Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II - Tributes (Continued)

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 3:15 pm on 9 September 2022.

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Photo of Lord Singh of Wimbledon Lord Singh of Wimbledon Crossbench 3:15, 9 September 2022

My Lords, on behalf of myself and the wider Sikh community, I too want to pass on our sense of loss and sorrow on the death of Her Majesty the Queen. Her passing marks a moment of great sorrow and reflection for us all. As has been said, her life was one of selfless and unparalleled service to her subjects, conducted with both dignity and humility throughout her 70-year reign.

I have had the good fortune of meeting the Queen on several occasions and being invited to lunch at Buckingham Palace and admiring her wit, wisdom and depth of knowledge. I recall the privilege of accompanying Her Majesty during her first visit to a gurdwara in Leicester in 2002. I remember standing on the steps as the car drew up and the Queen got out a little nervously. Then she saw me and said with a broad grin, “I know him.” It is measure of the high esteem in which she was held by the Sikh community that, in that small gurdwara, after the visit we needed a large truck to take away the many bouquets and posies of flowers.

It was during her Golden Jubilee celebrations that the Queen made it clear that she was the sovereign for all her people and that our different religions show that God’s love extends in equal measure to the whole of humanity—a resonant echo of Sikh teachings that show the important commonalities between our different faiths. I have been taking part in the annual Commonwealth Day service for many years. One year, it was suggested that the service move away from Westminster Abbey, which allows contributions of different faiths, to another church which did not. The Queen very promptly said, “If you do that, I won’t come.”

Her Majesty’s commitment to the service of others, contribution to society and humility in all she did are qualities that Sikhs aspire to embody in their lives. Sikhs will always remember her with love and affection.