Like so many people around the world, I watched with sadness – but also with great affection and appreciation – the funeral of Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II yesterday.
The tremendous outpouring of emotion following the Queen’s death, and the crowds of people lining the streets of London to pay their respects, was testament to the warmth the Queen inspired. The unerring grace, dignity and integrity she showed over her remarkable 70-year reign was truly inspirational.
With a royal palace, a royal park, and more Platinum Jubilee street parties than any other English borough, our own Richmond Borough has strong links with the Queen. Her Late Majesty’s first visit to Twickenham, in 1957, was to celebrate the centenary of the Royal Military School of Music at Kneller Hall in Whitton. Many of her later visits were, of course, to the rugby, in the Queen’s capacity as patron of the Rugby Football Union for 64 years.
But perhaps the most poignant memories, for me, are those of how the Queen’s kindness and humility personally touched the lives of Twickenham residents. I was honoured to share some of these stories in Parliament the week before last, as I paid tribute to the Queen’s extraordinary legacy. You can listen to these stories here, and in the video below.
Honouring Her Late Majesty the Queen in Twickenham
Over the past week, I’ve had the honour of attending a number of services on behalf of my constituents to honour Her Late Majesty. In Parliament, I attended the Presentation of Addresses in Westminster Hall, where His Majesty King Charles III gave a moving speech and received formal condolences from the Speakers of the House of Commons and the House of Lords.
Locally, I joined Twickenham residents at the Proclamation read by the Mayor of Richmond, Cllr Julia Cambridge. I also signed the condolence book at York House, and led a prayer at a touching service of thanksgiving for the Queen at St Mary’s Church in Twickenham.
Resuming our work in Parliament
As the official mourning period draws to a close, MPs return to Parliament this week to continue our work as we tackle the challenges that lie ahead. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of the transport workers, police officers, military, volunteers and others who have kept London running smoothly over the past weeks, so that everyone who wished to could pay their respects to Her Late Majesty.
On a personal level, I have always admired the Queen’s strong faith, which underpinned her unwavering commitment to public service and duty. The Archbishop of Canterbury captured this brilliantly in his sermon at the funeral yesterday. All of us in public office will do well to remember his words: “Those who serve will be loved and remembered, when those who cling to power and privileges are long forgotten.”
Next week I will resume my regular newsletter to keep you updated on my work for you in the constituency and in Parliament.