ParliamentRoyal FamilySpeeches

Heather Wheeler – 2022 Tribute to HM Queen Elizabeth II

The tribute made by Heather Wheeler, the Conservative MP for South Derbyshire, in the House of Commons on 10 September 2022.

Thank you very much for calling me, Madam Deputy Speaker.

I, along with most people in South Derbyshire, am so sad that Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth has left us. I, on behalf of the constituents of South Derbyshire, send our heartfelt condolences to the royal family. We have been so lucky for most of our lifetimes to have a Queen who has been totally dedicated to public service and duty. Queen Elizabeth showed us public servants how it should be done, and she remains an inspiration to me, as she has been for so many other people.

I was lucky enough to have the honour of meeting her twice, once in Derby and once in Buckingham Palace. Both moments I will cherish for the rest of my days. At Buckingham Palace I was with my dear departed husband and spent a wonderful evening chatting with Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip. All around us were buckets catching raindrops from a dodgy roof, which gave me the opportunity to share our mutual grief over leaking roofs and the different ways to try to fix them—probably not a conversation that many others have had with the Queen. She was amazingly knowledgeable on this subject, as on so much else.

To close, our constitutional monarchy and its ability to adapt and change with the times is the envy of the world. None of us politicians is more important than our monarch. Ministers come and go, while the continuity of our monarchy provides us with an important balance of power, of which I am proud. May our beloved Queen Elizabeth II rest in peace, and long live King Charles III.