Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II spoke at length about her Christian faith in the days leading up to her death, the former Moderator of the Church of Scotland has revealed.
Rt Revd Dr Iain Greenshields, who visited her at Balmoral Castle last year, told The Daily Mail how she had reflected on her faith in personal conversations with him and during evening meals.
Today marks the first anniversary since Queen Elizabeth II’s passing, aged 96, shortly after celebrating her Platinum Jubilee as the longest-reigning monarch in British history.
Revd Dr Greenshields said: “It would be normal for a Moderator to talk about matters of faith but I was very interested in how much she wanted to talk about her own. It was her Platinum Jubilee year and so she was looking back. She had remarkable recall.
“She had no regrets and was very much at peace. She also mentioned her father – George VI – and the great influence his faith had on her.”
He added: “She also mentioned an American religious leader who had a big impact on her and although she didn’t mention his name – and I didn’t interrupt to ask – I did wonder if it was Billy Graham, whom she met.”
In 1947, the then Princess Elizabeth gave a speech on her 21st birthday, stating her lifelong commitment to the service of the nation – a vow she asked God to help her make good. Christian Institute Chairman Revd Dr Turnbull called this an “extraordinary statement of intent from someone so young”.
Following the death of her father King George VI, the Queen then made further commitments before and at her Coronation, including that she would faithfully serve God and the nation all the days of her life, and that to the utmost of her power, she would “maintain the Laws of God and the true profession of the Gospel”.
Her Majesty delivered messages to the nation on almost every Christmas Day throughout her reign, and during her first Easter message in 2020 she pronounced: “The discovery of the risen Christ on the first Easter Day gave his followers new hope and fresh purpose and we can all take heart from this”.