From Queen Hatshepsut to Diana, Princess of Wales via George Washington and Napoleon Bonaparte, this book demonstrates that royal prayers can have immense consequence for the psyche of the nation as well as the individual. Such prayers as were forthcoming during key wartime broadcasts affected the morale of the nation and its forces and, in some demonstrable cases, changed the face of history. The National Day of Prayer revolving around the evacuation from the beaches of Dunkirk remains in the memories and psyche of those who personally experienced those events. That is echoed today in the 'hands-on' royal support of the current defence and well-being of the nation, through care for the injured and their relatives amongst those who find themselves involved in the operations of the forces of the Crown, to the actual creation of warships for that purpose, such as the Royal Christening of the latest nuclear-powered submarine in the Royal Navy.
The blessing of ships has its origin in Ancient Greece, was practised by the Vikings and has developed through the 19th century feminisation of ships to the 21st century need to take account of the presence of other faiths, eg Muslim sailors in the Royal Navy. Royal prayer today encompasses the exploration of Earth and Space, the development of Nuclear Theology and the challenges presented by quantum physics. The author draws on prayers both for and of the Royal Family (and those directly associated with them in royal service) in the Archives of Her Majesty's Chapel Royal and much further afield in other national repositories and private collections, in this sometimes startling reappraisal of the place and significance of Royal Prayer.
David Baldwin is Serjeant of the Vestry of HM Chapels Royal. He has previously served on the staff of Lambeth Palace Library, as Curator of Durham University Library, as a Virger at St Paul's Cathedral, and in the Armouries of HM Tower of London.
Introduction; Royal Launching and Christening of Ships; Royal Prayers for Bonapartes; Royal Prayers of America; 'Near miss' Royal Prayers; Greek Royal Family Prayers; Royal Prayers of Diana, Princess of Wales; Royal Prayers at Times of Personal and National Distress; Royal Military Prayers; Royal Prayers of Dedication to Right Governance in Nation, Empire and Commonwealth; Prayers of Royal Patronage; Royal Prayers in the Exploration of Earth and Space and the Development of Nuclear Theology; Royal Remembrance: Silent Royal Prayer; Royal Graces; Conclusion of Royal Prayers.