From Gareth Thomas MP <[email protected]>
Subject Update from Gareth Thomas
Date September 17, 2022 9:37 AM
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As we approach the the State Funeral of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth
II on Monday, my thoughts are with the Royal
Family ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌


Dear John,

As we approach the the State Funeral of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth
II on Monday, my thoughts are with the Royal Family and the millions
of people whose lives she touched. Thinking too of our new King and
wishing him every success.

Her Majesty passed away in her Platinum Jubilee year, held to
commemorate a remarkable 70 years of public duty since her accession
to the throne on February 6, 1952, following the death of her father
King George VI. Our longest-serving and greatest ever monarch. She
will rightly be remembered with considerable love and affection across
our country. 


[Greenhill Library]

Queen Elizabeth II took the time to visit Harrow several times during
her 70 year reign, beginning with a trip for the creation of the
borough in 1953.


I was honoured to sign the book of condolence at Greenhill Library in
Harrow Town Centre. A reminder that books of condolences for Her
Majesty are open in locations across Harrow, including the Civic
Centre, Harrow Arts Centre
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Headstone Manor & Museum
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St Mary’s Church and all of the Harrow Libraries
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[Commons debate]

I have not been surprised by the depth, warmth and sheer volume of the
many heartfelt messages that constituents have shared about Her
Majesty. It was a privilege to speak in a special debate in the House
of Commons to pay tribute to our late Queen. 


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“It is a privilege to have the opportunity to rise in this debate to
pay tribute to Her Majesty the Queen on my own behalf but also,
particularly importantly, on behalf of my constituents. The Queen was
a remarkable monarch, loved and admired, as many in this House have
underlined, across our great country and across the world. As a
result, I have not been surprised by the depth, warmth and sheer
volume of heartfelt messages that my constituents have shared about
her life and their sense of loss at her passing.

Harrow was the first borough created by the Queen after her coronation
in 1953—that is probably the most important of the many reasons why
we have been the most important part of London ever since. She visited
our borough many times, and she made many school visits, in
particular. She also came to celebrate the borough’s golden jubilee
in 2004, and she was always enormously well received.

Like others, I had the privilege of meeting the Queen on a couple of
occasions. As a new Member of Parliament, I met her at a reception in
Buckingham Palace for young achievers, which is probably the nearest I
have ever come to being a rising star. I also met her as a Minister in
the Foreign Office. What was obvious on that occasion, and in the many
conversations I had with Ministers across the Commonwealth and the
globe, was the enormous respect in which she was held. Her quiet work,
receiving and meeting diplomats and the leaders of the countries with
which our country needed to engage, was always enormously well
received and hugely important. Many of my constituents—those who
have links to India and Pakistan, or links across east Africa, to
Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda, in particular, or across west Africa, such
as those with a background in Ghana, or those who have a background in
the Caribbean—talk of their immense respect for her, but also of the
immense respect of their families and relations back home.

The Queen’s was a remarkable life—70 years of phenomenal public
service as our monarch. Her skills, her constancy and her considerable
diplomatic efforts helped underline and enhance the greatness of our
country. The warmth of the tributes from leaders across the globe, the
Commonwealth and Europe, and indeed from the President of the United
States, have only underlined her importance to our country. God save
the Queen, and God save the King.”

[Westminster Hall]

It was an honour to join so many others in paying my respects to Queen
Elizabeth II at the Laying-in-State, and to do so on behalf of the
people of Harrow West. The Queen will lay in state until 6:30am on
Monday 19 September in Westminster Hall, and this will be
uninterrupted. Expected queuing time is currently 20 hours – the
updated tracker can be viewed here: [link removed]
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The State Funeral will take place on Monday 19 September. The King has
declared this will be a Bank Holiday. As on every bank holiday,
hospitals across North West London will continue to operate. Urgent
and, emergency care will continue as normal in all our hospitals and,
in an emergency, patients should continue to dial 999. If you need
medical advice or urgent care, contact 111. For full details, visit [/]

It was a privilege to listen to King Charles III speak to Parliament,
and to dedicate himself, in the spirit of his mother’s incredible
service, to our country.

“As I stand before you I cannot help but feel the weight of history
which surrounds us and which reminds us of the vital parliamentary
traditions to which members of both Houses dedicate yourselves.”

He said of the late Majesty, Queen Elizabeth that she “had set an
example of selfless duty which, with God’s help and your counsel, I
am resolved faithfully to follow.”

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