Pope Francis sent his best wishes to Queen Elizabeth II of England on the occasion of her birthday and her Platinum Jubilee – 70 years of reign – in a brief telegram June 2, 2022. The Pope assures the 96-year-old sovereign of his prayers that God grant her, her family, and her people “blessings of unity, prosperity, and peace.”
On the joyful occasion of Your Majesty’s birthday, and as you celebrate this Platinum Jubilee year, I send cordial greetings and good wishes, together with the renewed assurance of my prayers that Almighty God will bestow upon you, the members of the Royal Family, and all the People of the Nation blessings of unity, prosperity, and peace.
Queen Elizabeth turned 96 on April 21. The anniversary of her coronation is today; it was June 2, 1953. The Commonwealth is celebrating her Platinum Jubilee this year, as her accession to the throne was February 6, 1952, the day of the death of her father, George VI. The coronation by tradition was held a year after her accession out of respect for the death of the king.
As suzerain of the United Kingdom, Elizabeth II is also supreme governor of the Church of England. In practice, this is only a titular role, the spiritual leader of the Anglican Communion– separated from the Catholic Church since 1534 – being the Archbishop of Canterbury – currently Justin Welby.
Pope Francis received the Queen of England at the Vatican in 2014. It was, for the Christian sovereign, her seventh meeting with a pontiff: Pius XII in 1951, when she was only princess, John XXIII in 1961, John Paul II three times (1980, 1982 and 2000) and Benedict XVI in Edinburgh in 2010. Only Paul VI, despite a pontificate marked by his openness to dialogue with Anglicanism, and John Paul I, because of the brevity of his pontificate, did not meet Elizabeth II.