Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II - Tributes (Continued)

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 1:30 pm on 9 September 2022.

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Photo of Lord Wigley Lord Wigley Plaid Cymru 1:30, 9 September 2022

My Lords, I rise to speak on behalf of Plaid Cymru in paying our tribute to the late Queen and extending our sympathy and condolences to all the Royal Family.

Seventy years ago, on a February morning, I was whisked away from my primary school in Bontnewydd by my father and taken down to Caernarfon where, on the steps outside the law courts, a proclamation was made, following the death of the King, that we had a new Queen. At the end of it, my father whispered to me, “It may be quite a time before you experience that again.” It most certainly has been.

As the MP for Caernarfon, I had the honour of welcoming Her Majesty to the constituency on several occasions. She always came with dignity and charm, and was always so well informed. The most memorable occasion for me was her opening of Wales’s National Assembly in 1999—our first Parliament for 600 years. On the day, I was with her, as was the noble and learned Lord, Lord Morris of Aberavon, the noble Lord, Lord Elis-Thomas, and the then First Minister, Alun Michael. It was an honour indeed. She carried out that day with such dignity.

That evening, the celebration dinner coincided with the European Cup final, with Manchester United losing by a goal with a minute to go. They then equalised, and the joy was palpable. When they scored the winning goal in injury time, her “Whoopee!” was heard by the whole room as she almost rose out of her seat.

Her visit to the Welsh Senedd last summer was one of her last public engagements away from London and was very much appreciated. That was the occasion when she was overheard, one almost thinks deliberately, emphasising the importance of the Glasgow climate conference—a sentiment that will undoubtedly be shared by our new monarch.

Queen Elizabeth’s grace, humour, patience and devotion to duty were, and are, an inspiration to us all. Whatever our future debates about the constitutional relationships between the nations of these islands, Queen Elizabeth II has ensured that the monarchy is not in question and is a symbol of the shared heritage that we have within our diverse political structures and ambitions. May King Charles III inherit her remarkable talents and may she rest in peace.