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Theresa May pays tribute to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on her Platinum Jubilee.

  • 30 May 2022

It is indeed a privilege to rise to pay tribute to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on her platinum jubilee, on behalf of myself and my Maidenhead constituents.

Seventy years on the throne is a remarkable achievement. During each and every one of those years, what has shone through has been Her Majesty’s utter dedication to duty, her selflessness and her great love of country. She has served with dignity and grace through not only what have been some very remarkable changing times, but through some difficult years for her family.

As has already been referred to, she has seen Prime Ministers come and go. I was No. 13. But I echo the comments of my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister when I say that she has greeted us all with charm and consideration, and with an impressive knowledge and understanding of the issues of the day. For all those 70 years, Her Majesty has been a rock for the nation, a point of stability around which the changing tides of history have swirled.

Her commitment to service has been remarkable, and it should be an example and an inspiration to us all.

Most people see Her Majesty when she is on her official duties and do not see what goes on behind the scenes. I was pleased when, on the date of her platinum jubilee in February, the palace released photos of her with her private secretary going through her red box, which she does assiduously, but which is a part of her work of which few people are aware.

When the Queen is out and about on her official duties and people meet her, their joy and delight in seeing the Queen is obvious.

That goes beyond our shores, as we have seen from her overseas visits, and I saw a little example of that when we hosted the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting here in 2018.

The Queen allowed us, very kindly, to meet at Windsor castle. There was a reception before the lunch and I was told that the Queen would turn up to it, but nobody else knew. The minute that she walked into the room, heads turned. There was a palpable sense of delight throughout the entire room and people started to queue up to make sure that they had the opportunity to speak to Her Majesty.

We should particularly thank Her Majesty for all that she has done for the Commonwealth and for her great love of the Commonwealth. The strength and growth of that network of nations has been made all the more possible by the fact that she has been at its head.

Aside from official duties, I have also had the opportunity to see Her Majesty in more relaxed times; I speak particularly of the Prime Minister’s weekends at Balmoral.

Her Majesty’s great desire for all her guests to be relaxed and enjoy themselves was absolutely clear. She takes great care to put people at ease and to ensure that they are enjoying the benefits of the beautiful Scottish countryside.

During the time at Balmoral, I also saw Her Majesty’s great love and understanding of the countryside. She was driving us to a place where we were going to have one of the famous evening barbecues.

There was a gate in the track, and in front of the gate stood a very large stag. Her Majesty slammed on the brakes and said, “What is he doing here?” To most drivers, that would have meant, “Why is he in my way?”, but not to Her Majesty.

As she explained, she knew that the deer should be on a different part of the hillside. She could not understand why he had come down so low. She knew the countryside; she knew its animals.

The Queen’s love of gardens is clear, and her joy in being able to go to the Chelsea flower show this year could be seen by all. Her love of horses, which has also been referred to, was clear when she was able to attend the last evening of the Royal Windsor horse show. There was a particularly poignant moment when Lady Louise Windsor entered the arena driving the carriage of the late Duke of Edinburgh.

Her Majesty has been a constant presence in our lives. She is respected across the world. She has been steadfast in her selflessness, in her dedication to duty, in her commitment to her country. For 70 years, she has dedicated her life to service of her country and her people, and for that, from the bottom of our hearts, we say simply: Ma’am, thank you, and God save the Queen.”