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Stephen Cottrell Archbishop of York PA Peter Byrne.jpg
Stephen Cottrell Archbishop of York PA Peter Byrne.jpg
World News

Archbishop of York shares hilarious memory of 'over-stepping' with the Queen

by Sophie Drew

The Archbishop of York has shared a touching, humorous memory of Her Majesty the Queen as part of his tribute in Parliament. 

Most Rev Stephen Cottrell met the monarch on a number of occasions, but there's one particularly moment that clearly stands out in his memory. 

Many of the bishops speaking in the House of Lords had met the Queen personally, and shared first-hand accounts of her sense of humour, faith and servitude. 

Archbishop Stephen said: "Stories to tell of doing jigsaws in Sandringham on a Sunday evening, stories of barbeques in the woods in Sandringham in the middle of January.

"I have even got a slightly scurrilous story about healing the Queen's car - maybe I will tell it."

He continued: "I had preached in Sandringham parish church. We were standing outside. The Bentley was there to get the Queen, the Bentley didn't start. It made that throaty noise that cars make in the middle of winter when they are not going to start.

"Everybody stands there doing nothing. I am expecting a policeman to intervene. Nothing happens.

"Enjoying the theatre of the moment I step forward and made a large sign of the cross over the Queen's car to the enjoyment of the crowd. There were hundreds of people there - it was the Queen.

"I see the Queen out the corner of my eye looking rather stony faced at this point and I think perhaps I've over-stepped the mark.

"Anyway, the driver tries the car again and praise the Lord, the car started.

"The Queen gets in and goes back to Sandringham. I follow in another car.

"When I arrive at Sandringham as I come into lunch, the Queen with a beaming smile says 'Ah, bishop. It's the bishop. He healed my car."

However - he wasn't the only one to remember the incident. 

He continued: "Two years later when I was greeting her at the west front of Chelmsford Cathedral just as a very grand service was about to start... she took me to one side and said 'Bishop, nice to see you again.

"I think the car's all right today, but if I have any problems I will know where to come'."

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