ParliamentRoyal FamilySpeeches

Jill Mortimer – 2022 Tribute to HM Queen Elizabeth II

The tribute made by Jill Mortimer, the Conservative MP for Hartlepool, in the House of Commons on 10 September 2022.

It is indeed a great honour, but also with great sorrow, that I stand in this place today on behalf of the people of Hartlepool to express our profound sadness at the passing of our most Gracious Sovereign Lady, Queen Elizabeth II.

The Queen was many things—a Head of State; a leader; a mother of realms and of heirs; a daughter of history and humanity. She was also a warm, humorous and understanding countrywoman, a lover of horses and dogs—passions and interests that I share with Her late Majesty. In the equestrian and dog-loving community, when the sad but inevitable time comes when we must say goodbye to a much loved four-legged companion, we always want that to be at a time of their choosing, at the end of a good summer, in their favourite meadow or basket by the fire. It is also a passing that we wish for ourselves.

In my sadness at hearing the news of the Queen’s passing, I also drew solace from knowing that she had left this earthly dominion at the end of a glorious summer, before the cold winter starts to bite, in a favourite place of her own—a castle of happy memories. No one will forget that last public image of her fulfilling her final duty, smiling in her kilt and cardigan, trusty handbag over her arm—perhaps containing a marmalade sandwich—a countrywoman by her fire.

Throughout history we have heard of the great moments of monarchy being accompanied by celestial events, such as Edward IV’s sun in splendour, the appearance of three suns rising in the sky before the battle of Mortimer’s Cross. He was father to Elizabeth of York, grandmother of Elizabeth I, the rainbow Queen who presided over a golden age. How fitting that at the time of the announcement of the passing of our great and noble Queen Elizabeth II—daughter of another Elizabeth of York—rainbows appeared in the sky over her palaces: the two Elizabethan ages entwined through time, proclaiming the new dawn of the reign of King Charles III. As he pledged to continue the same duty as his mother before him, so shall we all in this place swear a new oath of allegiance to him.

May Elizabeth of blessed memory rest in peace. God save the King.