The Proclamation of the Accession of Elizabeth II in 1952

This monastery is by tradition a Jacobite house, and so by that same tradition the descendants of James II were, and are, the rightful monarchs of Great Britain. After all, at his death James II lay in state in our monastery church, our monastery then being in Paris.

That being said, we are not very likely to foment rebellion, nor are we disdainful of Queen Elizabeth II. Indeed it is by the evident grace of God that she is Queen of the realm and other realms such as Australia. It is hard to imagine anyone else filling the role more deftly, more adroitly, more wisely, more sympathetically than she has. A devout Christian, a dutiful monarch, a constant mother, a faithful wife, a model of discretion – she is all these and more. It is indeed a privilege to be living at time when we have both Queen Elizabeth II and Pope Benedict II as figures of authority and models of selfless service.

From the BBC is this wonderful footage of the proclamation of the Princess Elizabeth as queen in February, 1952. It is a superb example of civil liturgy imbued with Christian faith. At the end of it, you might also wonder with me as to when was the last time we heard of “principal men of quality”. Do they exist any more?

(Click the link as the BBC does not allow embedding of this video on other sites)

14 thoughts on “The Proclamation of the Accession of Elizabeth II in 1952

  1. It was of course the position that the closing prayer at Sunday High Mass was for the King/Queen. Like the Leonine Prayers abandoned but for what, I ask?


    1. To make things simpler and shorter perhaps? Everyone by then had cars and televisions, so a bigger world was available to distract, ooops, occupy our attention.

      Apart from the episcopally-mandated prayer for the Queen, also included on our Mass tomorrow will be a (no doubt rousing) rendition of God Save the Queen. She deserves it in every Catholic church.


  2. I’m all for singing “God save the Queen”, especially for her Diamond Jubilee, but I can’t help regretting the passing of the old prayer chanted after Solemn Mass on Sundays which I remember from my boyhood :
    Domine salvam fac reginam nostram Elisabeth,
    Et exaudi nos in die qua invocaverimus

    I wonder why it fell into desuetude ?


    1. Actually, the prayer was also suggested at our community meeting tonight, but given that we will be saying the bishops’ prayer, rather than duplicate it seemed better to allow everyone some hearty hymnody.

      Why did the former prayer die out? For starters, I suspect there was the whole Latin issue……. :-/


  3. I was at school at the Bar Convent, York at the time. We were taken from school the same morning to hear the same proclamation read from the balcony of the York Mansion House. It wa a very cold morning.


    1. What a lovely gesture. I suspect that when the next time comes around (and may it be long postponed!) the same thing will not happen. This is partly because of the new technology that will allow everyone to hear the proclamation live, wherever they are; but partly also I suspect because no teacher would think of it, or at least dare to do it. 😦

      This is assuming there will be a similar proclamation! Surely they will not ditch that…



  4. They still have the prayer for the king in Belgium – Domine salvum fac regem nostrum Albertum – and at Ste Genevieve in Paris they sing the same versicle and responsary …salvam fac Galliam.


    1. It is good to hear that vestiges of the Christian heritage and foundation of these nations survives. A monarchy prayer for can do wonderful things – just look at the Prince of Liechtenstein and his stand for life: let us spare a prayer for him.



  5. Indeed, God save The Queen! I am praying that she sees many more jubilee celebrations, have little doubt she will beat the record of the longest reign of a British Monarch but hope the Lord spares me long enough to see The Queen beat Louis XIV’s seventy-two years and break the European record!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.