12 September 2022

A tribute to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

Commissioner Anthony Cotterill

A message from Territorial Commander Commissioner Anthony Cotterill.

The article that follows is a transcript of the video message above. You can also download a PDF of the transcript at the bottom of the page.

Greetings to you from The Salvation Army’s Territorial Headquarters here in London. We’re all suddenly having to come to terms with the fact that our beloved Queen is no longer with us. It’s the end of an era. And certainly, those under the age of 75 have never experienced the change of a monarch like we are experiencing at this time.

If you’re like me, you may be surprised at the depth of sadness and grief that has bubbled up within us as we heard the news. A sense of deep loss, of grief even, though none of us would claim to have known the Queen personally.

Back in 2020, Gill, my wife, and I were given the immense privilege of being presented to the Queen, as well as to other members of the royal family at Windsor Castle.

Queen Elizabeth II meets Salvation Army leaders at a Christmas event
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II with Commissioners Anthony and Gill Cotterill at Windsor Castle in December 2020

We were with the Regent Hall Band playing carols to the Queen at her request, for she wanted to express gratitude to The Salvation Army and to other voluntary agencies for the great work that had taken place during the pandemic.

What a privilege it was for us to meet with her face to face and to realise from conversation with her, her deep desire to serve and to see that her people were being served. What an encouragement and what a blessing it was to be with her.

Back in 1947, on her 21st birthday, she famously said, and I quote: ‘I declare before you all that my whole life, whether it be long or short, shall be devoted to your service and the service of our great imperial family to which we all belong. But I shall not have the strength to carry out this resolution alone unless you join in it with me, as I now invite you to do. I know that your support will be unfailingly given. God help me to make good my vow and God bless you who are willing to share it.’

Psalm 116:14 says: ‘I will fulfil my vows to the Lord in the presence of all his people.’ And she did. Verse 16 says: ‘O Lord, truly I am your servant’ (New King James Version). And she was. The verse in between those two, verse 15, says: ‘Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints’ (NKJV). And for Her Majesty the Queen, we are in no doubt that this is true.

We are saddened beyond words. We rejoice, however, in her life and her faithful service to God and her people. And we rejoice in her legacy and the example of her life to love God and to love others.

There was a beautiful song that was written for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, the message of which was that we, too, like Her Majesty following Christ’s example, should rise up and serve. In these days of mourning, I’ve been encouraged by those words and I thank God for Her Majesty the Queen.

As we journey these sad days, our thoughts and prayers turn to the Queen’s immediate family and to King Charles III particularly. May he and may the royal family know the peace of Christ and thus the strength that sustained the Queen throughout her life and reign. May you also now receive the gift of peace, as you too determine to rise up and serve.

May God bless you.

Anthony Cotterill

Commissioner Anthony Cotterill

Territorial Commander

Download the transcript of the video

PDF / 82 KB

Queen Elizabeth II shakes hands with a Salvationist

Our statement on the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

Read the statement from Territorial Commander Commissioner Anthony Cotterill on salvationarmy.org.uk.

Visit salvationarmy.org.uk

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