The Queen Reportedly Spoke About Her Legacy Mere Days Before Her Death

In the last year, it became increasingly clear to royals watchers that Queen Elizabeth's time on earth was coming to an end. The queen had never been quite the same since the death of Prince Philip, who passed in April 2021. The months that followed saw the queen take on fewer official responsibilities, as her mobility became gradually more limited. She was only able to attend a couple of events during her Platinum Jubilee weekend in June 2022, the spectacular four-day celebration of her 70 years on the throne. 

Still, the queen maintained an active schedule, and her quick-witted mind never faltered. That's why her death on September 8, 2022, came as such a shock to many. "Today" host Jenna Bush Hager recalled that she was with the royal family, about to interview Camilla, then Duchess of Cornwall, when then-Prince Charles got the call that his mother had suddenly taken gravely ill. Within hours, the public would be notified that a new royal era was about to begin, with King Charles III and Camilla, Queen Consort at the head.

Equally shocked was Scottish minister the Reverend Dr. Iain Greenshields, who had spent a weekend with the queen at her Balmoral estate just days before she died. "It seemed just astonishing that the woman who had been so vital, so alive, so engaging, should be all of a sudden, dead and away from us," said Rev. Greenshields (via Daily Mail).

The queen's Christian faith was vital to her life

The Reverend Dr. Iain Greenshields had the privilege of staying for a weekend at the queen's beloved estate in Balmoral, Scotland, just days before her death. He gave an interview to ABC News about the experience, saying that although "you could see the fragility" in her, she was "a very different kind of person" when she began talking. He praised her "exceptional" memory and wit; at one point, the queen joked that she was "sending him to the Tower."

The Rev. Greenshields went on to say that Queen Elizabeth was a woman of faith whose Christianity was "fundamental" to her life. He brought her a gift of a cross made by the inmates of a local prison. "She said right at the beginning of her time when she was becoming queen that she was going to ask God for wisdom," he told the outlet. "And that's something which persisted throughout her life." The two talked about religious matters during their weekend together. "When I spoke to her about her faith, she said she had no regrets at having started that journey of faith. She had no regrets at all." He added that the queen had a servant's heart and used her power "in a way that was beneficial to others."

Quoting Rev. Justin Welby, the officiant who presided over the queen's funeral at Westminster Abbey, Rev. Greenshields said, "She followed a Master, even though she was a queen."