the rule of Jesus Christ over all human beings, including monarchs. The top of the crown itself is a cross, again meant to symbolize God’s authority over monarchs. The choir sang about Zadok the priest, the Prophet Nathan and King Solomon. Upon coronation, the shout went up, “God save the Queen!” The ceremony, like so many before it, was intended to emphasize submission to God’s authority and the monarch’s role, under God: not to be served, but to serve.

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