Learning to live like the Queen did
Image Credit: WikiImages on Pixabay
70 years in any job is quite frankly unheard of. Being a member of the Royal Family is more than just a job, some would say it’s a ‘calling’, or ‘divine duty’, to be the Queen of England.
At 25 years old she took on this mantle and became Queen following the death of her father, King George VI. A young age to lose a parent, let alone step into a role, which would define the course of hers, her husband’s and children's lives. A day, however, she knew would come, following her fathers death, albeit not as soon as anyone imagined.
All these years later, we reflect and celebrate the position she has held and the role model she has been for Britain and the rest of the world.
Queen Elizabeth II has provided a form of stability across decades of huge social change as the world’s longest reigning monarch. She’s worked with 14 Prime Ministers, lived through wars, seen the arrival of the internet and colour TV, and the joining and then the leaving of the European Union to name just a few.
So, what example does she set for us?
Dedication to God
Let’s start with her ‘anchor’ - the term she’s often used in reference to her relationship with God.
She has never hidden nor denied her beliefs. Last year in her Christmas Day address she said: “Billions of people now follow Christ’s teaching and find in him the guiding light for their lives. I am one of them because Christ’s example helps me see the value of doing small things with great love, whoever does them and whatever they themselves believe.”
Have you dedicated your life to God and said you will follow Him in every aspect of your life?
This follows on from the first point: that Her Majesty has chosen through her position to put others' needs ahead of her own and always tried to serve under the right motivation and not for self gain.
Let’s face it, 70 years is an incredible achievement to hold any position, let alone being one of the most famous individuals in the world. She has brought happiness and solace to people all over the world from the visits she has made.
She recognised the enormity of the task ahead of her and in her first Christmas broadcast in 1952 she said, "Pray for me … that God may give me wisdom and strength to carry out the solemn promises I shall be making, and that I may faithfully serve Him and you, all the days of my life."
What’s your motivation for doing things for others? Is it costly?
Being Queen will have been costly at times for her and her wider family.
I don’t mean costly in terms of finance; I mean the freedoms they won’t have had like most people. Whether that's been a restriction in freedom of speech, or the ability to go where they want when they want, and always having to have security with them.
It’s been a choice. One she could have stepped away from at any time. Yet even in her nineties she didn't step down and hand the crown over to the Prince of Wales. She has kept focused on the promises she made at her coronation.
When sacrifice comes, are you, and have you, been able to give your all without faulting?
Defined as: ‘the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness.’
In her message of 2002 she said, "I know just how much I rely on my faith to guide me through the good times and the bad. Each day is a new beginning. I know that the only way to live my life is to try to do what is right, to take the long view, to give of my best in all that the day brings, and to put my trust in God...I draw strength from the message of hope in the Christian Gospel."
What difficult situations have you faced and how have you worked through them? Did you face them or did they define you? Who and what give you comfort during those hard times?
One of the Queen’s most explicit commitments of faith was made when she spoke of dedicating her life to serving the country, and ended the radio broadcast by saying, “God help me to make good my vow”.
She made a promise on her coronation day. A promise which she has stuck to on behalf of the country and the public.
So often nowadays loyalty is questioned and let go of, people don't generally live as loyal lives as the Queen did.
What does loyalty mean to you? What does loyalty look like in your life?
Ultimately, all of these characteristics are what being a leader is all about. As Her Majesty said, they’re also all qualities that Jesus held. She looked to and aimed for, Jesus’ example.
As you head into the Jubilee Bank holiday weekend, I encourage you to spend some time reflecting on the power of the small decisions that she has made in the quiet places. Those times that were between her and God. That decision to continually stay true to the vow she made 70 years ago.