I’ve recently realized that I missed my calling in life. I would have made an excellent queen. I enjoy dressing up. I adore expensive jewelry. And I’ve perfected the art of the gracious-yet-aloof smile and wave.
I’ve come to this conclusion while catching up on episodes of The Crown. Several years ago I binge-watched Season One, back when there was only a Season One. Then I had to wait for Season Two with the rest of the commoners, and honestly, I forgot to go back to it. Now Seasons Three and Four are waiting in the wings, and I’ve got a lot of couch time to make up for.
I spent the weekend with my computer screen open to Netflix, and I watched the show as I made my bed, cooked dinner, scrubbed my bathroom. Everywhere I went, The Crown went. In the last episode I watched, Queen Elizabeth revealed to her friend Porchie (Lord Porchester) that she never wanted to be queen. If she’d had her way, she’d have spent her life working with horses. She would have gladly set aside the crown to live on her own terms.
But instead of abdicating, she embraced a life of duty and service. She accepted that her life was not her own. As the eldest child of a reigning monarch, she was born to fulfill a destiny. She laid aside her own wishes in favor of what was best for her country.
Her story reminds me of another king. Though he didn’t wear a robe or sit on a royal throne during his time here, he was born into his role. Jesus Christ was the only son of the King of Kings. He could have abdicated. If he had, there would have been no one of his lineage to take his place. That would have brought about the completion of a coup, and the Prince of Darkness would have stepped in.
We know Christ didn’t want his job. In the garden, on the eve of his crucifixion, he prayed, “Father, let this cup pass from me.” Understandable, as he was fully human, and what human wants to be beaten and mocked and nailed, naked, to a cross while people gamble for your clothes? Not me. But he also said, “Not my will, but Yours, be done.” He accepted his crown—a crown of thorns—out of duty, out of service, and most importantly, out of love.
I’ve always admired Queen Elizabeth. This show, while I know there is much fictionalization, has only increased my admiration. Her job requires much more than wearing pretty clothes and waving to crowds. Her job is to offer a calm voice of wisdom when others shout nonsense. Her job is to show compassion to those who are overlooked and ignored. Her job is to be the perfect blend of grace, mercy, and justice.
Her job, as the head of the Church of England, is to be God’s representative. I believe she does it quite well.
Though we may not be kings and queens, and we may not have audience with rulers and heads of state, our job description is the same. As Christ followers, we are given crowns to wear—crowns of righteousness. We are to wear our crowns with dignity and grace as we offer calm wisdom in the chaos. We are to be compassionate, loving, kind. We are His ambassadors, here on earth.
As I watch new episodes, I can’t help but whisper, “Long live the queen.” Even more, I pray I’ll emulate her dedication as I represent my King.
“Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day–and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing,” 2 Timothy 4:8.