Queen Elizabeth said “none of us can slow the passage of time” during a moving message where she reminisced about her late husband, Prince Philip.
The monarch was unable to give the address to the Church of England’s national assembly in person after suffering a back sprain.
It is the first time the Supreme Governor of the church has missed her five-yearly visit to the Synod in its 51-year history.
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Her youngest son, Prince Edward, stepped up on her behalf to read the speech, which was delivered ahead of her first wedding anniversary without her late husband.
“It is hard to believe that it is over 50 years since Prince Philip and I attended the very first meeting of the General Synod,” she said, through the Earl of Wessex.
“None of us can slow the passage of time, and while we often focus on all that has changed in the intervening years, much remains unchanged, including the Gospel of Christ and his teachings.”
The Queen married Prince Philip on November 20, 1947. The Duke died in April this year, aged 99, after more than 70 years of marriage.
Elizabeth, 95, added the church has provided hope amid the coronavirus pandemic and she believes that people have been able to lean on their religious beliefs to help them through the health crisis.
“Of course, in our richly diverse modern society, the well-being of the nation depends on the contribution of people of all faiths, and of none,” she said.
“But for people of faith, the last few years have been particularly hard, with unprecedented restrictions in accessing the comfort and reassurance of public worship.”
The Queen also praised the church for adapting amid the pandemic, with services moving online as places of worship were ordered to close.
“For many, it has been a time of anxiety, of grief, and of weariness,” she said.
“Yet the Gospel has brought hope, as it has done throughout the ages; and the church has adapted and continued its ministry, often in new ways, such as digital forms of worship.”
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