Three years as an Honorary Chaplain to her Majesty not only permitted the privilege of wearing a scarlet cassock (double breasted in her presence) and sending the Royal Household Christmas card but also the opportunity to meet from time to time with the monarch when she summoned her chaplains, English and Scottish, to an informal gathering. On one occasion when the canapes were especially good an equerry whispered in my ear that we were fortunate to enjoy the leftovers from a State Banquet the evening before.

On that same evening at Windsor Castle a group photograph had been arranged and we gathered around the Queen and Prince Philip for a very snappy photoshoot. Several weeks later the photograph, a gift from her Majesty, arrived in the post with a short note explaining that the delay had been caused because both the Queen and Prince Philip had insisted on signing each one individually. Eagerly easing it out of the envelope, there on the bottom of the cardboard border of the photograph, carefully scripted, albeit with a ball point pen, were their signatures. Elizabeth R and Philip. *

Bishop Norman Banks


I met the Queen when she came to open a new part of Pinewood Film Studios in 2010 when I was the incumbent of St Margaret’s, Iver Heath. Whilst I was terrified at getting the etiquette right she was incredibly warm and immediately put me at my ease. One of the films being shot there had some clergy extras, and with a bright twinkle in her eye she asked if I had been tempted to sneak in on the action! 

The news of the Queen’s death was whispered in my ear as we sung the opening hymn at a Confirmation service in Petworth. After the greeting I announced the sad news and there was an audible intake of breath from the congregation. As I quickly pondered how I might change the message of my sermon that night and in the times since it has been so easy to relate her life to the teachings of Christ that she lived by and bore witness too so effectively. May she rest in peace.

Bishop Will Hazlewood 


In Wakefield at the formal Proclamation of the King at the Town Hall on the Sunday after the death of Queen Elizabeth, I was able to conduct a short vigil of prayer for the Queen and to pray for King Charles. Several hundred people attended and prayers was offered by the Jewish community, one of the local Imams and myself followed by a time of silence. Afterwards we were all invited by the Council to refreshments. It was a great time of sharing good stories of memories of the Queen. A sign of good relationships between different faiths here.. 

Bishop Tony Robinson


 My wife and I were on holiday when the news of the late Queen’s death broke. Once upon a time, Britons stranded abroad might have gathered around the wireless listening through crackle and static for the Home Service announcements; now, with an iPad, and, with views of Mount Etna and the shimmering Ionian Sea behind us, we watched Huw Edwards struggle to remain composed, history’s mouthpiece. 

Not that the BBC coverage was devoid of glitches. Inaccuracies included the otherwise marvellous Kirsty Wark referring twice on the day of the funeral to St Giles’s Cathedral, when she meant St George’s Chapel. But broadcasting the great moments of State – the Accession Council, the Proclamations, the meeting with the King in Westminster Hall – was an absolute triumph. The harmony, tradition and magnificence of the British state came vividly and with absolute clarity into a Sicilian hotel.

All the Italians who spoke to us were united in assuring us that, well, ‘the British, the British are best,’ and that the Queen was really the very best of all. Some Americans we overheard chatting, by contrast, were perplexed that the British media were already talking about the King – surely, they said, there hadn’t been time for an election?

Bishop Jonathan Baker


Whatever your views on the monarchy, the commitment to duty exemplified by Queen Elizabeth has drawn recognition and respect.

Statements from national and international leaders were widely reported. But tributes in Parliament from working members of both Houses were often more moving and impressive.

From ministers and office holders who had assisted the Queen in the immense round of national and international responsibilities; an insight into her working life.

Many referred to the privilege of a lunch in private with the Queen and the ease with which they spoke about work and life generally. 

Perhaps the best was from a dignified member of the House of Lords who told us about overcoming her nervousness at lunch with the Queen by asking, ‘Ma’am, my I share a secret with you?’ The Queen replied, ‘Oh yes please, I love secrets’. ‘And there it will remain between us,’ the Baroness concluded.

How refreshing to encounter that level of reserve and discretion: and how characteristic of the wisdom of Her Late Majesty. 

             Bishop Martin Warner