VATICAN CITY — In her 60-year reign, Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II has offered the world an inspiring example of Christian leadership and dedication to duty, Pope Benedict XVI said in a message to the monarch.
Congratulating the queen on her diamond jubilee, the pope said her reign demonstrated “a commitment to maintaining the principles of freedom, justice and democracy, in keeping with a noble vision of the role of a Christian monarch.”
Queen Elizabeth concluded a four-day celebration of her anniversary June 5 with a church service and a carriage procession through central London.
The pope’s message, dated May 23 and published by the Vatican June 6, also praised the queen’s “personal commitment to cooperation and mutual respect between the followers of different religious traditions.”
Pope Benedict said her efforts “contributed in no small measure to improving ecumenical and interreligious relations throughout your realm.”
The pope ended his note offering prayers for the 86-year-old queen’s “continuing health and prosperity” and for all the members of Britain’s royal family.