I know that many of my constituents will share my profound sadness at the news yesterday of the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. All of our thoughts are with King Charles, his Queen Consort, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, and their many family members as they mourn their loss.
For many of us, this will feel like an intensely personal loss - Her Majesty’s historically long reign has made her a constant presence in all of our lives, and we will feel her absence keenly. She has been a uniting and elevating presence for our nation and her personal sense of duty and commitment to her people has been an inspiration to every one of us. Above all, we appreciated her as a human presence at the heart of our national constitution; we were not citizens of some faceless bureaucracy, but subjects of a wise and compassionate woman. The dignity and grace with which she represented us made us a prouder and more confident nation.
I find it comforting to think of our wonderful Jubilee celebrations in the summer – that we made the most of the opportunity to celebrate her service to our nation while we still could. And it’s also consoling to see the many moving responses from around the world – our Queen was admired in every nation, and they share in our sense of loss.
I feel privileged to have been in the House of Commons Chamber today to observe the minute’s silence and to hear the speeches of tribute to her late Majesty, from, amongst others, three of her 15 Prime Ministers. I shall be speaking in the Chamber tomorrow afternoon on behalf of Richmond Park constituents.
Books of Condolence will be available to sign at York House, Twickenham in the borough of Richmond and at the Guildhall in Kingston, as well as at three Kingston borough libraries. Floral tributes can be laid at York House in Twickenham, at the Coronation Stone in Kingston and at several Kingston war memorials. Further details can be found here for Richmond borough residents, and here for Kingston borough residents.
Upon adjournment tomorrow, Parliament will be suspended until after the funeral. This is to facilitate the lying-in state of the Queen’s coffin in Westminster Hall for the public to pay their respects. I will share information about this and other events as soon as I have it.
It would be a pleasure to hear from constituents who would like to share their own reflections or experiences of the long reign of Queen Elizabeth II. I will include as many as I can in my next newsletter and on my website.
May her gracious Majesty rest in peace and in the hearts and memories of a grateful nation.
(Jane Barlow - PA)