On Friday, Chris Evans MP for Islwyn paid tribute to the late HM Queen Elizabeth II in Parliament.
Mr Evans, alongside his colleagues from the House of Commons, offered their condolences to the Royal Family and shared their favourite memories from Queen Elizabeth’s 70- year reign.
During his speech, Mr Evans paid tribute to the Queen’s love and commitment to the country as well as offering his support to the new King, King Charles III, and to the new Prince and Princess of Wales.
Please find below Chris Evans MP’s full speech:
“In a world that is often confusing and unsettled, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II charted a course through stormy weather not simply as the mother of our nation but as the keeper of the flame. In the darkest of times when hope was seemingly lost, she cut a reassuring figure.
In 1966, when a landslide smashed into Pantglas Junior School in Aberfan, killing 116 children and 28 adults, she visited the village and openly wept, for she, too, was a young mother. Fifty-one years later, in 2017, after a terror attack in Manchester at an Ariana Grande concert, the Queen provided comfort to the survivors and families by visiting them all in hospital. During lockdown, when many of us were missing our loved ones, she moved the nation to tears with a simple message: “We will meet again.” In doing so, she gave us all hope that in the end it was all going to be alright. All of us want to be reassured that whatever we are doing, whatever we feel, whatever we are going through, it is going to be alright in the end. But now, with her passing, it feels as though it will be a long time before it is alright again.
Historians often cite powerful monarchs such as Henry VIII, who ruled the country with an iron fist, his father Henry VII who took the Crown on the battlefield, or his daughter Elizabeth I, who saw off the most powerful navy ever assembled in the form of the Spanish armada. Our Queen simply gave her heart to this nation for 70 years, proving beyond doubt that love is a far more powerful weapon than any used in any war. Her passing is another loss to the generation who lived through the depression of the 1930s, saw the rise of fascism in Europe, knew the horrors and hardships of war and then, without complaint, rolled up their sleeves and got to work rebuilding this bomb-damaged country. The work of the Queen and millions like her during those years means that we can enjoy the freedoms that we do today.
When we came together to celebrate the Queen’s 70th jubilee in June, we all knew, in our heart of hearts, that her long reign was drawing to a close, but we all hoped that we would have a few more years of that glorious smile of hers. There were those of us who thought, somewhat irrationally, that she really was immortal, and for as long as the Queen was in our world, everything was going to be all right. Now she belongs to the ages.
In times of sadness, I have always found great comfort in the words of Alfred, Lord Tennyson, who wrote in the poem “Ulysses”:
“We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are;
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.”
As the Elizabethan era draws to a close, let those words guide us and our new monarch, King Charles III, in all the hard days ahead. As we grieve as a nation, let us celebrate the life of Queen Elizabeth II and draw comfort in the knowledge that she is safe in the hands of almighty God.
God save the King, and God bless the new Prince and Princess of Wales.”
You can watch Mr Evans’ tribute here: https://parliamentlive.tv/event/index/e6b7ea10-211c-472d-a38d-9b883d7472d8?in=19:57:45