Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II - Tributes (Continued)

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 4:15 pm on 9 September 2022.

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Photo of Lord Wakeham Lord Wakeham Conservative 4:15, 9 September 2022

My Lords, I have only recently come out of hospital, so I hope I can hang on to my stick and keep straight. I particularly wanted to come to this debate, not to say anything very remarkable but to listen to the speeches. The standard of the speeches that I have heard is as high as any that I have heard in this House over many years.

I think I am the Leader of the House of Lords from the longest ago—I was not Leader of the House of Lords the longest, but it is longer ago that I was Leader—and I have very much enjoyed what I have heard today. I will not go into my share of reminiscences. Listening to the debate, I wanted to say just one thing, which I think has not been sufficiently emphasised. Many of us who have been Ministers in the Government have been the slaves of their red boxes for years. I do not know whether it was for 10 or 15 years that I had to deal with my red boxes. I cannot imagine how I would have dealt with them for 70 years, but it was 70 years for which she did that.

A lot of what she succeeded in doing in her life was because she was so well prepared for every event. She was not only well prepared; she knew how to put that across in a way that did not reveal that she might have views of her own. Importantly, she put things across in an impartial way. In the excellent debate that we have had, the thing that I thought had not been emphasised enough was just what a lot of hard work she had to put up with over 70 years.