March 25, 2023

Queen Elizabeth II was the reigning monarch of England for an incredible 70 years, but sadly her time came to an end when she passed away on Sept. 8, 2022. She passed away while at her home in Balmoral after Buckingham Palace had earlier announced that she was under medical attention. It was a devastating day for the royal family as many members gathered to be by her side in her final moments.

Despite making it to an incredible 96 years of age, the queen proved there was no slowing her down. 2022 was a big year for her after she celebrated 70 years as Queen of the United Kingdom and 15 Commonwealth realms in February. This was not only a milestone for her but for the entire world, as she was the first British ruling monarch to reach the seven-decade mark. In fact, she made further history when she became the second longest-serving monarch ever. She’s only bested by one other ruler, Louis XIV of France.

Though the queen was lucky to have a generally clean bill of health for much of her life, there were moments when she became ill. One such moment was in November 2021 when health problems led to her canceling her appearance at the Remembrance Day Service at the Cenotaph. She also had to cancel her five-yearly visit to General Synod, the national assembly of the Church of England. At the time, Elizabeth sent a poignant message to the assembly through Prince Edward, who conveyed it to everyone present. Though the queen was not able to be there, her message was crafted perfectly and has taken on a deeper meaning now that she has passed.The public was used to seeing Queen Elizabeth II at her very best all the time, so there was some concern for her health when she was recovering from a back injury in November 2021. Elizabeth always made sure to attend important events in any way that she could, and while she couldn’t be present for her five-yearly visit to General Synod, which is the national assembly of the Church of England, she made sure to include a meaningful message for all attendees.

It was the first time that the queen had not attended the event since it first began in 1970. Naturally, she was deeply missed, but she did not leave attendees without someone there representing the crown. ELLE reported that Prince Edward went to the event in place of his mother and read her message, which stated, “It is hard to believe that it is over 50 years since Prince Philip and I attended the very first meeting of the General Synod.” It continued:

“None of us can slow the passage of time, and while we often focus on all that has changed in the intervening years, much remains unchanged, including the Gospel of Christ and his teachings.”

The queen had a few words of comfort as well:

“Of course, in our richly diverse modern society, the wellbeing of the nation depends on the contribution of people of all faiths, and of none. But for people of faith, the last few years have been particularly hard, with unprecedented restrictions in accessing the comfort and reassurance of public worship.”

The world has certainly had its major share of difficulties as it was engulfed in the coronavirus pandemic since 2020. Moreover, the royal family had a particularly difficult year in 2021 with the passing of Prince Philip in April. Despite going through so much grief and pain herself, the queen extended a lot of empathy for her subjects. Her note continued:

“For many, it has been a time of anxiety, of grief, and of weariness. Yet the Gospel has brought hope, as it has done throughout the ages; and the Church has adapted and continued its ministry, often in new ways, such as digital forms of worship.”

After she sympathized with the “weighty responsibilities” and “difficult decisions” the Synod would have to take in the following five years, the queen added strength and positivity to her message.

“In some areas, there will, of course, be differing views and my hope is that you will be strengthened with the certainty of the love of God, as you work together and draw on the Church’s tradition of unity in fellowship for the tasks ahead.”

Edward also told the Church House, the Westminster headquarters of the Church of England, all of whom were in attendance, that his mother sent her “sincere and deep apologies that she cannot be here today.” He also added, “I think you probably understand why, and she regrets that deeply.”

Though the queen missed many events due to her ill health in late 2021, her strength and spirit were certainly not missed. Following her recovery, the queen got back to work and rang in her Platinum Jubilee in style in the first half of 2022. Now that she has passed, Elizabeth’s meaningful words serve as a reminder of the kind of empathic and successful leader that she was.

What do you think of the message Queen Elizabeth sent in 2021? Do you think it’s taken on more meaning now that she’s passed? Let us know your thoughts and be sure to pass this on to your friends as well.

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