The Queen’s Sapphire Jubilee
This year people around the world will recognize Queen Elizabeth’s sapphire jubilee. Her reign is the latest episode in the long history of a special throne.
Feb. 6 marks the 65th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II’s ascension to the throne of Great Britain.
Celebrations of the queen’s sapphire jubilee were held throughout the Commonwealth, including a 62-gun salute at the Tower of London. She is considered the monarch reigning over 16 nations and the titular head of the Commonwealth of Nations (which includes 52 sovereign states). She is deeply respected by many around the world.
Never before in British history
Since the Battle of Hastings in 1066, when William the Conqueror defeated King Harold II and took the throne, a jubilee in celebration of 60 years on the throne has only occurred twice: for Queen Victoria, who reigned over Britain and the Empire for 63 years, and for Queen Elizabeth II in 2012. Elizabeth is now the first British monarch to reach her sapphire jubilee!
The start of the queen’s reign
King George VI died in February 1952; and as is the custom, his firstborn child succeeded to the throne. Princess Elizabeth was just 26 years old and married to Prince Philip. They had been blessed with two children by then, Prince Charles and Princess Anne.
So her long reign began. The date of her coronation was June 2, 1953 (it took that long to prepare).
A huge turnout
If you watched the celebrations five years ago in June 2012, you saw hundreds of thousands of people (who braved somewhat miserable weather) line the banks of the River Thames and watch a flotilla of a thousand boats of every possible kind pass under Tower Bridge and salute the queen. By any standard, this event broke many records.
Elizabeth’s great-great-grandmother, Queen Victoria, would have been impressed with her legacy of family. Four generations of royals enjoyed these four days.
An ancient throne
In biblical history there is something very special about the throne that Queen Elizabeth is custodian of. The line of occupants goes back for many centuries past William the Conqueror. In fact, it goes all the way back to King David of the nation of Israel.
In Genesis 12 a promise was given by God to Abram (later Abraham) that through him all families of the earth would be blessed. This promise was expanded on and passed down to the following generations.
Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (later named Israel) would produce the descendants that would inherit the promises. Jacob had 12 sons who became the patriarchs of the 12 tribes of Israel. Then two of his grandsons were given very specific and special blessings.
Promised birthright blessings
The birthright blessings were passed onto Ephraim and Manasseh—two of Israel’s grandsons (Genesis 48:17-22). Manasseh would be a great single nation and Ephraim’s descendants would become a company of nations. When was this fulfilled in man’s history?
We believe that the United States represents Manasseh today, and the company of nations is represented by the United Kingdom and the British Empire (now Commonwealth) that together make up the part of the world that the queen is head of.
King David was appointed by God to rule Israel, and he received a promise from God that there would always be a ruler on the throne (2 Samuel 7:12-16).
A careful study of the Bible and history shows that this throne is actually the one that Queen Elizabeth occupies today. It is the throne of David.
A prophecy in Jeremiah 30:9 tells us that God will resurrect David to be king over all 12 tribes of Israel. This time he will rule under Jesus Christ, who has promised to return to become King of Kings and Lord of Lords in the Kingdom of God on earth (Revelation 11:15-18).
A lesson for us all
At a coronation the sovereign is anointed (following the command given by God in 1 Kings 1:38-40). This practice has been followed by the English for over 1,000 years.
A thread throughout the queen’s reign has been her deep sense of duty. She has carried out her responsibilities with sincere dedication, supported by her husband, Prince Philip. Many have commented on her self-discipline and devotion to her position. One commentator said that this came from the sense of vocation she felt having been anointed at her coronation—in other words, realizing this was from God.
Lord Horatio Nelson said at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805 that “England expects that every man will do his duty.” It seems Queen Elizabeth was raised to think that way, and perhaps all of us should pay careful attention to our personal responsibilities as well.
God keeps His promises
Now Queen Elizabeth has passed Queen Victoria as the longest reigning monarch. How much longer will she serve Great Britain and the Commonwealth as queen? The lives of our leaders are in God’s hands. But we can rejoice, knowing that God keeps His promises, and the greatest one is that He will send the King of Kings, Jesus Christ, back to this earth to establish His Kingdom forever and ever.
For more about Britain in prophecy and the royal family, read: