|Cathedral closed until further notice|
HM The Queen's 90th Birthday - The National Service of Thanksgiving
'Long to reign over us - God Save the Queen'
10 June 2016
The Archbishop of Canterbury and the Dean of St Paul’s thanked HM The Queen Elizabeth for how she has ‘wonderfully sustained’ her country over the years as guests gathered at St Paul’s to celebrate her official 90th birthday.
At the National Service of Thanksgiving on Friday 10th June 2016, The Most Reverend Justin Welby thanked God for the way in which Queen Elizabeth ‘is fearfully and wonderfully made.’
In his sermon he spoke of God’s hand as being ‘so uniquely evident upon her life’ and service to her country, saying: ‘Over ... the 90 years there has been much to fear: at times of personal challenge or national crisis. But just as the Psalmist sees through fear to something more stirring and more extraordinary, so we look back on Your Majesty’s 90 years in the life of our nation with deep wonder and profound gratitude. Through war and hardship, through turmoil and change, we have been fearfully and wonderfully sustained.’
‘And we rejoice, Your Majesty, for the way in which the life God has given you in turn you have given wonderfully in service to this nation. You have been an instrument of God’s peace, and through you God has so often turned fear into wonder – and joy.’
Prayers were read by a number of people representing various aspects of the Queen’s life, including BBC presenter Clare Balding, representing the Queen's love of horse racing, and Hilda Price, who was born on the same day in 1926.
Sir David Attenborough spoke words written by Michael Bond - both men also celebrate 90th birthdays this year - on the passing of the years. Sir David’s speech finished with musings on the words of Louise Haskins:
‘Truly, if you put your hand into the Hand of God. That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way’.
Prince Philip also celebrated his 95th birthday on Friday, and the Archbishop noted: ‘Today we rejoice for the way in which God’s loving care has fearfully and wonderfully sustained you - as well as Prince Philip marking his 95th birthday today.’
The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh were accompanied by The Prince of Wales, Duchess of Cornwall, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince Harry - a total of 53 members of the Royal Family.
Prime Minister David Cameron, who read from the New Testament, recently-appointed Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, and former Prime Ministers Tony Blair were among politicians past and present. Representative of world faiths also helped celebrate the service - the first ever for a monarch's 90th birthday.
All images © The Chapter of St Paul's Cathedral, Graham Lacdao