Archbishop of Wales remembers 'surprise and delight' Queen Elizabeth brought

·3-min read


The Archbishop of Wales has paid tribute to the way Queen Elizabeth continued to "surprise and delight" long into her reign.
Archbishop Andrew John gave an address to Wales' national service of prayer and reflection at Llandaff Cathedral - which was attended by King Charles and Queen Consort Camilla, as well as invited guests from across Wales - for the late monarch on Friday (16.09.22) and also remembered Her Majesty for living a life of grace and wisdom.
The Most Revd John paid tribute to the queen's "extraordinary legacy of service and devotion" and said she had transformed the monarchy, as wel as providing a reassuring constancy through her 70-year reign, which ended when she died aged 96 on 8 September.
Referring to the queen's opening of the Senedd building in 2006, the archbishop said "shared tradition" still counted and the queen's example of grace and wisdom was needed to “build a prosperous and compassionate society”.
He added: “Our roots as a people are deep, our culture and language, stories and legends ground us in a unique heritage but also point us forward to a future with promise and potential."
Hailing the queen as a "towering figure" on the global stage, he also said she could "surprise and delight", such as with her surprise appearance at the London 2012 Olympics opening ceremony and her sketch with Paddington Bear during her Platinum Jubilee celebrations this year.
He added: “We will never look at a jar of marmalade in the same way again nor watch Mr Bond without remembering 2012 and that leap into the void."
The archbishop celebrated the queen's "deep and committed Christian faith".
He added: "Hers was a personal faith: she spoke of Jesus Christ and her relationship with him as well as his teachings and the way that his life, death and resurrection opened the possibility for new life, restored relationships and commitment to ‘a Kingdom not of this world’.”
The archbishop also directly addressed the royal guests, admitting it was an honour to welcome them to Llandaff Cathedral.
He said: “Today we recognise too the sorrow of our new King and his family. In their grief, we assure them of our love and care for them and of our prayers."
Andrew ended his address by quoting the queen.
He explained that in her most recent Christmas message, following the death of her husband, Prince Philip, the queen had said: "It is this simplicity of the Christmas story that makes it so universally appealing: simple happenings that formed the starting point of the life of Jesus, a man whose teachings have been handed down from generation to generation, and have been the bedrock of my faith."
He added: “His birth marked a new beginning. As the carol says: "The hopes and fears of all the years are met in Thee tonight",' concluded the Queen."
The service was led by Michael Komor, the Acting Dean of Llandaff, while the Bishop of Llandaff, June Osbourne led the prayers, with representatives of other churches and faith communities in Wales also reading prayers.
Wales' first minister, Mark Drakeford, read a lesson.