ParliamentRoyal FamilySpeeches

Carolyn Harris – 2022 Tribute to HM Queen Elizabeth II

The tribute made by Carolyn Harris, the Labour MP for Swansea East, in the House of Commons on 9 September 2022.

As we collectively mourn the loss of our Queen, Elizabeth II, I join others in sending my prayers and condolences, and those of my constituents, to the King, the Queen Consort and the whole royal family. As deputy leader of the Welsh Labour party, I send our condolences to all the royal family.

We all have our own memories of the Queen, and mine stretch back to the 1960s. As a young child, I stood outside my primary school in Brynhyfryd to watch her car drive past. I cannot quite remember the purpose of her visit, but I remember the buzz of excitement among my classmates and how honoured we felt just to catch a glimpse of her.

I also remember the honour of receiving an invite to the Queen’s garden party years before I entered this place. I was heavily pregnant at the time and had no interest at all in going anywhere, but I was not going to miss the opportunity to be part of something so special as Her Majesty’s garden party, because she was special. Her dedicated service for more than 70 years will be remembered forever. She served our country with loyalty, with dignity and with grace. Even as her health began to fail in recent years, her commitment never faltered. She will be missed immeasurably by this country, the Commonwealth and, indeed, across the world, but nowhere more so than among her own family. Our thoughts remain with them foremost at this time.

It was an honour to see her when I was a little girl. It was an honour to be invited to a garden party. It is my greatest honour to pay tribute to her today on behalf of the communities across Swansea East. She served us well and has earned her sleep. Rest in peace our Queen. God save the King and God bless the new Prince and Princess of Wales.