The Archbishops, Bishops, Ministers and Prime Ministers gathered, Sergeant at Arms, Beefeaters and an array of Gold and Red – it wreaks of a time long gone, yet it is of today. I am sure Elizabeth I would have felt comfortable with the ceremony, the loyal addresses and prayers, and the anthems (the National Anthem is a fairly construct). The entire service fills me pride and admiration again for this woman who has served the public for 60 years, she has said what her Government told her to say, gone where she was told, and held no views and expressed no opinions more controversial than ‘how nice the weather is’
As a young girl was to do nothing more than become a Duchess, in 1938 he world changed, did her world crumble, and how do you explain to someone that your Father is now King, and that you will be Queen one day. Her life changed beyond all recognition. How do you cope with the knowledge that you are now, in time, to become Head of State?
This woman at the age 25 became the Head of State has served for 60 years without complaint, the word ‘service’ has been the operative word, because she has served as a lightning rod for everything from praise to scorn.
The power of the visual and pomp has no finer embodiment than today. It channels our perceptions and more in anything it gives us a sense of continuity and connection, but when King Charles ascends the throne the continuity will have been lost. The Queen has helped us ignore the changes, to accept that life goes on. Her Coronation speech is a example of her spirit of dedication:
The ceremonies you have seen today are ancient, and some of their origins are veiled in the mists of the past. But their spirit and their meaning shine through the ages never, perhaps, more brightly than now. I have in sincerity pledged myself to your service, as so many of you are pledged to mine. Throughout all my life and with all my heart I shall strive to be worthy of your trust.
The service has been a reflection of the vow she made 60 years ago, of service and of her submission to God and the people.