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At this moment the whole nation is celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of the accession to the throne of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Whatever we may think of the failings of individual members of the Royal House, the fact is that the monarchy in this country is one of the few remaining vestiges of Orthodox Christianity left to us.

- Orthodox Christian since the whole concept of Christian monarchy is one that has been inherited from the first Christian Emperors. It is not by chance then that the fiftieth anniversary celebration of Her Majesty's accession coincides with the Feast of St Constantine and St Helen.

- Orthodox Christian since Her Majesty is a blood descendant of such Orthodox Saints as St Edward the Martyr.

- Orthodox Christian since in the generation of Her Majesty's grandfather, no fewer than three close relatives are honoured by the Orthodox Church as martyrs: the martyred Emperor and Empress Nicholas and Alexandra and St Alexandra's sister, St Elizabeth the New Martyr, whose icon hangs on our icon-screen before us.

- Orthodox Christian since Her Majesty married into the Greek Orthodox Royal House. The Queen's husband, Prince Philip, is an Orthodox Christian. On widowhood, his mother became a devout Orthodox nun for whom an Orthodox chapel was established in Buckingham Palace. And when she passed away in 1969, she was buried alongside her above-mentioned relative, Queen Victoria's favourite grand-daughter, the New Martyr Elizabeth, in our convent in Jerusalem.

- Orthodox Christian since now the Prince of Wales, Her Majesty's eldest son, the heir to the throne, is much interested in the Orthodox Church.

Let us now then follow the injunction of the Apostle Paul and pray for the well-being and enlightenment of Her Majesty, of all the Royal House and of our whole land.


O Lord Jesus Christ our God, the God of all mercy and compassion, Whose mercy is beyond measure and Whose love for mankind is an unfathomable deep, falling down with fear and trembling before Thy majesty, we unprofitable servants now humbly give thanks to Thy great compassion for Thy benefits bestowed upon our land and glorify, praise, hymn and magnify Thee as Lord and Master and Benefactor. Again falling down in thanksgiving for Thine immeasurable and ineffable loving-kindness, we humbly pray that, as Thou hast now deigned to accept and mercifully fulfil the supplications of Thy servants, likewise in the coming time, as they flourish in sincere love and every virtue for Thee, Thou wilt vouchsafe to all Thy faithful to receive Thy benefits. Delivering our land and Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth and all the Royal House on this her Jubilee, from every evil circumstance, grant unto them peace and tranquillity. Count them worthy ever to offer thanksgiving, to tell of Thy most gracious benefits and to sing unto Thee, together with Thy Father Who is without beginning, and Thy Most Holy, Good and Life-Creating Spirit, God worshipped in One Essence. Amen.

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