The Archbishop of Canterbury has presented the Queen with a special ‘Canterbury Cross’ in honour of her “unstinting” service to the Church of England over seventy years.
The Queen is Supreme Governor of the Church of England and has regularly opened sessions of its parliament, the General Synod, over the years.
The cross was presented to the Queen at Windsor Castle to mark her Platinum Jubilee year.
Archbishop Justin Welby said it was “a heartfelt symbol of the love, loyalty and affection in which the Church of England holds Her Majesty”.
In the citation for the cross, the Archbishop wrote warmly of the Queen’s service to the Church of England and her own personal Christian faith.
“Throughout her reign, Her Majesty has duly upheld both the Christian religion and the Church of England in her roles as Defender of the Faith and Supreme Governor of the Church of England,” he said.
“Whether in the formality of opening sessions of General Synod or the more intimate context of her personal addresses to the nation and Commonwealth at Christmas, Her Majesty has made manifest her own deep faith and its relevance to all that she undertakes.
“Her subtle understanding of the changing position of the Established Church in England has sustained and encouraged laity and clergy alike.
“Her care for the unity of her people and the welfare of the least fortunate have been a constant inspiration to the whole Church. Hers is an example of the Christian life well led.”
The Canterbury Cross is usually made of silver but was specially cast with platinum inserts for the Queen.
The Archbishop continued, “This presentation of the Canterbury Cross is a heartfelt symbol of the love, loyalty and affection in which the Church of England holds Her Majesty and it represents the recognition and gratitude of her whole Church for her seventy years of unstinting service. God Save The Queen!”