Layla Moran’ shares constituents’ memories of the Queen

Next up in our parliamentarians’ tributes to the Queen is Layla Moran. She shared some memories of the Queen sent to her by constituents, including her response to a wee girl who asked her why she wasn’t wearing a crown.


The full text is below:

It is a true honour to be able to pay tribute to the late Queen Elizabeth II on behalf of my constituents in Oxford West and Abingdon. I restate the deep sorrow and sadness that many have already expressed.

The ties between the Queen and the community were strong indeed. In every milestone of her reign, Abingdon celebrated with an eccentric and much-loved bun throwing. She was also a regular visitor to our area; she inspected a military parade at RAF Abingdon in 1968, she opened Sophos at Abingdon Science Park in 2004 and she reopened the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford after its refurbishment in 2009.

One constituent remembered the following when he attended the official opening of the Joint European Torus fusion facility at Culham. He said:

“It was opened jointly by the Queen and President Mitterrand. As I recall, the Queen spoke first in English, and then in very polished French. A wonderful way to open a European project.”

Another constituent remembered:

“We were privileged to meet the Queen in Malaysia while living there. I took my six-year-old daughter, who was so excited to meet the real Queen and held a bouquet for her. When the Queen approached, my daughter, reluctant to release the flowers, asked, ‘Are you sure you are the real Queen? You are not wearing a crown, only a hat.’ The Queen replied, ‘I am sorry. The crown was a little heavy to wear today, but I hope you like my hat.’ My daughter, now convinced, released the flowers. I will always remember her warmth and humour while handling my daughter’s mistake.”

Those stories show not just her gargantuan work ethic but how her humility and humanity earned people’s loyalty. I am struck by how many people have been saying, “I am not a monarchist but I loved her.” The fact that she held people’s respect despite and not because of her title is testament to the genius that she brought to the role and is an example to us all.

I am sure that many have not got their heads around what life will be like without her. People have mentioned stamps and coins, but for me as a Brit who grew up abroad, it is the portraits. When we lived in Ethiopia in the ’80s, we would gather as a community at the British club or the embassy, and there she was, glorious in oils, gazing down on our festivities from some ornate framed Toggle showing location ofColumn 587picture. In the ’90s, when I was in Jamaica, where I remember visiting other schools as part of an orchestra practising both the British and the Jamaican national anthems in preparation for her state visit—of course, she was Head of State there, too. There she was again on the walls. The pictures were often smaller and more humble, but they were always there. Through time and space, she was always there, taken almost for granted, binding her people together, until yesterday, when she was not any more. Like many others, I cried.

My thoughts today are firmly with her family, and especially with King Charles at this incredibly difficult time. Our loyalty transfers to him and, as his pitch perfect address just this afternoon showed, we have absolutely nothing to fear. May our beloved Queen rest in peace. God save the King.

* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

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  • Steve Trevethan 10th Sep '22 - 5:48pm

    How do we explain that when the late Queen came to the throne there was no child hunger and that when our Queen died, 27% of our children are reported to be chronically hungry/starving?

  • @Steve Trevethan, if you think there was no child hunger in the UK in 1952 then the spectacles you use to look at the past must have a very rosy tint to them.
    I agree that it’s absolutely shameful, and disgusting, that so many kids are going hungry today, but let’s not pretend it’s a new phenomenon.

  • Lorenzo Cherin 11th Sep '22 - 1:10am

    Beautifully told by Layla.

  • Steve Trevethan 11th Sep '22 - 7:48am

    Wikipedia is informative on hunger in the 40s and 50s.

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