Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II: A Tribute

Rt Hon Greg Hands MP for Chelsea and Fulham reporting back

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II: A Tribute

Dear Resident,

Like all of you, I was greatly saddened by the news of the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

Her Majesty was an extraordinary person, who lived a life of service to our great country. As our new Prime Minister said in her tribute outside Number 10 Downing Street, The Queen was, “the rock on which modern Britain is built”.

In June, Chelsea & Fulham came out in great force to pay tribute to The Queen's 70 years on the throne, a record that will not be surpassed in any of our lives. Throughout that long weekend, as throughout her reign, Her Majesty brought our nation together. I was incredibly proud of the togetherness our local community showed in celebrating her Platinum Jubilee.

The Queen came to my constituency at least once every year, to the Chelsea Flower Show. It was one of the highlights of her year. She even came this year, in May, and memorably toured it in a golf cart.

One of the iconic video clips of The Queen’s Silver Jubilee in 1977 is of a group of women on Fulham’s Kingwood Road, in Jubilee hats, linked arm in arm, singing “Maybe it’s because I’m a Londoner.” Last week I visited Fulham Baptist Church to sign their book of condolence. The messages written by so many showed Fulham’s admiration for Her Majesty.

I was fortunate and honoured to meet The Queen several times: Of course, on her visits to the Chelsea Flower Show but also as the Government’s Deputy Chief Whip at Buckingham Palace. She was always charming and courteous towards me, all the while carrying herself in the most dignified way. Nevertheless, as the tributes paid by MPs to Her Majesty in the House of Commons showed she also had a keen sense of humour.

We will all mourn and miss her greatly.

The Queen will hold an extraordinary place in our nation's history and memories. Fifteen Prime Ministers served her, from Winston Churchill to Liz Truss. This is an incredible reminder of The Queen’s long reign, as Churchill was born more than 100 years before our current Prime Minister. She also met every US President from Truman to Biden apart from one; every French President from Auriol to Macron; every German Chancellor from Adenauer to Merkel.

When The Queen ascended the throne in 1952 the world was a very different place. Joseph Stalin was still in the Kremlin, Mount Everest had yet to be climbed and the device that you are reading this on was not even close to being invented.

Her reign is in itself a substantial, defining period of world history.

Not just as our Queen but as the Head of the Commonwealth, Elizabeth II also made an indelible impression, fostering collaboration between a community of nations which continues to grow. Gabon and Togo only joined it in July this year.

Whilst we mourn, reflect and honour, we also must remind ourselves that our tradition means that we pass seamlessly to a new monarch, His Majesty King Charles III. Our thoughts are with His Majesty The King and the entire Royal Family at this solemn time.

God Save The King.

Greg Hands

The Rt Hon Greg Hands MP

Member of Parliament for Chelsea and Fulham

You can follow him on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram by searching for @GregHands

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September 16, 2022