It means much to the British that those who defend others are by their Monarch defended.
With a surreal rustling of the twenty-three pound Supertunica upon the Abbey floor, the Queen was making her way to the Altar once again. Still bare-headed, she was bringing the Jewelled Sword back to the Lord.
The Sword is made of steel, etched in blue and gold, with a hilt of gold and with diamonds, rubies and emeralds on the pommel.
It lay flat and glittering upon the open palms of her upturned hands; her concentration seemed divine and fierce and childlike, all at the same moment. A Monarch, a Queen, a woman . . . a young woman . . . covered from her neck to the floor in the coat of silk, each thread wrapped in gold, bearing the Sword of the Offering, the Monarch's personal sword, back to the Altar of God.
It could not remain there. The Marquess of Salisbury stepped forward once more. In his hand was an embroidered bag, tied tight. In it were 100 newly minted shillings, for the Sword had to be redeemed. He who had born the Sword of State now bore the Queen's own Sword. He would, according to royal tradition, "carry it naked before her Majesty during the rest of the solemnity." The 100 shillings would become an everlasting treasure belonging to those who serve Abbey Westminster.
We will speak once more tomorrow of this sword, but for today, let us remember through the hours before us that “the Kingdom of God must be fought for aggressively and obtained through perseverance (Matt. 11:12, Francis Frangipane, This Day We Fight.) These things we know to be true, although our passive spirits may not yet have born the Sword of our State to the altar of God. It is here in Cor Unum that we join the battle; here in monastic devotion and in monarchical dedication the disciplines of love begin to see others set free to wear the garments of glorious righteousness.
We wear the robes bequeathed and the required raiment of those whose dwell within the Kingship of our Lord Jesus Christ, and we do bear His Sword.
The Sword Returns to the Altar