For the first time since the coronation of the first Elizabeth, the Dean of Westminster brought the two Armills from the Altar.
These were bracelets, wide and thick and solid gold, lined in velvet as cushioning for the Queen’s wrists. The Armills were the gifts of the people to their Sovereign and symbolic of Sincerity and Wisdom. The Archbishop’s prayer was that they would “betoken the Lord’s protection, embracing her on every side,” and be to her “pledges of the bond which unites you with your Peoples,” whose gift they were.
These words were spoken also, that she would be “strengthened in all her work” and protected against every enemy, “bodily and ghostly.” In this moment of the Coronation Ceremoney, her subjects had taken part, and both Elizabeths wore their gift, their contribution in the presentation of the Regalia.
How we look, sometimes in vain, for Sincerity and Wisdom in our leaders. Not politically correct sincerity, but the kind that is what the word implies sin cere . . . without wax. As products of old were so labeled, so that the purchaser would go home with water vessels shaped without fillers that would melt and result in leaks, we want to be led by those whose lives and policies won’t melt in the heat of day.
One thing is certain . . . Elizabeth hasn’t melted. In her designer clothes and fetching hats, her pocketbook over her arm and her smile even more warm than it was fifty years ago, she doesn’t melt. The Armills are stored away for another Coronation Day, but she has fastened Sincerity and Wisdom about her, as must all of us, here in the Monastery of the Heart.
The Armills, gift of the people