“Most Gracious Sovereign,
We, Your Majesty’s most dutiful and loyal subjects, the Lords Spiritual and Temporal in Parliament assembled, beg leave to offer Your Majesty the warmest congratulations of this House on the occasion of Your Majesty’s ninetieth Birthday;
To assure Your Majesty of our deep affection and highest regard;
And to join our prayers with those of the Nation and Commonwealth for the long continuance of Your Majesty’s health and happiness.”
The Archbishop of York, Most Revd and Rt Hon John Sentamu, gave the tribute on behalf of the Lords Spiritual:
The Archbishop of York: My Lords, on behalf of the Archbishop of Canterbury and all the Lords Spiritual, I wish to endorse most heartily the proposed message of congratulations to Her Majesty, by divine providence Queen, head of the Commonwealth and defender of the faith.
At her coronation, Archbishop Fisher placed on the Queen’s wrists two newly-made gold bracelets, presented by a number of the overseas realms and territories as a symbol of the Commonwealth. As he did so, he said these words:
“Receive the Bracelets of sincerity and wisdom, both for tokens of the Lord’s protection embracing you on every side; and also for symbols and pledges of that bond which unites you with your Peoples”.
Today we give thanks for the Lord’s protection that has embraced Her Majesty on every side these many years. We also want to pay tribute to the sincerity, wisdom and devotion which she has consistently manifested throughout her long and glorious reign. They have served greatly to strengthen that bond between the Sovereign and all her peoples.
Since 1952, there have been seven Archbishops of Canterbury and seven Archbishops of York. What Her Majesty has made of that richly diverse and eclectic collection of Primates will no doubt never be revealed. All that I can say, from those of the Archbishops whom I have known, is that each has like me valued the support, interest, faithfulness and prayers of our Supreme Governor more than it is possible to describe. There are very few other people to whom an Archbishop can open his heart, knowing that his confidences will go no further and certain that at the end of the conversation he will go away affirmed and encouraged.
And so let this be a day for thanksgiving and much rejoicing on Her Majesty’s birthday.
Long live the Queen!