On 10th September 2022 the House of Lords met to hear tributes to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, whose death had been announced. The Bishop of London paid tribute:
The Lord Bishop of London: My Lords, I share with this House, our country and many across the world the profound sadness at the death of the late Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth. In June this year, we gathered at St Paul’s Cathedral for the national service to celebrate her Platinum Jubilee. In that service, words were read from the letter to the Philippians:
“Let your gentleness be known to everyone”.
The writer goes on to say that
“whatever is true, whatever is honourable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things … and the God of peace will be with you.”
We have heard from many that Her Majesty the Queen, in the 70 years of her reign, lived a life of integrity and service to others, but she also lived a life as a model of gentleness. In Her Majesty, we found someone who carried lightly her own importance, a genuine humility and gentleness, while fully knowing what her role in the Church and the state was. We have heard from my most reverend friend the Archbishop about how, as Bishops, we pay homage. As the Bishop of London, I paid it not virtually but in person. There, kneeling, with your hands enfolded by Her Majesty the Queen’s hands, you pray. My memory of that occasion was of gentleness: not of the power of state or of her role, but of gentleness. That is the image and feeling that remains with me. Having prayed with the Queen, I often reflected that there was no need for an oath of obedience.
Many of us simply have not known life without Her Majesty the Queen. She has been our nation’s unerring heartbeat. I give thanks that she is now with the God of all peace. My prayers are with the Royal Family and His Majesty King Charles. God save the King.