Generous Orthodoxy  




Friday, June 10, 2016

The Christian faith of Queen Elizabeth II

From a most unlikely source, the magazine Vanity Fair, we learn more about the Queen's faith than one could in many years of reading articles about her in other publications (I know, since reading about the royals is one of my guilty pleasures). The new issue of VF has the queen on the cover. How thrilling, really, to see an elderly woman in a cardigan sweater on the front of this quintessentially worldly magazine! The photos inside are treasures, most of them by the premier photographer Annie Leibovitz; it says something about the Queen's taste and sense of her power that she chose to be photographed twice by this redoubtable camerawoman of worldwide fame.

Here's what William Shawcross, obviously a fan, writes in VF (note the reference to the story of Elijah, and the citation from Mark 10:45):
The Queen is a phenomenon: she is celebrated all over the world without ever having done anything to court such fame. Her values are quite different--she sees herself not as a star but as a humble servant, first of God, and then of her people...She has understood that the Crown is an office, defined by duties, and not an individual, moved by hopes and fears. She has quietly adapted the office so that it remains the small voice of calm to which people turn for reassurance in social and political storms. She has been the center which has always, always held. She has often said that she can do this only because she tries to follow the example of Christ "to serve, not to be served."  Her personality--kind, loyal, patriotic, and imbued with Christian feeling--has never changed. The beloved Queen of 64 years is still the vulnerable, dutiful young Elizabeth who was anointed with holy oil and crowned on a rainy day in 1953.
Vivat Regina!