A royal jubilee is a significant milestone in the reign of the sovereign. Queen Elizabeth’s Platinum Jubilee, seven decades of royal history is very spiritual and missional with the Bible as the source of her strength.[1] The Queen said at Christmas in 2002, “I know just how much I rely on my own faith to guide me through the good time 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. Like others of you who draw inspiration from your own faith, I draw strength from the message of hope in the Christian gospel.”[2]

On February 6 1952, Queen Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor became Queen at age 25 when her father died at age 56. The Queen of the United Kingdom: Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Jamaica, Barbados and 10 other independent countries, and the head of the Commonwealth was born on 21st April 1926. She was coronated at Westminster Abbey, London on 2nd June 1953 and swore an oath on the Bible. On February 6, 2022, the Queen reached 70 years on the throne and became the first British monarch ever to make it to a Platinum Jubilee. The Queen broke ‘the record of the longest-reigning British monarch back in September 2015 when she overtook Queen Victoria who reigned for 63 years 216 days.’

The tributes to celebrate the Queen on this historic day from three of the 14 British prime ministers to occupy No 10 during her reign – Boris Johnson, Theresa May and David Cameron echoed the Queen’s distinctive devotion to God, stability to duty and service. In the words of Theresa May, the Queen as “an extraordinary woman” remains what Cameron described as the ‘finer example of dignified public duty and service.’ The Queen has witnessed 7 Popes, 7 Archbishops of Canterbury, 14 UK Prime Ministers, 12 American Presidents, 15 Nigerian Prime Ministers/Head of State/Presidents, and 155 Arab Kings.

Professor Jonathan Burnside’s explanation on why Queen Elizabeth II upholds the biblical ideal of servant monarchy is very helpful in this context. According to him, the biblical ideal of servant monarchy is ‘rooted in ideas of kingship found in the laws of the king in Deuteronomy.’ Burnside explained that, ‘the life and reign of Queen Elizabeth II can be seen as a compelling example of the ideal of serving monarchy, as reflected in biblical law. But we can’t have the fruit without the root. As we commemorate Queen Elizabeth’s outstanding achievements, we should also celebrate the biblical ideals of good government, and contend for them, because we cannot take them for granted.’[3] The problem today is that, many in government and marriage wants to have the fruit without abiding or obedience to the root. Beyond the principle of sequencing, any acts of governance, theology or marriage seeking fruits or effectiveness without the root, the biblical law amounts to acts of treachery.

Queen Elizabeth’s marriage and leadership counters any acts of leadership or marital treachery prevailing globally today. In his first letter to the English people in 1207, Stephen Langton as Archbishop of Canterbury explained that ‘whatever service is rendered to the temporal king to the prejudice of the Eternal King is undoubtedly an act of treachery.’[4] The reflection is that, whatever theology, government, marriage, or leadership services to the people to the prejudice, disobedience and detriment of the Eternal King are not only acts of treachery, they are signs of spiritual decline and insubordination to the Scripture. Queen Elizabeth’s 70 years of faith and service calls for a renewing ‘… ideas about government – understood as the servant of public, or common, good, and subject to the Rule of Law – have been hard-won and owe much, historically to the reception of biblical law.’

Beyond the biblical ideals of good government, the longest reigning monarch in British history, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, the Supreme Governor of the Church of England ‘has no power to make political decisions,’ but her marriage remains a testimony and record that may be hard to match. In one of my books, Sanctifying Marriage: To Save the World, The Monarch’s Example of Marriage, I explained that, the monarch marriage provides a model as a foundational relationship between a man and a woman, and home renewal for the church and the society.[5] The Queen’s marriage as a model of a biblical ideal of marriage suggests the bedrock of strong society – the foundations of strong family, church, and nations. In a culture and ‘world of disposable relationships..’ the unity between the Queen and her late husband ‘points to the secret of a good marriage and leadership’s fundamental task for a functional society in matters of family, church, school, economy, and government.’[6] The Jubilee is the monarch’s first without the Duke of Edinburgh, her husband of 73 years, who died last year.

The spiritual preparation for the Queen’s Coronation in 1953 overseen by the then Archbishop of Canterbury, Geoffrey Fisher not only prepared the Queen for her new role[7] but also as a traditional servant monarch exemplified by Deuteronomy. According to Burnside, Queen Elizabeth ‘stands in an Anglo-Saxon tradition of the royal subordination to the Bible – a tradition itself impacted by biblical law.’[8] Archbishop Fisher’s production of a short 33 days of a Little Book of Private Devotions provides an ‘insight into the personal preparations the Queen made for her role as Sovereign.’ The book with Bible readings and prayers for the Queen’s use from May 1st 1953 to the day of Her Coronation remains an inspiring reference to the Queen till date. Archbishop Fisher’s preparation and the focus of the devotion points to the deep symbolism of the Coronation ceremony, rooted in the Bible – the best selling book of all times.[9] At the heart of the Queen’s Coronation was the sacred moment of setting apart when the Queen was anointed with oil. Indeed, ‘from her Coronation onwards, Queen Elizabeth II has formally displayed her own, willing subordination to the Scriptures and regularly points to Jesus Christ as her inspiration. In doing so, she is part of a noble royal tradition in which the Deuteronomic model of the servant king is affirmed and given new energy in the gospel.’

The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee from today Thursday 2nd June to Pentecost Sunday 5th June 2022 offers us the missional ‘opportunity to focus on the work of God’s Holy Spirit in equipping the Queen, and all of Jesus’ followers for a life of service.’ The Queen’s Jubilee reveals to us that there is no crown of gold without crown of thorn. Just as the Queen ‘was crowned with a priceless, bejewelled crown of gold … she has also worn her metaphorical ‘crown of thorns’ with the grace and faithfulness for which she prayed.’[10]  Beyond the Windsor Castle fire tragedy in 1992,[11] the marriages of three of the Queen’s four children broke down. Through it all, the Queen encouraged herself in the Lord ‘joining millions of others in churches around the world, asking God for wisdom.’ The Queen’s jubilee using the word of Burnside calls us to ‘remember the source of her inspirations and lay hold of them with renewed vigour, for we have the advantage of one thing she never had: her own example.’ The Servant Queen’s Jubilee awakes us to pray without ceasing for marriages, homes, all earthly spiritual and political authorities and rulers to be humble and accountable to God and to other human beings.

[1] Butcher, Catherine, ‘Celebrating the Queen’s 70 Years of Faithful Service’ in METCONNEXION, Spring 2022, p. 8

[2] Greene, Mark, Butcher, Catherine, The Servant Queen and the King she serves: A Tributes for Her Majesty’s 90th birthday (London: CPO, 2016), p. 54

[3] Burnside, Jonathan, Biblical Law and the Servant Queen’ in METCONNEXION, Spring 2022, p.5

[4] Langton, Stephen, cited in Burnside,  Biblical Law and the Servant Queen’ in METCONNEXION, Spring 2022, p.7

[5] Okegbile, Deji, Sanctifying Marriage To Save the World: The Monarch’s Example of Marriage (London: SADL Print, 2018), p. 18

[6] Okegbile, Sanctifying Marriage To Save the World:, p. 18

[7] Butcher, Catherine, Our Faithful Queen: 70 Years of Faith and Service, https://www.yumpu.com/en/document/read/66553217/our-faithful-queen

[8] Burnside,  Biblical Law and the Servant Queen’ in METCONNEXION, Spring 2022, p.6

[9] Butcher,  Our Faithful Queen:

[10] Butcher,  Our Faithful Queen:

[11] Greene, Butcher, The Servant Queen and the King she serves:, p. 54