As the sad news unfolded yesterday, I like many of her subjects felt a deep sense of loss. Having had the good fortune to attend a reception given by Her Majesty, I witnessed, first-hand, her warmth and her ability to encompass everyone in the room with elegant grace.
Her Majesty was a devoted public servant, a solid foundation, the only monarch many of us have known.
As we share in their sorrow, our heartfelt condolences go out to her family. Not only did our Queen commit her life to her country, but she was also a much-loved mother, grandmother, and great grandmother and as tributes to Her Majesty's wisdom, and dedication to duty, arrive from across the world, it will offer some comfort to those closest to her.
We now enter a period of national mourning before the state funeral, which is expected to take place on Monday 19th September 2022.
Today I will take my place, along with colleagues, in the House of Commons. Parliamentary business will cease but the House will sit today and tomorrow to allow Members to deliver tributes on behalf of their constituents.
God Bless our Queen, may she rest in peace.
God Save the King!