The Queen

I love all things British…..well, I should say SCOTTISH.  My great grandfather came to the United States from Scotland and ended up in Tacoma, Washington by flipping a coin.  I love those stories of adventure, risk and “fate”.  My Grandfather helped begin the Clan Gordon Pipe Band in Tacoma and so began the years of highland games, bagpipes soaring and kilts flying.  When I was ten, my parents surprised me with a trip to Scotland for the summer.  Six weeks of highland fun with my cute parents.

So, even though I don’t pledge allegiance to the Queen of England, I am a closet fan of the royals, always snatching up the latest issues of People and US Weekly with tidbits on the current news.  I even have a pair of corgi socks that I got in Victoria, B.C. ten years ago when they were having a celebration of the Queen’s 50th Anniversary.  Queen Elizabeth LOVES her corgis!

Not until last week, though, did I have a true sense of the Queen as a leader and learn more about her life story.  Katie Couric had a wonderful special last week that chronicled the queen’s life.  The unexpected placement as 1st in line for the throne and then the early coronation after her father’s death.   I began to see and realize the intensity with with each day unfolds for her….busy days of service, love and duty.  All of these encounters and agenda items are clearly bigger than just appointments on her calendar.  It is evident that she, from the start, has seen her role as one of great honor, motivated from a place of love.

You can even see it here, in her broadcast at FOURTEEN to the people of England.  You can see why “Winston”, as she called Churchill, loved and respected her so dearly.

Queen Elizabeth II was crowned on 2 June 1953 in London. C. S. Lewis chose not to attend the festivities because the weather was not great, because he did not like crowds, and because he was not in the mood to dress up. Instead he stayed at home and watched the event on TV (it was the first fully televised coronation).

A month after her coronation, CS Lewis reflected on the coronation in a letter to a friend (Letters, 3:343):

You know, over here people did not get that fairy-tale feeling about the coronation. What impressed most who saw it was the fact that the Queen herself appeared to be quite overwhelmed by the sacramental side of it. Hence, in the spectators, a feeling of (one hardly knows how to describe it) — awe — pity — pathos — mystery.

The pressing of that huge, heavy crown on that small, young head becomes a sort of symbol of the situation of humanity itself: humanity called by God to be His vice-regent and high priest on earth, yet feeling so inadequate. As if He said, ‘In my inexorable love I shall lay upon the dust that you are glories and dangers and responsibilities beyond your understanding.’

Do you see what I mean? One has missed the whole point unless one feels that we have all been crowned and that coronation is somehow, if splendid, a tragic splendor.

(taken from John Piper’s blog Desiring God)

So as we find another reason to celebrate our friends across the pond after last year’s wedding hooplah, I’ll leave you with a wonderful song, the Jubilee song that the Queen’s grandson, Harry, helped orchestrate.  So moving and a wonderful message to start your week.  A reminder that though we celebrate the anniversary of her coronation and all she has meant to many, the tragic splendor of it all is not just an honor for her, but a call to authentic living for each of us too.

some words they can’t be spoken only sang
so hear a thousand voices shouting love

there’s a place, there’s a time
in this life when you sing what you are feeling
find your feet, stand your ground
don’t you see
right now the world is listening to what we say

sing it louder, sing it clearer
knowing everyone will hear you
make some noise, find your voice tonight
sing it stronger, sing together
make this moment last forever
old and young
shouting love tonight

to sing we’ve had a lifetime to wait
and see a thousand faces celebrate

you brought hope, you brought light
conquered fear, it wasn’t always easy
stood your ground, kept your faith
don’t you see
right now the world is listening to what we say

sing it louder, sing it clearer
knowing everyone will hear you
make some noise, find your voice tonight
sing it stronger, sing together
make this moment last forever
old and young
shouting love tonight

some words they can’t be spoken only sang
to hear a thousand voices shouting love
and light and hope

just sing
just sing
just sing
just sing

come all and sing

sing it louder, sing it clearer
knowing everyone will hear you
make some noise, find your voice tonight
sing it stronger, sing together
make this moment last forever
old and young
shouting love tonight

hear a thousand voices shouting love

{thanks to my dear friends Mark and Erica who posted these great videos!}

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