'Defender of the faith': Calvin Robinson extolls Queen Elizabeth's servant leadership

Britain's Queen Elizabeth II
Britain's Queen Elizabeth II | Reuters/Facundo Arrizabalaga/Pool

Paying tribute to the late Queen Elizabeth II, Calvin Robinson extolled the Christian virtues of Britain’s longest-serving monarch to a largely American audience who have long been fascinated by the British royal family.

During an interview with Fox News opinion host Tucker Carlson, Robinson, who serves as an Anglican deacon at Christ Church in London, recapped moments in the life of the former head of the Church of England that exemplified her deep faith and reliance on God.

Carlson, who presumed that many Americans might be unaware of the queen's public professions of faith, asked if the British public viewed her as a Christian leader. 

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“She was a thorough Christian,” Robinson declared. “The queen wrote her own speeches every Christmas and she always managed to get in there that the person who inspired her was Jesus Christ. And that, I think, is why she led a life of service and duty and obligation — a servant-leader, if you will. She put Him at the heart of everything. And I think that’s important for someone who’s a global leader because they have to be accountable to someone. And for the queen that was Christ."

Speaking about reactions to the queen's death in the U.K., which will remain in a period of national mourning until seven days after the state funeral, Robinson said, “Right now, as a nation and as a Commonwealth, we are grieving.”

He added: “I think we have to acknowledge that that’s a good thing, too, because Jesus grieved at the graveside of Lazarus, and it’s something that helps us get past our emotions and it comforts us through this terrible time of loss. Once we move past that, we have to remember there is always hope. The hope of the resurrection through Christ. He (Jesus) told us that I am the resurrection and the life and all who believe in me — even if they die — will live.”

Reading from part of the queen’s first Christmas radio broadcast in 1952 at age 25, a mere 10 months after her father, King George VI, had died at Sandringham, Robinson noted that, from the beginning, she asked her subjects to pray for her: ‘Pray for me that God may give me wisdom and strength to carry out the solemn promises I shall be making. And that I may be faithfully serving Him and you all the days of my life.’

“The beautiful thing is that that is exactly what she did,” Robinson said. She served us — her people, her subjects — and she served Christ, her God, all of her life to the very last day.”

Highlighting the queen’s sense of duty, he added that, despite being frail, on Tuesday the monarch met with both Boris Johnson, who tendered his resignation, and his successor Prime Minister Liz Truss at Balmoral where she was photographed with the 15th PM to serve during her 70-year reign.

“Even though she was incredibly frail, incredibly old and obviously ill, duty was the most important thing to her, duty to us,” Robinson said.

Carlson then asked whether the next reigning monarch, King Charles III, will carry out his mother’s same devotion to her Christian faith.

“Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II was the defender of the faith. King Charles III has been on record before saying he will be defender of the faiths. I hope that was a slip of the tongue because we do need a Christian monarch to maintain Christian values in a Christian country,” said Robinson, acknowledging that it’s yet unknown how the king will reign.

“It’s OK to have tolerance of people of other faiths and none — that’s a British value,” he continued. “But Britain and England is a Christian country first and foremost. That is where we get a moral compass from, that’s where we get our guidance from, that’s where we get our values from, and that's where get our family structure from. So it’s important we maintain that throughout, and I’m hoping that he will do.”

In 2015, Queen Elizabeth overtook Queen Victoria as Britain’s longest-reigning monarch. Back in June, the world celebrated the sovereign’s Platinum Jubilee, commemorating her 70 years of service.

In the U.S., the eyes of many royal watchers have been on the Sussexes who some had expected to travel together to Scotland to join other members of the royal family. Prince Harry traveled to Balmoral alone, however. He arrived over an hour after Buckingham Palace announced that his grandmother had died Thursday at age 96, The Telegraph reported. 

The queen’s family is expected to remain at Balmoral over the next three days to mourn privately. Afterward, the queen will lie in state in Edinburgh and London before her funeral, followed by burial at her final resting place next to Prince Philip at Windsor.

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