The Alpha Leadership Conference was held May 2014 at the Royal Albert Hall in London. Many great speakers were present, but recently a YouTube video from the Conference captured my heart, mind and emotions. (lc15.alpha.org)
Prince Philip Kiril of Prussia was introduced by Alpha Founder Nicky Gumbel. The Prince is the Great, Great Grandson of Kaiser Wilhelm II, the last King of Germany, and the the Great, Great, Great Grandson of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. His moving words during the 5 minutes he is on stage are unforgettable.
The Prince's Speech
"My Great Great Grandfather was the favourite Grandson of Queen Victoria, and he was a believer. But I guess he wasn't in true friendship with Jesus. He didn't have the power of the Holy Spirit. He actually didn't want that war. But he wasn't strong enough to stand up against his generals and politicians who said 'well this war is helpful and it's necessary.' We just sang 'If our God is with us then who could ever stop us, who could stand against'. And I guess if he was driven by the Spirit of God, then he could have said 'You can tell me what you want, I don't want this war and here I stand, and you generals can just go your way', and it would have been fine. And so on my heart is to ask you for forgiveness for what my forefathers did...."
Applause and cheering breaks out from the Leadership Conference audience and lasts for over 50 seconds as the Prince is also overcome with emotion and comforted by his teenage son. The camera pans across the auditorium of Royal Albert Hall which was opened by Queen Victoria in 1871 as a tribute to her late husband Prince Albert. This was an emotional scene I was watching and it hit me. I was a mess of tears and sobs.
Prince Philip continued, "The German people had to carry the price and there was much worse coming up, when the Monarchy was gone. There has been much loss in Germany and throughout the world and it would take too long to go through all this and ask for forgiveness, but you all understood it straight from my heart. We have a God who can do something with our ruins. I became a pastor because I have this strong hope that He can do something with the German people. Many of them are far from God. Please pray for Germany whenever you think of them or me."
Prince Philip YouTube video:
The known and unknown impact
I have relatives currently living in Germany and had many relatives serving in both World Wars. The apology from Prince Philip went deep into my heart as I saw the faces of my family in my mind. Young men in army and airforce uniforms and young women in nursing apparel. Images of war that I have seen on television and in movies flashed before my eyes. The immense loss of life, the pain and the destruction impacted me at that moment.
As a Pastor and leader, Prince Philip seems to understand the responsibility of loving and leading people. Through the error and omission of his Great Great Grandfather and the conviction of the Holy Spirit in his own life, the speech Prince Philip made at the leadership conference was powerful and will hopefully bring some healing in people who have needed to hear those words.
"To begin loving people today, we must close the door on the past. And that cannot happen without forgiveness! Forgive those who have hurt you - for your sake, not because they deserve it." Rick Warren.
Belinda Croft has been writing for Press Service International since 2010. She lives in Melbourne with her husband Russell and their two sons. Her passion for understanding the things of God in simple ways, social justice and news issues influence her writing style.
Belinda Croft's previous articles may be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/belinda-croft.html