Lord Speaker addresses Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

20 March 2012

Address to HM The Queen
Westminster Hall
Tuesday 20 March 2012

'Most Gracious Sovereign,

We, the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, are assembled here today to celebrate sixty years of Your reign. We record with warmth and affection our appreciation of Your dedicated service to Your people, and Your unequalled sense of public duty over the years - service and duty to which You have only recently, and so movingly, re-dedicated Yourself.

We celebrate too Your stewardship of Your high office. You have personified continuity and stability while ensuring that Your role has evolved imperceptibly, with the result that the Monarchy is as integral a part of our national life today as it was 60 years ago.

We rejoice in this Jubilee and we give thanks for all that it represents.

At the same time, we record our gratitude for the support which You have received throughout Your reign from His Royal Highness Prince Philip, for in this year of jubilee we celebrate his service too.

This is one of the first of many celebrations to be held up and down the land. In the coming months You and the Duke will travel widely throughout the Kingdom. But today You have come to Parliament, the constitutional heart of the nation, and granted us the privilege of being the first of Your people formally to honour Your Jubilee. And where better to begin the celebrations than here, in the splendour of Westminster Hall - a hall of kings and queens for almost a millennium.

While this Hall has seen many historic events, few are permanently commemorated. So we look forward with great anticipation to the unveiling of the stained glass window which members of both Houses have commissioned in honour of this day. When placed in the window above the great doors, Your Coat of Arms and Royal Cypher will bathe the Hall in colour and be seen daily by members and staff as they walk through to their offices—and by the many thousands of visitors we receive here weekly, from both home and abroad.

For we must remember that Your Jubilee will be celebrated with joy in Your other realms and territories, and throughout the rest of the Commonwealth. The Commonwealth as we know it today is of course one of the great achievements of Your reign and under Your leadership continues to flourish, with a membership of 54 countries. It is still growing. It is a tremendous force for good in the world and we are aware of its special personal significance to You.

Many of us present here today take an active part in the work of the United Kingdom Branch of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association. We work to share our experiences, to learn from one another, and to promote democracy. But our efforts are as nothing compared with those of Your Majesty in the service of Your beloved Commonwealth. Over the years You have visited all but two Commonwealth countries—some, many times—and attended all Heads of Government meetings since 1997. We look on with admiration and pride at the triumphs of some of Your recent tours and it is significant that members of the Royal Family are representing You this year at the Jubilee celebrations being held in all those lands in which You are Head of State.

Your Majesty, the Lords Spiritual and Temporal in Parliament Assembled give thanks for this Your Diamond Jubilee. We look forward to the years to come and we pray that You and Your realms may enjoy the peace, plenty and prosperity that have so distinguished Your reign.'

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Image: Chris Moyse

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