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Dear COA Family,

Last week we mourned the passing of Queen Elizabeth II. She was not only the Queen of England, but also the Head of the Commonwealth, of which Singapore is a part. More importantly for us, she was also the Supreme Governor of the Church of England, from which we as the Diocese of Singapore came from.

Queen Elizabeth II first ascended the throne when she was 25 years old and reigned as queen for a remarkable 70 years. She had the second longest reign as a monarch in all of human history and had interacted with many kings and presidents during her lifetime.

Yet what is even more remarkable about her is her legacy. Words like “steadfast”, “loyal” and “duty-bound” have been used liberally to describe her unstinting service. These are terms which are rarely used in our modern society. At her death, many leaders sent their heartfelt condolences to her family at her passing. No one had anything negative to say about her. Even Vladimir Putin, the President of Russia which is technically at war with Britain, had only good things to say about her. 

This reminds me of Proverbs 16:7: “When a man’s ways please the Lord, he makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.”

So, what is it about Queen Elizabeth II’s life that is such an influence for good on the world stage?

1. She had a genuine love and care for the people she met. Not only did she meet with world leaders, she often hosted lunches for the common people as well. It was said that she valued and cared so much for every person she met that if you were talking to her, she made you feel as if you were the only person in the world at that moment.

2. She had a personal and vibrant relationship with Jesus. To her, her faith meant everything to her and was her guiding light. In her Christmas broadcast to the Commonwealth in 2000, she said: “To many of us, our beliefs are of fundamental importance. For me the teachings of Christ and my own personal accountability before God provide a framework in which I try to lead my life. I, like so many of you, have drawn great comfort in difficult times from Christ’s words and example.”

May we too be inspired by her life and example to live by the love of God and the teachings of Christ in our lives! This way, we can also be a great blessing to those around us.

Revd Ian