The story of the British royal family is the most spellbinding of any family on Earth. This 4,000-year chronicle is a gripping history of eternal promises, royal romance, ecstasy and splendor, unprecedented national wealth, political intrigue, heartache and despair, and—most spectacularly—divine inspiration and intervention.
The British monarchy captivates the public. When the Prince of Wales married Diana Spencer in 1981, more than 750 million people tuned in to watch the grand and glorious wedding, the most popular program ever broadcast. At the time, the wedding day was made a national holiday across Britain. In London, over 600,000 people crammed into the narrow streets to catch a glimpse of the couple.
Even today, trigger-happy photographers and pesky reporters stalk the royals like hyenas, capturing every word and gesture to satisfy a public with an insatiable thirst for scoop on royal shenanigans. Commonwealth nations such as New Zealand, Australia and Canada—even America, the throbbing heart of celebrity antics—have an inherent curiosity about Britain’s royals. No other family on Earth commands as much global attention.
Few people, however, realize the deep significance and importance of the British royal family. It is one of the least understood and most underrated institutions on Earth. The British monarchy is an international enigma, a mystery that stretches into the murky annals of history.
It is imperative to understand the divine and majestic history and, more importantly, the thrilling, hope-filled future of the British monarchy.
Monitoring the maneuverings of the royal family has long been a pet pastime of the British. For peasants shackled in feudalistic English society during the Middle Ages, peering into the lavish lifestyles of the aristocracy and royalty was a source of entertainment. In that sense, little has changed today. In another sense, however, everything has changed.
Historically, the monarchy represented the wealth, international power and national character of Great Britain, and stirred pride and ambition among its people. Particularly in the Victorian Age, the monarchy was an imperial institution that droves of people willingly sacrificed their lives to serve. Duty and honor toward “God, king and country” were paramount qualities of character. Commoners embraced the royals as the face of the nation, ambassadors of the empire.
Today, however, the British generally don’t prize their monarchy as the divinely inspired, unfailing institution that history proves it is. Defiling the reputation and historic role of the monarchy has become a primary goal for revisionist, liberal politicians and anti-royal media outlets, which foist the royal family off as an unimportant, archaic, self-aggrandizing institution. The monarchy has been stripped of much of its regality, shunned as a symbol of Britain’s once global influence and national splendor, and reduced to little more than a shallow celebrity fest.
Unsurprisingly, most British today, especially the young, don’t know the true history of their monarchy. As riveted by the daily lives of the royals as they are, few comprehend the centrality of the monarchy to the statehood of Britain. The irony is remarkable. Though millions of people pay Britain’s royals a lot of attention, how many understand why they are so enthralled?
An Unconditional Promise
What makes the royal throne of Britain so special?
It is well known that the monarchy existed long before the British Parliament. Not until the post-military dictatorship days of Oliver Cromwell in the mid-17th century did Parliament gain rights and powers comparable to those of kings and queens. During the generations prior, England was ruled by kings and queens under a monarchial government.
Historians generally consider King Egbert, the Anglo-Saxon leader of the house of Wessex during the early ninth century, the first king of England. Most history books are silent on the lineage of English kings before this time.
It is only in the divine setting of the world’s oldest history book that we can learn the absolute truth about the royal house of Britain.
The chronicle of the British royal family begins with the ancient patriarch Abraham. Few realize it, but the path of world history, particularly that of Britain and America, was decided by Abraham and the eternal promises God made to him. The faith and obedience of one man altered the whole course of world history.
You can read God’s original promise to Abraham in Genesis 12. “And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed” (verses 2-3). This promise shaped the history of this world, Britain and America in particular, including the royal throne of Britain. The riveting details of this history are documented and clearly explained in Herbert W. Armstrong’s book The United States and Britain in Prophecy, which we will send you free upon request.
In that book, Mr. Armstrong explained this Genesis 12 promise: “Notice the twofold promise: 1) ‘I will make of thee a great nation’—the national, material promise that his flesh-born children should become a great nation—a promise of race; 2) ‘… and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed’—the spiritual promise of grace.” The history of the throne of King David of Israel, a descendant of Abraham, is intertwined with this foundational promise made to Abraham.
In Genesis 17:6, God specifically promises Abraham that “kings shall come out of thee.” Notice how God fulfilled this promise through a specific promise He made to King David. Read the account in 2 Samuel 7:12-16 and note the absoluteness of this promise: “And when thy days be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build an house for my name, and I will stablish the throne of his kingdom for ever. I will be his father, and he shall be my son. If he commit iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men: But my mercy shall not depart away from him, as I took it from Saul [King David’s predecessor], whom I put away before thee. And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee: thy throne shall be established for ever.”
Notice that God’s promise was unconditional. God told David that nothing—not even disobedience and rebellion—would cause Him to break His covenant. He promised to ensure that David’s throne would continue “for ever.”
Is this simply a fantastic story concocted by ancient patriarchs? Absolutely not!
To say that the dynasty of King David hasn’t continued to this day is to call God Himself a liar!
The United States and Britain in Prophecy proves in detail that God didn’t break His promises with David, and that, in fact, the British royals today are the descendants of David, ancient Israel’s greatest king.
The British monarchy today directly fulfills God’s promises to King David!
This institution proves the existence of God, the one who pulled the strings of history to fulfill His promise to King David, and, originally, to Abraham! This is the profound, astonishing, breathtaking truth being missed by the millions of people entangled in the celebrity fest of Britain’s royal family today!
But how is it possible that the throne of David continued, in direct descent from its royal patriarch, from 1,000 years before Christ until now, almost 2,000 years after Christ? The answer to that question makes this chronicle even more mesmerizing and intriguing.
How Did God Keep His Promise?
After King David died in the 11th century b.c., his son Solomon became king of Israel. After Solomon’s death, the nation divided into two separate nations, which were both subsequently invaded and brought into captivity. But through the wars and national chaos that unfolded, God—holding fast to His promise to Abraham and David—ensured the continuation of David’s throne.
Near the turn of the sixth century b.c. God commissioned the Prophet Jeremiah to transplant a daughter of King Zedekiah, a king in the royal line of David, to Ireland via Egypt and the Mediterranean Sea. Soon after their arrival, this daughter married a king of Ireland, an event documented in secular history. As time passed and the descendants of David’s family intermarried with Scottish and English royals, the royal lineage of David was established in Great Britain.
This is no fairy tale. The royal family has in fact traced its genealogy back to King David.
In 1981, Mr. Armstrong, founder of the Plain Truth and confidant of multiple world leaders, wrote, “… I’ve been informed that the royal family of two or three generations ago did know that the British sovereign is in fact a continuation of the dynasty of King David of ancient Israel” (Plain Truth, October/November 1981, emphasis mine throughout). Even as recently as three or four generations ago, members of the British monarchy knew they were heirs of the dynasty of King David!
Do you grasp this magnificent truth? The existence of the British royal family today declares the power and glory of the God of this universe!
This truth, rejected and forgotten by modern mankind, is what makes the British royal family so incredibly special!
Britons and the royal family today have neglected the history this institution has with God. This is a fundamental cause of their abiding sickness.
A good measure of blame for the depreciation of the monarchy can be pinned on the hordes of British that thrive on the shallow antics of the royals, as promoted by the popular press. But blame for the marginalization of the monarchy must also be shared by the royal family itself.
This family, particularly its younger members, is rejecting its divine legacy. Though history and prophecy show that this institution testifies to the glory and perfection of God, today many royals act like irresponsible Hollywood celebrities. Name the behavior—be it a broken marriage, adultery, drunkenness, hard partying, illicit relationships—and at least one member of the monarchy has been guilty of it.
Of course, such actions are then pumped through the megaphone of mass media, besmirching the royal reputation more than they ever would have in the past. Still, the royal family is shunning regal tradition, becoming more morally and politically liberal, and disregarding the importance that history places on the dynasty it is a part of.
To take one example, Prince Charles, who could be king of England very soon, has indicated his willingness to water down the role and responsibilities of the monarchy.
Henry viii’s refusal to bow to Rome led to the establishment of the Church of England. From Henry viii onward, British monarchs became the “Defender[s] of the Faith.” The king protected the Anglican Church from outside religions and ensured its consistent growth, making the church a defining factor of English patriotism and identity, which fueled Britain’s rise to greatness. Today, by contrast, in an atmosphere charged with political correctness and multiculturalism, Prince Charles has said that when he assumes the throne he wants to change the title “Defender of the Faith” to one better suited to today’s England, “Defender of Faith.” He wants his coronation to be an “inter-faith” event, ensuring religions such as Islam have a place there.
The prince is more than merely bucking history. By relegating the state religion of Britain to just another religion, he is marginalizing the institution that was once at the heart of British patriotism, and further paving the way for Muslim and Roman Catholic incursions into Britain. He is contributing to Britain’s identity crisis.
In part because Britain’s royals generally no longer embrace their heritage and historic significance, the people of Britain and the world are losing sight of the meaning of this institution.
In the Commonwealth nations of Australia and New Zealand, anti-monarchy political movements are building momentum. These groups seek to dismantle the current constitutional monarchies (with the queen as head of state) governing these nations in order to establish themselves as independent republics. They want to eliminate the very institution that founded and then gave definition and success to their nations!
By shunning its history with God and ruining its reputation and role in its nation’s history, the British monarchy is simply contributing to the downfall of Britain. This institution, once the beating heart of its people, has grown weak. A cloud of angst hangs over the island nation today; the monarchy no longer infuses people with the honor, duty and patriotism it once did. The end result is that the British are not only losing their sense of identity, they have largely lost the moral values that the royal family once exemplified. A century ago, in the time of British greatness, journalist Walter Bagehot wrote, “[W]e have come to regard the crown as the head of our morality.” How times have changed!
Children and teens, unaware of their purpose in life, are running amuck and rebelling against society. Multiculturalism and political correctness have created an environment where patriotism and loyalty to anything “British” is wrong, and in some cases punishable by law. Foreign religions and cultures are crowding out British traditions and culture. British leaders warn about the possibility of terrible tragedies occurring—particularly Islamist terrorist attacks—but have little idea of how to stop them. The entire nation, lost in sin, ignorant of its history and further from God than ever, is bordering on widespread social breakdown.
The solution to this crisis lies in the knowledge of the history and future of the royal family. The reason Britain is morally sick and is suffering is that the people, as well as the monarchy itself, do not deeply understand and value their royal heritage!
“I Will Chasten Him With the Rod of Men”
In 2 Samuel 7, God promised that nothing would cause Him to break His promise to King David. But notice, God did say that those in David’s dynasty would be punished for sin. Verse 14 states, “If he commit iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men.” This promise stands today: God promises to chasten Britain’s royals at the hands of men.
God speaks of this punishment in Hosea 5. “Hear ye this, O priests; and hearken, ye house of Israel; and give ye ear, O house of the king; for judgment is towards you …” (verse 1). The “house of the king” here is the royal family of Britain.
“God is deeply concerned,” editor in chief Gerald Flurry wrote. “He is going to sentence the royal family and all Israel to the greatest time of suffering ever, unless they ‘listen’ and heed!” (Hosea and God’s Adulterous Wife; request this free booklet to read God’s warning to British royalty).
God prophesies that He will punish the royal house of David in this end time for despising its history with Him and leading the nation astray.
Britain is sick and suffering today because it has lost sight of God and because the people, as well as the monarchy, have forgotten and even despised the history of the royal throne of David.
God condemns and punishes Britain for such forgetfulness!
True healing for Britain’s sickness lies in God. God is revealed, as we have seen, in the royal throne of David, possessed by Britain’s royalty today. The world should be mesmerized by this institution—not because of its sinful example but for its divinely inspired history and prophecy.
A Glorious Ending
The British monarchy is a direct fulfillment of divine promises made to Abraham and then King David. As such, this institution reveals much about the God of the universe.
It reveals that God is a promise-keeping God. Just as God fulfilled His promise to King David, He will fulfill His promises to you. To learn about God’s promises to those who obey Him, such as eternal life, wealth and happiness, request our Herbert W. Armstrong College Bible Correspondence Course.
The British monarchy reveals the compassion and mercy of God. History records the sinful activities of the throne of David. David himself committed some terrible sins, though he repented deeply. Despite these sins and all the hurt they inflicted on God, the great Creator never blotted out the royal dynasty of David. He punished the royals at the hands of men, but He never broke His promise!
This history teaches a personal lesson to all of us. No matter the extent of our sins, God’s mercy and compassion will cover them all. After any individual’s true repentance, God willingly pours out forgiveness and mercy on that person.
Lastly—and most importantly—the existence of the royal line of David today actually points to the coming return of Jesus Christ to rule from that very throne. The spectacular future of this throne outshines its spectacular past. Notice the prophecy of Christ’s return in Luke 1:31-33: “And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name Jesus. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.”
Grasp the magnitude of this promise!
King David was an ancestor of Jesus Christ. These verses prophesy of a time when Jesus Christ will return and sit on the throne of David!
This prophecy also proves the dynasty of David had to continue until the return of Christ!
A prophecy in Isaiah 9 also speaks of Christ ruling from David’s throne. “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this” (verses 6-7). This is the spectacular future of the throne of David!
Christ will rule the universe with splendor and power from the throne of David—the very throne British royals inhabit today!
There isn’t an institution on Earth that could stir more hope, joy and excitement than Britain’s royal family. As a physical institution, it was the bedrock of Britain’s success in its glory days. As a spiritual institution, it is the bedrock of future universe-wide success. God places great spiritual value on this institution. How much value do you place on it?
The future of this world; this universe—as well asyour personal life—is wrapped up in the deep, spiritual meaning of this timeless institution.