Queen Elizabeth’s life has been inspirational. As a Christian woman, she made a promise on her accession to serve her people. She kept her word faithfully to the very end. She reigned over and personally celebrated the liberation from colonial bonds of hundreds of millions of people in many nations. All these nations became members of the Commonwealth, friends and equals of their partner nations. Nothing of this sort has ever previously happened in the history of the world.
When Franz Josef, the last Emperor of Austria, died in 1916, his funeral procession was taken to the crypt of the Capuchin Church in Vienna. The chamberlain hammered on the iron door, demanding admission for “His Royal and Imperial Majesty.” The reply from within was, “we do not know him,” and the door remained firmly closed. The same demand was repeated and again refused.
Then the chamberlain knocked for the third time. “Who is there?” came the question from within. This time the chamberlain simply replied, “Franz, a poor servant of God and a sinner, begs admission.” Then, and only then, the door was flung open, and Franz Josef was welcomed in to sleep in the company of his fathers.
That lovely story reminds us that human kingship is all about duty and service, that all men and women are equal in the grave, and that a sovereign’s chief purpose is to do justice and play his or her part in bringing the people to redemption.
Source: David Daintree, September 9, 2022