Today is Accession Day in Great Britain, marking the 67th anniversary of the death of King George VI and the Accession to the Throne of HM The Queen: Queen Elizabeth II.
She came to the throne early and unexpectedly, but even before that day, she had made her intentions known. On her 21st birthday, while in what was then the Union of South Africa on a tour with her Royal parents, then-Princess Elizabeth gave a speech, in which she concluded:
“I declare before you all that my whole life, whether it be long or short, shall be devoted to your service and the service of our great imperial family to which we all belong… God help me to make good my vow, and God bless all of you who are willing to share in it.”
For 67 years Her Majesty has kept that vow. God bless her, protect and preserve her, grant her still more years to love and serve her people, and when that time comes that comes to every human being, accept her into His Eternal Kingdom with the words, “Well done, good and faithful servant!”
Prayers for The Queen’s Majesty:
AI.MIGHTY God, who rulest over all the kingdoms of the world, and dost order them according to thy good pleasure: We yield thee unfeigned thanks, for that thou wast pleased, as on this day, to set thy Servant our Sovereign Lady, Queen ELIZABETH, upon the Throne of this Realm. Let thy wisdom be her guide, and let thine arm strengthen her; let truth and justice, holiness and righteousness, peace and charity, abound in her days; direct all her counsels and endeavours to thy glory, and the welfare of her subjects; give us grace to obey her cheerfully for conscience sake, and let her always possess the hearts of her people; let her reign be long and prosperous, and crown her with everlasting life in the world to come; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
O LORD, our heavenly Father, high and mighty, King of kings, Lord of lords, the only Ruler of princes, who dost from thy throne behold all the dwellers upon earth; Most heartily we beseech thee with thy favour to behold our most gracious Sovereign Lady, Queen ELIZABETH; and so replenish her with the grace of thy Holy Spirit, that she may always incline to thy will, and walk in thy way. Endue her plenteously with heavenly gifts; grant her in health and wealth long to live; strengthen her that she may vanquish and overcome all her enemies; and finally, after this life, she may attain everlasting joy and felicity; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Her Majesty’s 21st Birthday speech:
Her Majesty’s Speech upon her Coronation:
A rather more solemn speech by now-Queen Elizabeth II – one can almost imagine the weight of the Crown upon her young brow – but touching on the same themes: service, common good, hope for the future. But above all, service:
“Through all my life, and with all my heart, I shall strive to be worthy of your trust.”
God save The Queen! Health and long(er) life to Her Majesty. Long may she reign, in health, prosperity, and peace!