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House of Lords Lords’ Tribute on the occasion of Her Majesty the Queen’s Ninetieth Birthday

Photo - Royal Maundy Celebrations

Thursday 21st April 2016

A speech by the Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu PC, Primate of England and Metropolitan.


My Lords, on behalf of the Archbishop of Canterbury and all of the Lords Spiritual I wish to endorse most heartily the proposed message of congratulations to Her Majesty by Divine Providence Queen Head of the Commonwealth Defender of the Faith.

At her Coronation Archbishop Fisher placed on the Queen’s wrists two newly made gold bracelets, presented by a number of the overseas realms and territories as a symbol of the Commonwealth. As he did so he said these words: “Receive the bracelets of sincerity and wisdom, both for tokens of the Lord’s protection embracing you on every side; and also for symbols and pledges of that bond which unites you to your Peoples.”

Today we give thanks for the Lord’s protection that has embraced Her Majesty on every side these many years. We also want to pay tribute to the sincerity, wisdom and devotion which she has consistently manifested throughout her long and glorious reign. They have served greatly to strengthen that bond between the Sovereign and all her Peoples.

Since 1952 there have been seven Archbishops of Canterbury and seven Archbishops of York. What Her Majesty has made of that richly diverse and eclectic collection of primates will, no doubt, never be revealed. All that I can say from those of the Archbishops whom I have known is that each has, like me, valued the support, interest, faithfulness and prayers of our Supreme Governor more than it is possible to describe.

There are very few other people to whom an Archbishop can open his heart knowing that his confidences will go no further and certain that at the end of the conversation he will go away affirmed and encouraged.

And so, let this be a day for thanksgiving and much rejoicing.



21st April, 2016 A.D.                                                                

Feast of St Anselm - Archbishop of Canterbury

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