I think we would all agree, Queen Elizabeth is a quite remarkable woman of faith who has, with the passing of years, become more open and more comfortable talking about the place of faith in her life. This is what she said in her Christmas message 2002:
‘I know just how much I rely on my faith to guide me through the good times and the bad. Each day is a new beginning. I know that the only way to live my life is to try to do what is right, to take the long view, to give of my best in all that the day brings, and to put my trust in God…I draw strength from the message of hope in the Christian Gospel.’
In her speech at Lambeth Palace in 2012, as part of her Diamond Jubilee celebrations the Queen gave us a real insight into how she understands her own role, with regard to our topic, ‘appreciating religious tolerance in Great Britain’, and also her recognition of both the moral and the practical contribution of the various religions to our society. She said:
“Our religions provide critical guidance for the way we live our lives, and for the way in which we treat each other. Many of the values and ideas we take for granted in this and other countries originate in the ancient wisdom of our traditions. Even the concept of a Jubilee is rooted in the Bible.