Queen Elizabeth II was a devoted public servant and a champion of civility, dignity, and compassion – Miles Briggs MSP
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The death of the Queen on Thursday last week stunned the nation. For most of Scotland and the rest of the United Kingdom, we do not know any different than having Queen Elizabeth II as our monarch. Her passing will bring deep emotions for each of us.
For me, it very much feels like the severing of a link to my grandparents who died a few years ago. Their generation, like Her Majesty, had come through unimaginable times with great hope and fortitude.
A recent poll suggested that about a third of people across the United Kingdom say they have met or seen the Queen in person.
Outside of Windsor and Deeside, the Queen and the Royal Family have been very much part of our lives across Scotland, and particularly here in Edinburgh and Lothians.
From the garden party and the ceremony of the keys at Holyrood Palace, to the hundreds of local visits the Queen has undertaken, and her support and patronage of hundreds of local organisations and charities, our community was an important part of her life and we of hers.
The passing of Her Majesty at her beloved Balmoral has given the people of Scotland the opportunity to pay their respects and say a final farewell.
From Balmoral down to Holyrood Palace, then up the Royal Mile to St Giles and from St Giles to Edinburgh Airport, hundreds of thousands of people have lined the streets to say their farewells.
It has been a truly historic week and one that the people of Scotland have been eager to be involved in and have played a hugely important part of.
About 33,000 people went to St Giles Cathedral to pay their respects as the Queen lay in rest for 24 hours, before flying down to London on a military plane.
Many people queued up through the night to pay their respects and be part of this historic occasion.
The response across Scotland to her passing shows the upmost respect that she was held in by the people of Scotland.
At the opening of the Scottish Parliament in 1999, Her Late Majesty spoke with fondness of the Scottish qualities of grit, determination, humour, forthrightness and a strong sense of identity.
She continued by saying: “These qualities reflect a Scotland which – if I may make a personal point – occupy such a special place in my own and my family’s affections.”
Scotland held a special place in the Queen’s heart just as Her late Majesty holds a special place in the hearts of the people of Scotland.
The Queen was a devoted public servant. A stalwart of civility, dignity, and compassion. We all owe her a great deal of gratitude for the lifelong and unstinting service she gave to our country and commonwealth.
Rest In Peace.
Miles Briggs is a Conservative MSP for Lothian