Monday, February 06, 2012

Happy 60th to Elizabeth II

In Great Britain, they're readying all the celebrations for what will be Queen Elizabeth II's 60th year on the throne. Only three more years or so to beat Queen Victoria's record for length of reign.

This USA Today article is an excellent profile of the Queen's decades of service to her country.

Although I am a citizen of the U.S. by birth and not a UK citizen or resident, with a name like Griffith, you can no doubt tell I've got the heritage (specifically, Welsh). The Seventh Sola wishes to express warm congratulations to Queen Elizabeth for reaching such a milestone, and prays that God's riches blessings, wisdom and direction will be hers in the days ahead.

It is said that the Queen personally is a woman of devout Christian faith, although I know some of my conservative Christian brothers and sisters in England have taken issue with some of the bills that have become law through royal assent during her tenure—most specifically over abortion and homosexual rights. I have no desire to hash out the complexities of the unwritten British constitution, but I do know that the monarch must approve all bills before they become laws, and indeed may reject a bill, at least in theory. By practice, no monarch has done so since Queen Anne in 1707, with few exceptions. Queen Anne's veto was over quartering troops in Scotland.

There was a matter that arose a few years back when a private members' bill over the Iraq War did not receive royal assent, and therefore died in parliament. However, that issue was over a so-called prerogative power of the Crown, and as I understand it, the government at the time advised that royal assent not be granted. As the queen acted on the advice of ministers, it was considered a constitutional action. However, if the queen on her own decided to veto an act of parliament, there would no doubt be a constitutional crisis. For such a move to succeed, an overwhelming number of the British people would have to be calling for the queen to take such an action. And even then, there would be quite a row, to put it in the English way.

My hope is that the rest of Queen Elizabeth's reign will be peaceful, and that she will know in complete fullness the "peace that passes all understanding" for all who are truly grounded in Christ, through saving faith.

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