A Platinum Tea

For several years, I have been planning this Very Special Tea Party…one to celebrate the Platinum Wedding Anniversary of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and His Royal Highness Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh. We had the tea party on November 10th, because even I’m not crazy enough to try to pull off an event like this Thanksgiving Week, but I wanted to wait until today, their actual anniversary, to share it. I think this may be the prettiest tea party we have ever had!

I wanted to go with a platinum (silver) and white theme for the table. Our china fit the bill perfectly, and I was able to find an inexpensive silver tablecloth (which I’ve wanted for a long time, anyway), to use as a runner on top of our white tablecloth. I added seven candles, (including a pretty grey-colored Yankee Candle) one for each decade of their marriage, as our centerpiece. The addition of my wedding tiara and a double strand of “pearls” completed the look.

The tea of choice was about as classic as it gets: Earl Grey.

We had four kinds of finger sandwiches: roast beef with horseradish and arugula on white bread, coronation chicken on wheat, cucumber and cream cheese on cocktail rye, and heart-shaped lobster salad on wheat:

I added in a few other savory choices: deviled eggs and Red Leicester cheese.

And the sweets. Grape Jell-O, lemon cake slices, chocolate chip scones (in the shape of a double heart!), and the pièce de résistance, a biscuit cake made with McVitie’s Digestives.

Everything was so beautiful!

It was also a delicious meal!

I don’t know if this was our “best” tea party ever (although I do think it was the loveliest), but it may have been the one that was the most meaningful to me. I am so thankful for the beautiful example of Christian marriage and faithfulness The Queen and Prince Philip have modeled and made look so effortless through all of the changes of the last 70 years.

I will leave you with two quotes: One from Prince Philip in a letter he wrote shortly after the wedding, and the second from The Queen on the occasion of their Golden Wedding Anniversary:

“Lilibet is the only ‘thing’ in the world which is absolutely real to me and my ambition is to weld the two of us into a new combined existence that will not only be able to withstand the shocks directed at us but will also have a positive existence for the good.” Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh

“He has, quite simply, been my strength and stay all these years, and I, and his whole family, and this and many other countries, owe him a debt greater than he would ever claim or we shall ever know.” Queen Elizabeth II

Vocation Day

In honor of “Vocation Day” (known more popularly as “Labor Day”), I’d like to mention two people who, I think, have an incredible sense of vocation, even though that is probably one of the things they’re least recognized for: Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip.

Her Majesty wasn’t supposed to be the Queen. Her father was the second son of the monarch, which means he should never have been King. But, his brother Edward, (who had a terrible sense of vocation), abdicated the throne, leaving his brother, King George VI (another man with an astounding understanding of one’s vocation), to clean up his mess, and become the ruler he wasn’t supposed to (and never wanted to), be.


Now, maybe he would have been King eventually, or at least his daughter become Queen, because there’s some debate over whether Edward ever would have had children. But, he did become King, and Elizabeth was his oldest child. She herself was never even considered the “heir apparent,” but rather “heir presumptive,” because, regardless of her place as oldest child, had a son been born to King George at any point before his death, because of the laws regarding primogeniture at the time, he would have ascended the throne. There was no son, however, and so Elizabeth dutifully took on a role that she never expected or wanted, and that had likely hastened her own dear father’s death.


Prince Philip is another fantastic example. It was fairly obvious at the time of their wedding that he was marrying the future monarch, so that wasn’t a surprise to him by any means. But they weren’t, of course, expecting King George to die so suddenly or so young, and Philip was expecting to have more time in his chosen career–the military. But that wasn’t meant to be, and so he dutifully took on a role that most men would struggle with–walking two steps behind his wife for the rest of their lives (over 60 years, to date). He gave up his career to solely support her in everything she does, and he’s done it well. It wasn’t the role he expected for the vast majority of his life, but he gladly set aside his personal ambitions to do the task which was given him, the task he knew would be his someday, but not so soon.


A lot of people don’t take monarchies seriously anymore; they think they’re antiquated and unnecessary in today’s world. But you can’t deny the sense of vocation a good, God-fearing monarch (and his or her family), has. Queen Elizabeth has always taken seriously her God-given role as Queen, and has lived her whole life to serve her people, as God expects her to do, even when it wasn’t what she personally wanted for her life.

That’s a proper understanding of one’s vocation.