​Speaking in a short film produced by Lambeth Palace, the Archbishop of Canterbury talks about the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations and the significance of her 60-year reign “in which nationally and internationally so much has shifted”.

He praises Her Majesty’s profound commitment to understanding and working with the flow of the changes that have taken place in society in this time, saying  “To have [a monarch] who has been a symbol, a sign of stability through all that period is really a rather exceptional gift.”

In the video, he speaks about the strong support he has received personally from the Queen during his time as Archbishop. “I’ve always found it really refreshing to be able to talk with her… to get her perspective.”

“Part of the regular rhythm of life as Archbishop is that I see the Queen privately, just one to one, perhaps once or twice a year.  I’ve really valued those meetings because she’s always extremely well informed about issues concerning the Church – extremely supportive and full of perception. She’s seen lots of archbishops come and go, she’s seen prime ministers come and go, so she knows something of the pressures of the job.”

Dr Williams, who will deliver the sermon at the national service of thanksgiving at St Paul’s Cathedral on Tuesday 5 June, also praised the Queen’s ability to “help us as a society to keep our heads collectively, not to be panicked by change”. “She has very gently steered that cultural process in her own way.

“I think we’ve been enormously fortunate in this country to have as our head of state a person who has a real personality – a personality that comes through more and more, I think, in her public utterances. Someone with insight and judgement, and with immense stamina and a depth of commitment that I think is immensely impressive to all of us.”

Read the full article and watch the video here.