On behalf of the Scottish National party and Plaid Cymru, I add our congratulations to the Queen and wish her well on the tremendous occasion of her 60th jubilee.
This is my second speech on an Humble Address; the other was six years ago on the occasion of the Queen’s 80th birthday. Of the six Members who contributed that day, only two have done so again today: the Prime Minister did so from a different position, but I speak from the same place and am happy to provide continuity for the Humble Address.
Her Majesty has had a long and impressive reign. I noted from a recent TV documentary that 60 years ago she pledged to serve the “imperial family”. Time has moved on, and so has the Queen, although not her inner gracious qualities and decorum. The imperial family has changed into a Commonwealth, as the Prime Minister noted earlier, and Her Majesty is now Queen of 16 independent states, a number that may be added to in coming years—a veritable growing family.
In the year of Her Majesty’s 80th birthday, six years ago, she cruised around the Hebrides—my constituency, Na h-Eileanan an Iar—perhaps her favourite destination in all her realms. Before she becomes our longest reigning monarch—God willing—on
In my childhood it was always a high point when Her Majesty visited the islands south of Barra, and travelled there in peace, and the three masts of the royal yacht Britannia were visible behind the hills when it was anchored in Vatersay bay.
Finally, I say in Gaelic—the old but also the modern language of Scotland—“Meallaibh ar naidheachd a Bhanrighinn Elasdaid is tha mi an dochas gum bi ioma Bliadhna sona roimhibh.”