Archbishop Justin Welby suggested Queen Elizabeth had sustained the country “through war and hardship, through turmoil and change” during the St Paul’s Cathedral service to mark her 90th birthday.
And he rejoiced for the way “God’s loving care” had “fearfully and wonderfully” sustained not only the monarch but the Duke of Edinburgh, celebrating his 95th birthday today.
The service heralded the beginning of a weekend of celebrations marking the British queen’s milestone.
Joining the royal birthday couple in the congregation was prime minister David Cameron, the Prince of Wales, Duchess of Cornwall, Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, and Prince Harry.
Also attending were former prime ministers Tony Blair and John Major, and current political figures such as Jeremy Corbyn.
Governors general from the queen’s realms were also among those invited, along with faith leaders and people nominated by government departments to recognise their service.
Archbishop Welby began his sermon by telling the congregation of more than 2,000: “Ninety years ago, Her Majesty the Queen was born, like every human being knit together in her mother’s womb, and today we thank God for the way in which she, like every human being, is fearfully and wonderfully made.
“Before we ever come to light, God marks our journeys. No one at the Queen’s birth knew for what she was destined. Today we recognise that God knew.”