A TRIBUTE TO QUEEN ELIZABETH II (21 April 1926 – 8 September 2022)

It was with great sorrow and sadness that we learned of the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. The news of the demise of the longest-reigning monarch in British history, and the oldest and longest-serving head of state in the world, came as a shock. On the eve of her accession to the throne, Queen Elizabeth was quoted as saying, ‘I declare before you all that my whole life whether it be long or short shall be devoted to your service’.  The Queen reigned with grace, elegance, and a tireless work ethic to fulfill this declaration. She was the only British monarch the vast majority of Nigerians have ever known and most of us grew up with great admiration and filial affection for her. What made Queen Elizabeth so special was that she grasped the full spiritual weight and responsibility of her office, and sought to execute it with that in mind. Her Christian faith was central to all that she was and all that she did and this made her a pillar of stability in an ever-changing world. Her Christmas radio messages were sometimes deeply personal and revealed a life of prayer and faith. Her Majesty was, indeed, the epitome of duty, stability, wisdom and grace. The axiom, “Service Untiringly done. Duty faithfully fulfilled” encapsulates her reign.

The Queen touched the hearts of many with her dedicated service, especially to the Commonwealth which remains an important trade partner, investor and development partner in many African countries, the biggest being South Africa and Nigeria. It is our hope that the Commonwealth could continue to offer stability and continuity in years to come, especially, during the reign of King Charles III.

King Charles has become head of the Commonwealth, an association of 56 independent countries and 2.4 billion people. Being a royal demand a fair amount of resilience, a tough skin and patience in spades. For the king-in-waiting, the latter has been especially true. Prince Charles was the longest-waiting heir apparent,  having spent 63 years as the Prince of Wales.

In recent times, Charles has been outspoken on issues close to his heart, notably architecture, the environment, farming, faith and alternative medicine. The monarch has to be scrupulously neutral on all political issues, as the queen had been. He is expected to further promote religious diversity and the multicultural nature of modern England and the Commonwealth. He is also expected to promote issues of social justice and accountability, especially in the former British colonies of West Africa.

Most Rev. Ignatius A. Kaigama,

Archbishop of Abuja.

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *