His Majesty The King's reply to addresses of condolence at Westminster Hall

Published

As I stand before you today, I cannot help but feel the weight of history which surrounds us and which reminds us of the vital Parliamentary traditions to which Members of both Houses dedicate yourselves

My Lords and Members of the House of Commons:

I am deeply grateful for the Addresses of Condolence by the House of Lords and the House of Commons, which so touchingly encompass what our late Sovereign, my beloved mother The Queen, meant to us all.  As Shakespeare says of the earlier Queen Elizabeth, she was “a pattern to all Princes living”.    

As I stand before you today, I cannot help but feel the weight of history which surrounds us and which reminds us of the vital Parliamentary traditions to which Members of both Houses dedicate yourselves, with such personal commitment for the betterment of us all. 

Parliament is the living and breathing instrument of our democracy.  That your traditions are ancient we see in the construction of this great Hall and the reminders of Mediaeval predecessors of the Office to which I have been called.  And the tangible connections to my darling late mother we see all around us; from the Fountain in New Palace Yard which commemorates The late Queen’s Silver Jubilee to the Sundial in Old Palace Yard for the Golden Jubilee, the magnificent Stained Glass Window before me for the Diamond Jubilee and, so poignantly and yet to be formally unveiled, your most generous gift to Her late Majesty to mark the unprecedented Platinum Jubilee which we celebrated only three months ago, with such joyful hearts. 

The great bell of Big Ben – one of the most powerful symbols of our nation throughout the world and housed within the Elizabeth Tower also named for my mother’s Diamond Jubilee – will mark the passage of The late Queen’s progress from Buckingham Palace to this Parliament on Wednesday.

My Lords and Members of the House of Commons:

We gather today in remembrance of the remarkable span of The Queen’s dedicated service to her nations and peoples.  While very young, Her late Majesty pledged herself to serve her country and her people and to maintain the precious principles of constitutional government which lie at the heart of our nation.  This vow she kept with unsurpassed devotion.

She set an example of selfless duty which, with God’s help and your counsels, I am resolved faithfully to follow.

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