How the Queen’s Death Changes British Jewry’s Most Distinctive Prayer

On the Shabbat after Queen Elizabeth's death, British Jews and their counterparts in the Commonwealth changed one of the mainstays of their service. Where does the ‘Prayer for the Royal Family’ come from? And why is the prayer recited in English, not Hebrew?

Jonathan Shamir
Jonathan Shamir
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Jonathan Shamir
Jonathan Shamir

At 6.30 P.M. last Thursday, the world was informed of Queen Elizabeth II’s death. Flags were lowered to half-mast, the Royal Artillery fired a 96-gun salute and a 10-day emergency protocol, called Operation London Bridge, began across the United Kingdom. Among all the pomp, British Jews began executing a modest plan of their own.

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