The School in its history and life has existed under the reign of nine monarchs over its 234 year history since its founding in 1788 during the reign of George the Third who bestowed a royal charter upon the College and School in 1802. But in that long history of the School under monarchical rule and governance, the longest reigns were those of Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth who together constitute 134 years out of those 234 years. The longest reigning monarch in English history and the history of the Commonwealth, however, was Elizabeth II whose platinum jubilee (70 years!) was observed at the School last spring.
She embodied the very model of steadfastness and devotion to duty for which we can only be thankful. Her remarkable reign was testament not to the power of dominion and domination, of force and coercion, but to the power of duty and service in and through the changes and challenges of the twentieth century and into the twenty-first century. She was a figure of unity in divided times.
Her passing marks the beginning of the reign of the tenth monarch, Charles III. God save the King. We remember Elizabeth II with gratitude and thanksgiving for her long reign of devotion and duty and commend her soul to God’s gracious keeping.
O God, the King of Glory, who raises up Kings and Queens as the instruments of your justice and mercy, we give thanks to you for the seventy years of faithful, compassionate, and dedicated service of Elizabeth II, Queen of England, of the Commonwealth of Nations, and of this country Canada, for her witness to truth and order, to peace and good government and the flourishing of all who are under her reign, and we beseech your grace and mercy upon her soul at this time of her passing in her 96th year, ever mindful that the hearts and souls of Kings and Queens are ever in your sight to the praise and glory of your Name and for the good of your church and people; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with the Father and the Holy Spirit, ever one God, world without end. Amen.
(Prayer used in Chapel, Friday, September 9, 2022)