Sombre Queen's 'glum' face at the Royal Wedding hid her surprise at American Bishop Michael Curry's 14-minute sermon on love

But that does not mean Her Majesty did not enjoy the near 14-minute monologue on the power of love.

As the Episcopal Bishop heated up, the congregation and the normally serious “church” faces of the royal family could hardly contain their mirth.

But not the Queen or her consort Prince Philip, sitting upright at her side.

As the Supreme Governor of the Church of England, the Queen feels she cannot be seen to smile in church — and her natural reaction is to combat mirth by putting on a stern face.

Although she is deeply religious, both she and Prince Philip hate long sermons.

The Queen instructed her clergy no sermon must last longer than seven minutes.

Philip — originally baptised into the Greek Orthodox Church but always regarding himself as an Anglican — can put up with 12.

But far from being irritated by the flamboyant bishop they would have loved his un­orthodox delivery — despite its length.

The Queen has always enjoyed clergy that make her laugh — though not in public — and I suspect she will at some later stage provide some of her renowned mimicry of the occasion.

She certainly enjoyed the company of evangelical US preacher the late Billy Graham who she met in 1956.

He preached in her private chapel at Windsor on many occasions and even listened to her practise one of her Christmas speeches.

Dr Graham — who died in February aged 99 — revealed: “To illustrate a point, she wanted to toss a stone into a pond to show how the ripples went out further and further.

“She asked me to come and listen to her practise the speech by the pond and give my impressions which I did.”


The Queen has well-informed opinions of many of her bishops and likes those who are straightforward and intelligent.

Both she and Prince Philip believe Christianity is as much about forgiveness as morality.

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Now, after listening to Michael Curry, they have been reminded it is about love too.

  • Ingrid Seward is ­Editor in Chief of ­Majesty magazine.

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