I’ve been to London to visit the Queen
Yes, it’s true. On our visit to London we were sitting on our hop-on-hop-off tourist bus, listening to the guide chat about the city sights, and he mentioned that the following day was the annual Trooping the Colour. We could line up with the crowds along The Mall and see the Queen for her official birthday celebration.
We didn’t have anything booked, so the next morning we picked up some coffee and pastries to go, walked the 2kms or so to Buckingham Palace, and made our way along The Mall. We got there early, around 9:15am, ready for the main event at 11am. There were already crowds gathering, but we walked a few hundred meters along to where there was a gap along the barricade so we could be at the front of the crowd, and there was good tree coverage for shade. It was going to be a hot day.
It was easy to wait. There were so many interesting things to look at. Even though the Royal Family didn’t come until 11am, there was always something happening. We watched the Queen’s Guard with their bright red coats and tall bearskin hats march in little groups, and then space themselves precisely ten paces apart along the full length of The Mall. There was even a guy with a measuring stick making sure that the spacing was exact.
As the time for the official parade drew closer, things got more interesting. There were regiments of soldiers marching down The Mall as one, perfectly synchronised, uniforms immaculately presented. There were three brass bands, spaced between the marching soldiers to keep everyone in time. The instruments were shiny and the volume of sound was incredible. Then, there were the horses! Beautiful horses that were big and shiny and strong, and most incredibly, all matching! Yes, all the horses in each regiment were exactly the same colour.
And then, to top it all off, there was a marching band on horse back. It was led by a huge Clydesdale with timpani drums straddled across its back, and followed by all the regular instruments, the musicians using specially designed bridles to enable them to play their instrument and control their horse at the same time. The horses were all shiny black, and all marching in perfectly straight rows. It was amazing to see.
Then, what we had been waiting for. There were carriages with members of the Royal Family, real life princes and princesses. In the third carriage was Prince Philip and the Queen herself. She had a lovely powder blue coat and hat on, and she waved with a white elbow-length glove over her royal hand. We were excitedly cheering and clapping. The crowd around us were cheering and clapping with selfie sticks held high. The Queen, however, was not.
Murray commented immediately after the carriage passed, “She looked bored.” She wasn’t even smiling. It was as if she had done this a hundred times before, and it was just another day of royal duty. Well, she had done this a hundred times before, and this was just another day of royal duty. Why should I expect today to be special because I was there, and it was my one and only chance in my whole lifetime to see Her Majesty? I got to see the Queen, but the Queen didn’t get to see me.
She is my Queen, the sovereign over the land I call home, but she will never see me, she will never know my name, she will never care about me. The Queen is not interested in me. She has too much to do, and many more important people to see.
But, I also have a King
As an Australian I don’t really understand the Pomp and Ceremony that accompanies the Royals, however, when I got to experience it first hand that day, I truly appreciated it. The beauty, precision and spectacle of it all was enthralling. But, there is no amount of Royal pageantry that will compare to the beauty of my King, and the unimaginable extravagance that characterises who He is.
I can’t imagine the beauty of the first temple, the house God designed for himself to dwell among His people on earth. The amount of gold used is astounding. (Check out 1 Kings 6 for a summary.) The few descriptions of heaven that we have in the Bible tell of unspeakable riches; streets paved with gold, and gates made with precious stones. There is no earthly comparison to the Pomp and Ceremony, extravagance and beauty of My King. There is no expense spared on a heavenly scale!
My King knows Me
He knows my name. He knows all about my hopes and dreams, struggles and fears. His face lights up when I greet Him each day. He invites me to know Him, to hang out with Him, to waste time with Him. My King wants me to come to Him when I need help, or ideas, or reassurance.
Mose amazingly, my King cares deeply for me. He sacrificed His Son to die in my place, so that my sins could be forgiven and I could have a relationship with Him. He adopted me to be His daughter, has given me the seal of His Spirit to testify to this each day, and He promises that He will never leave me or forsake me, ever. I have a King.
I’m really glad I got to see the Queen. I’m glad I saw all the marching soldiers, the beautiful horses, the music, the costumes (I mean, uniforms). But mostly, I appreciate what seeing the Queen reminded me about my King. My extravagant, beautiful, personal King. The one who knows me and loves me.