Readers share memories of, and tributes to, Her Majesty


She’s with her Jesus now

April 21st in 1926 a baby was born, a precious gift.

Nobody imagined what she would become:
The firstborn daughter of a second son.
What no one thought could happen, suddenly did – an abdication, a George VI –
Another world war full of suffering
But Elizabeth spoke light into the dim.
The obituary doesn’t mention her faith
But she served her God and she overcame
And I know she’s with her Jesus now.
The war ended and she married her prince,
A little while after more suffering
As her father died and she took the throne,
Making vows to her God, knowing she was not alone.
The obituary doesn’t mention her faith
But she served her God and she overcame
And I know she’s with her Jesus now.
She demonstrated what it meant to forgive
When she shook the hand of McGuinness.
Her Jesus was there giving her the strength, and she smiled—
And I know she’s smiling now.
She spoke up for those who were oppressed;
With dignity, she faced the messiness.
As we ate Christmas food ‘round the monopoly board
She never failed to mention her Lord.
And I know: She’s with that Jesus now.
God saved our gracious Queen
She lived long, our noble Queen
God saved the Queen.
And she’s with—
She’s with her Jesus now.

© Natasha Woodcraft 2022

Sharing a giggle with the Queen

For IPC (International Publishing Company) the 16 February 1978 visit of the Queen and Prince Philip was an historic occasion. For the Queen it was the first time she had ever been behind the scenes at a magazine publishers.

The company produced an ‘IPC News Royal Visit Special’ and, as one of Woman magazine’s sub editors, I was lined up to meet her. I was one of five young people in my team, and we were all so excited. As she walked into our office, beaming with that world-renowned winning smile that melted everybody’s heart, my editor introduced me. As she stretched out her hand, I curtseyed.

On display were some of our recent ‘Home Page’ spreads, which included an armchair that I had designed for readers to make with their husbands over the weekend. From the piles of fabrics and paint charts she soon gathered we were the team who hoped to inspire readers with interior design schemes for their homes.

“How can one imagine how a tiny sample of fabric will look on a large scale? I find that so difficult,” she asked me, and I agreed explaining that is where we hoped to help our readers as we featured room sets regularly with fully made-up curtains. In those days I drew the sets and they were designed, built and photographed in studios. The Queen looked suitably impressed.


Maggie meeting the Queen

“So tell me about your recent projects. Is this one of them”,” the Queen asked, pointing to a small green armchair. I nodded in the affirmative. “This was an early prototype,” I explained. “It is a Make-it-Yourself Armchair. We always aim to offer inexpensive design ideas for readers to copy. I actually got my husband to try it out and he put it together one weekend. As soon as he sat in it, it collapsed.”

At this point the Queen collapsed in laughter and so did I, quickly putting the records straight. “We had to amend the design and I made a mental note never to ask my husband to do any DIY in our home!” For some reason this made the Queen laugh even more. We chatted more and she moved on.

Reflecting on the bigger picture, I am writing this memory on the first day after the announcement of her death. I am so happy to reflect that she who served the King of Kings above everything and everybody else will be with him now. He is our rock and the Light of the World, our Saviour and King.

Because we are all now also children in his spiritual family, when we Christians meet her with him in heaven, the Queen will be our big sister.

Maggie Colvin nee Duckett

A chance encounter

This isn’t my story but my husband’s…He went to St George’s School, which is situated in Windsor Castle. One day he got lost during cross country and ended up in some private grounds where he met her. He still talks about how she made him feel better by letting him talk to the corgis until he got back into the right place. It seemed like no one was too small or insignificant for her time; that she honoured her call to serve everybody, not just those who deserved it.

Abbie Robson

Witnessing a royal family day out

Many years ago I went to Burghley Horse Trials with some friends when Princess Anne was horse riding and jumping. It was lovely to see the Queen and Prince Philip going around the course watching too; kind of like a family day out. Such a lovely lady, who worked hard and loved the Lord.

Carole Bye

Times of remembrance

My family and I travelled to London for the Diamond Jubilee and stationed ourselves at St Paul’s Cathedral. I was able to get some lovely long shots of Her Majesty with Justin Welby. She looked so happy. Also, our son Sam worked on the Balmoral estates last summer and, on his last day before court came, he met Her Majesty in the grounds as she was coming to inspect the work they had done.

He was walking his friend’s dogs along with his friend and she wished them both “Good Morning”. He remembered what to say, and was ecstatic to have met her. He is hopefully going back next year. We went for our silver wedding this year and were given a tour of places the Queen liked to picnic etc on a Land Rover tour. Special memories.

Gillian Ives

An unannounced visit

In March 1995 I was ten years old. After the IRA ceasefire the Queen came to Belfast to open a new motorway bridge. She stopped to talk to me and my friend (I’m the girl on the far left in the photograph, with the school scarf and bow in my hair). She asked us if we had the full day off school.

“No, only the morning,” I replied. Not many words but it was genuinely one of the most exciting moments of my life and remains a great ice breaker to this day. We had no idea we were going to meet her – due to the security situation in Belfast, royal visits were never announced, so we didn’t know why we were there until she started walking towards us!

Nicola Woods

0iJBdeK37eaOEhh4Nicola meeting the Queen during the IRA ceasefire, 1995


F2PNEFsQGpdvbU7bCatherine Davies Garden Party 2011

A royal garden party

In June 2011 I was invited to a Garden Party in our local Alnwick Castle Gardens, together with a lot of other carers, by Jane Percy, Duchess of Northumberland. She asked Her Majesty to attend too, and she came, along with Prince Philip.

In my photograph, the Queen is the tiny lady in lilac between the Duchess, who was Lord Lieutenant (in black and white) and Alan Shearer, at that time deputy Lord Lieutenant of Northumberland (which meant they were the Queen’s representatives). Prince Philip is in the light raincoat between the Duke of Northumberland (Ralph Percy) and another official.

Catherine Davies van Zoen

3 questions to ask when preparing to engage with others about Jesus

1. Am I in contact with people that God loves and would love for them to know him?

2. Is the way that I live causing them to think about what they believe and how they live?

3. How can I better understand the person I am engaging with and show them that I am listening to them well?