Frank William Boreham 1871-1959

Frank William Boreham 1871-1959
A photo F W Boreham took of himself in 1911

Friday, February 16, 2007

F W Boreham on The Queen

It’s the Princess Calling!
On the evening of November 19, 1947, a telephone rang at Westminster Abbey. A voice asked for Canon Elliott; was he on the premises? He was; but who wanted him? `This is Buckingham Palace; and I am ringing on behalf of Princess Elizabeth; she would like to speak to Canon Elliott.'

It turned out that the Princess, who was to be married on the following day, had, with her mother and sister, visited the Abbey to listen to the rehearsal of the music. Chatting it over afterwards, the three royal ladies agreed that the setting of Crimond to the twenty-third Psalm was very different from the setting to which they were accustomed. The bride-elect determined to ring the Abbey.

Canon Fire
`When we are in Scotland,' she explained to the canon on the phone, `Mother and Margaret and I often sing the twenty-third Psalm, sometimes when driving home across the moors; but the setting of Crimond, as it was rendered in the Abbey this afternoon, doesn't seem quite the same as that with which we are familiar. We wondered if it could possibly be altered.'

Royals Singing On the Phone
There was consternation among the officials at the Abbey. The ladies at the Palace sang the Psalm over the phone, the canon, the organist, and the precentor listening, as if for their lives.

Psalms at the Palace Piano
At length the gentlemen at the Abbey begged that they might be permitted to come to the Palace and practise the amended setting of Crimond with the ladies at the piano. And, next day, to the delight of the bride, destined so soon to become a Queen, the Abbey resounded to the music that she had so often enjoyed among the heather.

F W Boreham in his book on this part of the Scriptures that has meant so much to so many remarks, “It is wonderful how people of all kinds and classes capitulate to the charm of the twenty-third Psalm.”

F W Boreham, In Pastures Green (London: The Epworth Press, 1954), 8.

Image: Finding her voice.