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A Faithful Queen

Celebrates the reign of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

by Janice Ross

Suitable for Key Stage 3


To celebrate the long and faithful reign of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

Preparation and materials

  • Write out the following quote from the blog The Mad Monarchist on a whiteboard:

    HM the Queen has, for the last 60 years, been an impeccable constitutional monarch for all of her people in every corner of the world without complaint, without wearying and with dignity, compassion, stoic strength, quiet faith and human warmth. She has simply been exemplary. No country in the world today could imagine, much less ask for, a more tirelessly devoted, sincerely committed, wise and experienced sovereign.
  • You will need a leader and eight readers.
  • Gather some images of Queen Elizabeth II and have the means to display them while the readers are reading the information from the article 'Queen Elizabeth II: the most dutiful monarch in a thousand years', by Harry Mount in The Telegraph (13 March, 2013).
  • If appropriate, either sing the national anthem or 'And did those feet in ancient time‘, commonly known as ‘Jerusalem’ (have the lyrics available), or choose some patriotic music and have the means to play it at the end of the assembly.


Leader: At 27 years old, Queen Elizabeth II made vows of awesome seriousness, not to her country, but to God. Her promises were to:        

- govern her various peoples across the world ‘according to their respective laws and customs’
- cause law and justice, in mercy, to be executed
- maintain the laws of God.

All of this was affirmed with her hand on a copy of the Bible, ‘the most valuable thing that this world has'.

Read out the quote on the whiteboard about Queen Elizabeth.

Who might have written this? How would you describe this person’s view of the Queen?

We are going to investigate the Queen’s life to judge whether or not we agree with this quote. Listen now to some facts about her life and work, then try to match the information to appropriate parts of the quote.

Reader 1: The Queen's Commonwealth duties.

In 60 years, Queen Elizabeth II has made 261 official overseas visits, including 96 State visits to 116 different countries.

On her first Commonwealth tour alone in 1953, she travelled a total distance of 43,618 miles.

Leader: What would you say this proves? 

Reader 2: A grueling daily timetable.

Every morning, the Queen scans the newspapers before dealing with her correspondence. She gets 200 to 300 letters every day. She chooses a selection to read herself and tells her staff how she would like them to be answered. 

Every morning she sees two private secretaries separately for an hour or more to discuss her diary plans and her daily business.
Every day, wherever she is in the world, she deals with a mountain of paperwork in her red boxes: policy papers, Cabinet documents, telegrams, letters and other State papers. These come from government ministers, but also from representatives of the Commonwealth and other foreign countries.

At lunchtime, she and the Duke of Edinburgh will often host a dozen guests, drawn from public life and charitable causes. Every year, she has more than 50,000 people to lunches, banquets, dinners and garden parties. 

In the afternoon, she has audiences with the ambassadors, political ministers, the Armed Forces, bishops and judges. Late afternoons regularly include Privy Council meetings with government ministers.

Often, in the evening, she has to attend film premières, concert performances, charity parties and receptions ahead of foreign visits.

Every evening when Parliament is sitting, at around 7.30 p.m., she receives a report of the day’s discussions. Apparently, her light is often the last to go out at Buckingham Palace.

Leader: What would you say this proves?

Reader 3: Royal engagements.

In her Diamond Jubilee year, the Queen carried out 425 different engagements. The only person in public life to match her energy levels is her 91-year-old husband, Prince Philip. 

In a year, she will host more than 50,000 people at banquets, lunch, dinner, receptions and garden parties. Over the years, more than one and a half million people have attended her garden parties. The Queen has personally held over 610 investitures.

Leader: What would you say this proves?

Reader 4: Charity duties.

The Queen is patron of more than 600 charities and organizations in Britain, including Cancer Research UK, the British Red Cross Society and Barnardo’s. She favours charities that tackle community and civic issues.

Leader: What would you say this proves?

Reader 5: Family affairs.

We must remember that the Queen is a mother who has seen two sons and a daughter divorced amid very bad publicity. She was heavily criticized after Diana’s death when she failed to return immediately to London, preferring to stay at Balmoral to prepare her grandsons for what would be a very difficult and public funeral.

Leader: What would you say this proves?

Reader 6: Threats.

On the way to the Trooping of the Colour ceremony in 1981, the Queen’s horse shied suddenly when six blank shots were unexpectedly fired at her. Her good horsemanship meant that she was able to control the horse to the cheers of the crowd and carry on.

In 1982, an intruder, Michael Fagan, managed to gain access to the Queen’s bedroom, which must have been very frightening.

Leader: What would you say this proves? 

Reader 7: Involvement in Parliament.

The Queen has welcomed 12 prime ministers during her reign.

Leader: What would you say this proves?

Reader 8: The Christmas message.

Every Christmas, the Queen speaks to the people of the Commonwealth from Buckingham Palace. In one recent address, she spoke about Jesus, whose birth we celebrate at Christmas, and about the need for forgiveness in our world.

Leader: What would you say this proves?

Time for reflection

Consider what Queen Elizabeth promised when she was crowned. How do you rank her faithfulness?

In the Bible, we are asked to pray for our sovereign, so we will do so now.

Dear God,
Thank you for Queen Elizabeth.
Thank you for how faithful she has been to her calling to serve us.
Please bless her time with her family, give her strength and wisdom as she grows older.
May we be like her in seeking out what our purpose is and carrying it out faithfully.


National anthem
'And did those feet in ancient time‘, also known as 'Jerusalem’ (Hymns Old and New (Kevin Mayhew), 37, 2008 edition)
Chosen patriotic music 

Publication date: October 2015   (Vol.17 No.10)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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