Posted in 2012 on the 60th Anniversary of Her Majesty’s accession, reprised 2022 on the 70th, in humble recognition of all The Queen has meant to her subjects—and admirers not her subjects—for so many years.
“A Day’s March Nearer Home”
Queen Elizabeth II acceded to the throne on 6 February 1952. Addressing Parliament on the 11th, Churchill named her “heir to all our traditions and glories never greater than in her father’s days, and to all our perplexities and dangers never greater in peacetime than now. She is also heir to all our united strength and loyalty.”
Privately, a week later, he stared fixedly at a new photograph of the Sovereign. “She was in white,” wrote Lord Moran, “with long white gloves, smiling and radiant.” It was his favorite photo of Her Majesty. “Lovely,” he remarked, “she’s a pet. I fear they may ask her to do too much. She’s doing so well.” They asked her to do more. She did even better.
A week on he was still gazing at that famous photo: “Lovely, inspiring. All the film people in the world, if they had scoured the globe, could not have found anyone so suited to the part.” Then, Moran remembered, WSC began singing a hymn: “Yet nightly pitch my moving tent a day’s march nearer home.” (WSC had recited the same words to the Eighth Army at Tripoli, ten years earlier.) —From Churchill by Himself, 368.
“Of infinite value, at once numinous and luminous…”
Professor David Dilks is the former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Hull. He is the author of The Great Dominion: Winston Churchill in Canada 1900-1954 (2005), and biographer of Neville Chamberlain. On 6 February 2007, the 55th Anniversary of her reign, he addressed these incandescent words to the Royal Society of St. George:
We may think of Churchill as an amiable or even reverent agnostic, who conceived of himself not as a pillar of the church but perhaps as a flying buttress. He did not invoke the Deity casually or cynically, a fact which confers its own interest upon his touching and heartfelt reply to the Queen’s letter following his retirement as prime minister in April 1955.
The monarchy signified for Churchill something of infinite value, at once numinous and luminous; and if you will allow the remark in parenthesis, ladies and gentlemen, do you not sometimes long for someone at the summit of our public life who can think and write at this level?…..
WSC to The Queen, 18 April 1955
Our Island no longer holds the same authority or power that it did in the days of Queen Victoria. A vast world towers up around it and after all our victories we could not claim the rank we hold were it not for the respect for our character and good sense and the general admiration not untinged by envy for our institutions and way of life. All this has already grown stronger and more solidly founded during the opening years of the present Reign, and I regard it as the most direct mark of God’s favour we have ever received in my long life that the whole structure of our new-formed Commonwealth has been linked and illuminated by a sparkling presence at its summit.
It is an inspiration to all who love or respect her that the sparkling presence is still there.
Best video about HM
Former protection officer Richard Griffin on an encounter with HM by American tourists near Balmoral.