Book review & giveaway: ‘The servant Queen & the King she serves’.
The Servant Queen.
Hello! Welcome to the third and final instalment of my Queen-related posts to commemorate Her Majesty’s official 90th birthday this weekend. So far I’ve reflected on my memories of the Queen and considered what the secret is to her long and healthy life in ‘The Queen at 90: What’s her secret?’ and I’ve looked at some of the Great British Gifts on offer at John Lewis and selected some of my favourites (here).
This time, I’m reviewing the book, ‘The Servant Queen and the King she serves,’ which was published by the Bible Society a few months ago to celebrate her 90th birthday. It addresses how the Queen’s Christian faith has guided and influenced her during her life and service to our country.
You can also win a copy of the book by entering the competition at the bottom of this post.
Book Review: ‘The Servant Queen and the King she serves.’
There has been plenty of coverage of the Queen as she approaches her official 90th birthday this weekend. We’ve heard facts and figures about her reign and the impressive statistics of her travels, her work, her milestones and achievements. However, if you asked the Queen what the most vital, important and central factor in her life is she would say it was her faith in God. In fact, for such a private person, who keeps most of her opinions to herself, she has always been remarkably open about her Christian faith.
You may not have realised the Queen is a committed Christian who strives to follow Christ’s teachings, much less how her faith in God is considered the most important thing in her life. That’s why I was delighted to hear the Bible Society had published a book which addresses her firmly held beliefs, ‘The Servant Queen and the King She Serves’. In the foreword, written by the Queen, she leaves us in no doubt about the source of her inspiration and strength. She writes:
I have been – and remain – very grateful to you for your prayers and to God for his steadfast love. I have indeed seen his faithfulness.”
At the end of her forward she invites us, as she embarks on her 91st year, to join with her in reflecting on the verses of a poem that was also quoted by her father King George VI, in his Christmas Day broadcast in 1939, the year that this country went to war:
‘I said to the man who stood at the Gate of the Year “Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown.” And he replied, “Go out into the darkness, and put your hand into the hand of God. That shall be to you better than light, and safer than a known way.’
The story of why this poem was used in her father’s speech was the first of many surprises in this book. Few people realise it was the 13 year old Princess Elizabeth, who handed her father the poem by Minnie Louise Haskins, thinking it might be helpful.
The book, 64 pages in all, focusses on the Queen and her devotion to God, giving readers an insight into how her Christian faith has shaped her life from early childhood and how it continues to guide and sustain her up to the present day.
There are nine short chapters in the book and plenty of colourful photographs and quotes. It’s well laid out and an easy and engaging read. The chapters cover different aspects her life and service and how her faith has influenced them.
I was surprised how much of the information in this little book was new to me. It gave me a deeper understanding of her as a person, not just a monarch. It was fascinating to peek behind the pomp and ceremony to her personal and deeply held Christian beliefs.
We discover that she works hard because of her commitment to follow the ways of Christ, ‘Christ came not to be served, but to serve.’ Many of the words in the book are her own, selected from her speeches and Christmas messages over the 64 years of her reign.
As a Christian myself, I found this an interesting and engaging read, seeing the constant thread of her faith woven throughout so many different aspects of her live and service.
At the risk of giving away the ending (although this isn’t a detective novel) I was struck by the Queen’s request to her people of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth 6 months before her coronation and before she began her remarkable 64-year reign.
Pray that God may give me wisdom and strength to carry out the solemn promises I shall be making and that I may faithfully serve Him and you, all the days of my life.
In conclusion, I am so delighted that this book has been published because it provides a fascinating insight into the woman who wears the crown. A woman who has served her people faithfully for so many years. And the source of inspiration and strength throughout her life? The King she serves, Jesus Christ.
Win a copy of ‘The servant Queen and the King she serves.’
I am giving away 3 copies of ‘The servant Queen and the King she serves’. For a chance to win your own copy all you have to do to is follow the instructions below.
Competition terms and conditions:
1. There are three copies of ‘The servant Queen and the King she serves’ available for three lucky winners.
2. This prize draw will be drawn at random, and is open to UK residents aged 16 or over.
3. Up to 2 entries per person. Both are compulsory methods of entry.
4. Maflingo.com retains the right to change the competition if necessary.
5. The prize is not transferable and there is no cash alternative.
6. If the winners do not contact me within one week, I will redraw another winner at random.
7. Entries must be received by 11.59 pm on 16th June 2016.
8. The winners will be chosen at random and notified by email on the 17th June 2016.