ParliamentRoyal FamilySpeeches

Jo Stevens – 2022 Tribute to HM Queen Elizabeth II

The tribute made by Jo Stevens, the Labour MP for Cardiff Central, in the House of Commons on 10 September 2022.

So many words have been said and written already about the late Queen, but I am grateful to you, Madam Deputy Speaker, for the opportunity to speak from the Back Benches today and pay tribute, on behalf of my constituents in Cardiff Central, to the late Queen.

Cardiff Central is a really young constituency; the average age of the people I represent is among the youngest of any constituency in the United Kingdom. So for nearly every one of them and for me, the late Queen is the only monarch that we have lived under. Being the constituency at the centre of the capital city of Wales, we were lucky in having the late Queen visit on many occasions. She always received a very warm Welsh welcome. In 1948, Princess Elizabeth, as she then was, was the first ever person to be awarded the freedom of Cardiff, and in July 1953, just a month after her coronation, she made her first official visit to Wales as Queen, visiting Cardiff Central, where thousands of well-wishers lined the route of the royal procession to Cardiff city hall. It was during the British Empire and Commonwealth games in 1958 that the Queen, in a recorded message to those assembled at Cardiff Arms Park, announced her intention to make her son Prince Charles—now King Charles—the Prince of Wales. Yesterday, our new King announced his decision to pass the title on to our new Prince and Princess of Wales, and we look forward to welcoming them back to Wales.

The late Queen was a dedicated patron of many charities and organisations across Wales including, for 50 years, the Welsh Rugby Union. To mark the centenary of the WRU in 1980, she wrote a message on a rugby ball which was relayed all the way from London via numerous rugby clubs in Wales before it eventually arrived at Cardiff Arms Park, where a joint England and Wales team played a joint Scotland and Ireland team in a special game to mark the centenary. In 1999, when we hosted the rugby world cup final at the brand new Millennium stadium, the Queen presented the trophy to the winning Australian team. Very many people have fond memories of those royal visits to Cardiff Central, and on behalf of my constituents I send our deepest sympathy and our gratitude to King Charles III and the royal family. It is gratitude for the late Queen’s absolute dedication to a lifetime of public service, her dignity and her decency. Thank you, Ma’am.