The first British monarch to celebrate a diamond wedding anniversary
Cranmer rejoices today on this most happy occasion of the 60th anniversary of the wedding of Her Majesty the Queen and His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh.
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, told the congregation: "Today we celebrate not only a marriage but the relationship between monarch and people of which also that marriage is a symbol: a relationship in which we see what levels of commitment are possible for someone upheld by a clear sense of God’s calling and enabling, and the corresponding vision of the worthwhileness of this national and international family that is the Commonwealth, which has been the recipient of such unswerving service.
"So before we complain too loudly about a world of disposable relationships and short-term policies, a world of fracturing and insecure international bonds and the decline of trust, we should remember today that we have cause for thanksgiving - thanksgiving that God has made human beings capable, against all the odds, of reflecting his own completely costly and self-giving commitment to his world; that the gift of marriage makes this capacity visible in our world; and that, in the lives of the couple with whom today we join in celebration, that bracing, renewing and hopeful vision of faithful generosity has been for 60 years set so clearly before our eyes.
"May it be so for many more years."
Amen and amen. The Archbishop paid generous homage to his Monarch, adding: “(I)t also means that we can give special thanks for the very public character of the witness and the sign offered to us by this marriage and what it has meant to nation and Commonwealth over the decades."
The milestone is not merely a symbol of the relationship between the people and their Monarch, but the embodiment of a life of devotion to the Lord which has been blessed with longevity. To recognise Her Majesty’s ‘unqualified commitment’ is to acknowledge her vocation – a word rarely talked of these days – and ‘the creative faithfulness that secures the trust, love and prayerful support of millions’.
God save the Queen!