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21.11.2019

The Crown and the Queen – the Untold Story | Connecting with Culture

The Crown’s third season burst back onto our screens last Sunday, only to be rapidly upstaged by Prince Andrew’s poorly judged interview and ‘resignation’.

Indeed, Olivia Colman’s poignant portrayal of the Queen’s fortitude, self-control, clarity, and astuteness reminds us that these are qualities she surely still needs. However, for all The Crown’s strengths, it fails, like most biographies of the Queen, to understand how her deep sense of divine calling and her living faith in Christ have shaped how she does everything – from the way she engages with staff to the content of her Christmas broadcasts.

Of course, showing the Queen at prayer, or pulling her Land Rover to a screeching halt outside the Sandringham church don’t obviously compete with the riveting storylines of her eventful life. Nevertheless, trying to understand the Queen without understanding her Christian faith is like trying to understand a Ferrari without looking at the engine.

I vividly remember the moment this hit me. I was trying to think of some public figure who lived out the six Ms of fruitfulness – modelling godly character, making good work, ministering grace and love, moulding culture, being a mouthpiece for truth and justice, and being a messenger of the gospel. The Queen came to mind with a clarity and weight, as if from above: the most famous, most photographed woman in the world is a fantastic exemplar of Christlike engagement in public life. And that was the beginning of a series of providential events that led to the distribution of a million copies of The Servant Queen and the King She Serves (still available).

The more research we did, the more examples we discovered. Small things like inviting a Church of Scotland minister to Balmoral every weekend of her summer break. Big things like bringing former exploited colonies into a circle of purposeful friendship in the Commonwealth. Or her Christmas broadcasts: gently summoning her people to neighbour love, and unselfconsciously witnessing to Christ’s centrality in her life.

Season 3 of The Crown will no doubt bring us much insight into the Queen’s response to national, monarchical, and familial challenges. But after two seasons and the two Season 3 episodes I’ve somehow managed to limit myself to this week, it has given us no glimpse of the resources in Christ which have enabled her to be God’s woman for all seasons – through crises even greater than this week’s.

And that’s a story to celebrate. And tell.

 

Mark Greene
Mark is the Executive Director of LICC. To read a longer reflection Mark has written on the Queen’s faith, click here.

Author

Mark Greene

Comments

  1. Thanks once again, Mark, for your perceptive and keen awareness of truth and integrity about matters that engage so clearly with our culture and faith, and in this case concerning such a woman of faith.

    By Hugh Wallace - 22nd November 2019
  2. Mark, what a relevant and insightful narrative on our beloved Queen. I have watched all three series and along with time line mistakes continuity errors and dubious conversations have enjoyed all episodes. However like you I have been disappointed at the lack of inclusion of the Christian element of her life her dedication to God and her belief. Not what the makers thought perhaps the general public need. How wrong they are. It may be because it’s not cool to have faith. How can we make it so?
    I very much enjoyed my visit to LICC earlier this month and your delivery of Ruth. Inspiring and the depth of your unpacking brought great joy to my little Bible study group that have attempted Ruth in the past. Fruitfulness on the Frontline was a great series too and we are planning Proverbs next. Thank you and best wishes.

    By Linda Brown - 22nd November 2019
  3. Thank you Mark for your insight, wisdom and how you have publicly honoured our wonderful Queen. She is such an inspiration in the way she leads her life and, like you, I respect how she lives out the 6 ‘M’s of fruitfulness in her daily walk with God. Long may she reign!

    By Karen Kircher - 22nd November 2019
  4. Last March I read an inspiring article about the life of Michael Green in the Premier Magazine in my hotel room at the Swanwick Conference Centre. I was sorely tempted to take the magazine home with me but thought I might be depriving the next guest of a good read, so left it behind. I would so love to have a copy of that magazine in order to re-read and share that article if you still have a spare copy!
    I just recognized Mark Greene as the speaker at the recent wonderful study day of the book of Ruth which I thoroughly enjoyed with my daughter in London!!! Many thanks for all you do to encourage and inspire the Christian public!

    By Margaret Cormack - 22nd November 2019
  5. I would like to point out that in the first series of The Crown the episodes showing and leading up to the coronation strongly portrayed the Queen’s faith. It made me realise that it was much more than just a commitment to her country, it was a religious ceremony and lifetime promise to God. It was made clear that this is why she will never abdicate.

    By Alison Morgan - 22nd November 2019
  6. There was also the episode that showed her discussions with Billy Graham and suggested the struggle to bring her faith to bear on the situations she was dealing with.

    By Malcolm Halliday - 22nd November 2019
  7. I was going to mention this too. I’m currently on season 2 and there have been a few episodes in seasons 1&2 showing the Queen’s faith, or her at prayer, especially as mentioned above the Billy Graham one.

    By Katy Friese-Greene - 23rd November 2019
  8. Thank you Mark Greene for this timely reminder of the role of the King in the life of our Queen.

    By David Whitmarsh - 23rd November 2019
  9. Mark, have you considered contacting or writing into the creators of The Crown and raising this point? I’m sure you could approach this appropriately and it’s just possible that they might think that this is an important aspect of Queen Elizabeth worth investigating. Probably not but you just never know … !!

    By Katy - 23rd November 2019
  10. Thank you Mark and please keep us informed across the pond. I agree with you %100 and Larry and I noticed the lack of her deep Christian faith this season as it was depicted the first 2. That was something we didn’t know about her and were delighted to see her passion for Christ. We will be in prayer for you all. Much love to the Greenes!

    By Ann Angeletti Collard - 24th November 2019

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