ParliamentRoyal FamilySpeeches

Julie Marson – 2022 Tribute to HM Queen Elizabeth II

The tribute made by Julie Marson, the Conservative MP for Hertford and Stortford, in the House of Commons on 9 September 2022.

It is a solemn honour to rise in this debate to pay tribute to Her late Majesty the Queen, both personally and on behalf of my constituents in Hertford and Stortford. It is humbling to follow so many wonderful and fine tributes.

The King himself, in his moving address, made reference to a speech that many in the Chamber have mentioned, in which his mother the late Queen, on her 21st birthday, made a declaration that her whole life, whether long or short, would be devoted to our service. We know now that her life was long and that for every day of her 70-year reign she magnificently honoured that solemn vow.

In that same speech, the Queen said:

“I am thinking especially today of all the young men and women who were born about the same time as myself and have grown up like me in terrible and glorious years of the second world war.”

It is that, alongside her vow of devotion to duty, that resonates with me today. Perhaps it is because she was speaking about those like my own parents, now themselves in their 90s and children of the east end and the blitz.

I am struck more than ever that Her late Majesty, both as a person and as a monarch, represents a link between our generations. She is a tangible human link to our nation’s past—to its struggles, but most of all to its finest hour. She is also a link to our own individual pasts—our personal histories and those of our families. We have heard many of those stories here today.

The Queen, with her ability to evoke the spirit of what we rightly call the greatest generation, gave what in my view was the finest speech of the covid crisis. She said that she hoped

“those who come after us will say that the Britons of this generation were as strong as any,”

and of course she said that “we will meet again”. Her late Majesty personified that link with our past and with the greatest generation. We shall not see her like again.

Arthur Balfour was Prime Minister in 1901 and addressed this Chamber on the death of Queen Victoria. He said then that

“the end of a great epoch has come upon us”.—[Official Report, 25 January 1901; Vol. 89, c. 20.]

With the passing of our Queen, the end of a great historical epoch has indeed passed, but we are all privileged to have lived at least some of our lives in the great second Elizabethan age. We mourn her but we cherish her memory and her lifetime of service. God bless Her late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. God save the King.