Queen Elizabeth II sent a poignant message to the Church of England’s leaders a few days before her first wedding anniversary without her husband, Prince Philip.
The Queen, 95, has to skip a number of important engagements as she recovers from a sprained back. It includes last weekend’s Remembrance Sunday church service that aims to give tribute to fallen heroes during the first world war.
Now, Her Majesty has also been forced to miss her five-annual visit to General Synod – the national assembly of the Church of England.
Despite her absence, the 95-year-od monarch made sure to make up for it with a touching note that was read by The Earl of Wessex, Prince Edward to the newly elected Synod.
“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,” The Queen said in the note.
“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.”
“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,” she continued.
“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 note reads.
“For many, it has been a time of anxiety, of grief, and of weariness,” it continued.
“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.”
Prince Edward told the Church House, the Westminster headquarters of the Church of England, that the Queen sent her ‘sincere and deep apologies that she cannot be here today’.
‘I think you probably understand why, and she regrets that deeply,’ Prince Edward said.
The Earl of Wessex continued to read from his mother’s notes, showing how she sympathized with the ‘weighty responsibilities’ and ‘difficult decisions’ the Synod would have in its next five-year term.