‘Truly a Bea­con and an ex­em­plar to the peo­ple of the United King­dom’

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - NEWS -

CHESHAM and Amer­sham MP Cheryl Gillan paid trib­ute to Her Majesty the Queen when MPs gath­ered last Thurs­day to mark the Queen’s 90th birth­day.

Speak­ing in the House of Com­mons, Mrs Gillan, who also celebrates her birth­day on April 21, said: “Thank you, Mr Speaker, for call­ing me, on what I think is a mo­men­tous day, to cel­e­brate the birth­day of our long­est-serv­ing monarch.

“I have to say that it is also to­day that I cel­e­brate my birth­day, although I am a lit­tle younger than Her Majesty, I feel that a Bea­tles song would be most ap­pro­pri­ate if I find it among my birth­day presents.

“I have al­ways been tremen­dously proud to share the date of my birth with our monarch. When I was very lit­tle, in Cardiff, my fa­ther al­ways used to kid me that the 24-gun salute in Sophia Gar­dens was, in fact, for me, but I found out fairly soon that it was for a much more im­por­tant lady.

“Like many who are here to­day, I am a mod­ern El­iz­a­bethan. We have never known any other monarch, and we are staunchly proud to live in the reign of Queen El­iz­a­beth II. She is truly a bea­con and an ex­em­plar of ded­i­ca­tion to the peo­ple of the United King­dom, and an ex­em­plar of de­vo­tion to duty. She is also a won­der­ful role model for women not just in this coun­try but around the world, par­tic­u­larly as women try to take their place in public life and to have a voice in the Govern­ments of their coun­tries.

“In this House and in Par­lia­ment, we know about public ser­vice, but none of us will ever equal what our Queen does as a mat­ter of course in car­ing for all the peo­ple of this king­dom and across the globe, in the coun­tries of the Com­mon­wealth. The Queen’s achieve­ment in draw­ing all those coun­tries to­gether for their mu­tual sup­port and ben­e­fit is truly mag­nif­i­cent. It is a no­table achieve­ment in this day and age, and one that is a tes­ta­ment to her gen­tle guardian­ship and pow­er­ful ad­vo­cacy.

“The poet John Mil­ton lived for a while in Chal­font St Giles, in my con­stituency, and his cottage is still there, pre­served as a mon­u­ment to his work. He was a Par­lia­men­tar­ian and a per­son who ar­gued against the restora­tion of the monar­chy — a ser­vant of the then Com­mon­wealth — but I would like to think that had John Mil­ton known our monarch, he would have al­tered his view.

“As it is, I turn to the words that he wrote about Shake­speare, whose 400th an­niver­sary we cel­e­brate in two days’ time. He wrote that the poet and play­wright needed no mon­u­ment, be­cause ‘Thou in our won­der and as­ton­ish­ment, Hast built thy­self a live-long mon­u­ment.’

“Through­out the cease­less work of a long life, with the wel­fare of her peo­ple al­ways at the heart and cen­tre of her be­ing, Her Majesty the Queen has cre­ated such a mon­u­ment.

“This place is of­ten de­scribed as ‘the mother of Par­lia­ments,’ but Her Majesty is truly the mother of our par­lia­men­tary democ­racy, and eas­ily com­mands our love and re­spect.

“Long may the Queen rule over us, and, your Majesty, a very happy birth­day too.”

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