The passing of Her late Majesty came as a shock to all of us. Despite her advanced age, it felt inconceivable that we would ever have a time when she was not with us. HM Queen Elizabeth II led this country by example throughout her seventy-year reign – her quiet dignity and strength of character will be greatly missed. She stood as a steadfast and reassuring presence in our lives at times of national tragedy and great triumph, and although many of us never had the honour of meeting her in person, it feels like we all knew her.
Over the course of her life, the United Kingdom changed and evolved in different ways, but the Queen always put her people first. When she ascended the throne at 25, this country was recovering from the Second World War – in which she served herself as part of the Auxiliary Territorial Service. The war and her teenage experiences during the Blitz helped shape her into the longest reigning monarch in British history. Many decades later in 2017 the Queen visited Londoners after the tragic fire at Grenfell and heard their stories first-hand, just like her father King George VI had done in 1940.
What will now be called the ‘Second Elizabethan Age’ began with the great Winston Churchill as her first Prime Minister and closed with the appointment of the new Prime Minister Liz Truss just days before she passed away. During her reign, she gave advice and counsel to fifteen PMs in total, and I am told she met a quarter of all the American Presidents. Most importantly the Queen was also a wife to her beloved Prince Philip, the late Duke of Edinburgh and a mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother to her own family; indeed, she was like a grandmother to our entire nation. On behalf of everyone in North Cornwall, I offer my deepest condolences to the Royal Family at this difficult time.
In the coming weeks and months, there will be a lot of constitutional duties for MPs as Parliament has a vital role to play in constitutional affairs and I will keep you all updated on this. Before returning to Westminster, I was honoured to attend proclamations of the ascension of King Charles III in Bude, Wadebridge and Truro Cathedral. Books of condolence will have been opened by town and parish councils across North Cornwall and there is a national book of condolence online so that people can offer their tributes. My best wishes and full support go to King Charles III during this difficult time. May Her late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II rest in peace and rise in glory.
God save the King.