On 23rd July 2013, tributes were offered by the House of Lords to Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Cambridge, on the birth of her son. The Bishop of Birmingham, the Rt Revd David Urquhart, led tributes on behalf of the Lords Spiritual.
The Lord Bishop of Birmingham: My Lords, the day’s proceedings in your Lordships’ House begin far too often with the announcement of a death. My friend the most reverend Primate the Archbishop of Canterbury and my other colleagues on this Bench regret not being present today because they are attending the funeral of the late Bishop of Coventry, Colin Bennetts. None the less, it is a wonderful joy and delight for us to join in the words of colleagues in this House as we pause to celebrate the birth of a new baby. Their Royal Highnesses the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge can be assured not simply of the congratulations, prayers and good wishes of those who occupy this Bench but, I am sure, the whole of the Church and faiths in England and the rest of the country.
My friend the most reverend Primate the Archbishop of Canterbury, your Lordships may like to know, did not, as was the custom in times past, actually attend the birth. Instead, he has offered his own prayers and congratulations to their Royal Highnesses, sharing, “in their joy at this special time”, and praying that God would, “bless this family with love, health and happiness”.
I am delighted to associate myself with his comments and offer my own prayers for their Royal Highnesses and their new son. Every Sunday, up and down this country, we pray for our Sovereign Lady Queen Elizabeth that she will be guided by wisdom and by truth. It may well be that similar prayers are said for this newborn child in years to come. He will, too, we hope and trust, be the Supreme Governor of the Church of England.
It is not future responsibilities that prompt our celebrations today, but a desire that this child will have the strongest network of love and care. There has been huge interest in the royal birth around the country which, with sustained sunshine, British victories at Wimbledon and the Tour de France and an upsurge in that traditional English game of cricket, leaves the country basking in well-being. In all this warmth, we remember today that a new stage has begun for a young family. The infant has no idea what symbolic authority may one day be his; and so meanwhile, we pray that their Royal Highnesses will be guided and sustained as they take up the joys and challenges of parenthood. We humbly offer our congratulations, support and affection to the whole Royal Family.
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