Royal Family watcher Pauline Njoroge brings more insights into the Queen’s relationship with the Church including its colorful historical moments and milestones.
The Queen was the Supreme Governor of the Church of England, but she became the first Monarch of the United Kingdom to die a Presbyterian. How you ask?
Whenever she crossed the border to stay at Balmoral Castle, she would become an ordinary member of the Presbyterian Church, whose dominion is Scotland. She died in Balmoral.
The Queen’s relationship with the Church of Scotland was symbolised by a Service of Dedication in St. Giles Cathedral in Edinburgh, Scotland on 24 June 1953, three weeks after her Coronation. This Cathedral was founded in the 12th century under the Catholic Church but became the Presbyterian mother church in 1559 after the reformation, with John Knox as its first Presbyterian minister.
It is at this Church that the first service for Her Majesty will be held tomorrow. Afterwards the body will be moved to England to lay in State at the Westminster Hall, British Parliament. This Hall was built in 1097 under William II, the son of William the Conqueror.
The State Funeral will take place on 19th September at the Westminster Abbey, Church of England. The service will be led by the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Dean of Westminster.
Westminster Abbey was founded in the year 960 under the Catholic Church and dedicated to Saint Peter but became Anglican in 1559. Previous royal funerals to be held at Westminster Abbey were that of Princess Diana in 1997 and that of Queen Elizabeth the Queen mother in 2002.
The Abbey has also been Britain’s coronation church since 1066; from William the Conqueror through to Queen Elizabeth II.
The Queen’s funeral will be the first State Funeral since that of Sir Winston Churchill in 1965. His funeral however took place at St. Paul’s Cathedral, London.