It’s been a busy week for Elizabeth II. She’s opened Parliament, given the Queen’s Speech and helped mark a major milestone for one of the most famous churches in the world. And as it turns out, she’s also been leaving red roses for a rather distinguished gentleman. But the Duke of Edinburgh has nothing to worry about. This posy was sent to one of her predecessors as Monarch – St. Edward the Confessor.
The Queen gave a tribute of red roses which ended up on the Shrine to the saintly king at Westminster Abbey on Tuesday following a service there to mark 750 years since the rebuilding of the church. It was Edward, who ruled from 1042 until 1066, who had the original Westminster Abbey built as a royal burial place. Henry III (1216 – 1272) was so devoted to Edward that he had the church rebuilt during his own reign and had a magnificent new tomb made within it for his hero.
The Shrine of Edward the Confessor, who was canonised in 1161, is still where it was placed by Henry all those centuries ago. His feast day is marked on October 13th, the date in 1269 on which his body was taken to its new resting place. It was also the date that the new Westminster Abbey was consecrated.
The Queen marked the 750th anniversary at a special ceremony on October 15th 2019 which was also attended by the Duchess of Cornwall. Like every Monarch before her, she has found the Abbey to be an integral part of her life. Her Coronation was held there in June 1953, just six years after she had walked its long aisle as a bride for her marriage to Prince Philip.
Now the longest reigning Monarch in British history, she left her own personal tribute to the king who first imagined the church so associated with British royalty.