By Liz Hendrie
Lymington Times Online – 12 September 2022
MPs from the New Forest and Christchurch joined their colleagues in the House of Commons on Saturday to share their moving memories of the Queen.
Julian Lewis, for New Forest East, praised the Queen as
"the outstanding monarch of the modern age"
who was adored by tens of thousands of his constituents.
"One reason for that adoration was the Queen’s accessibility,"
he told the House of Commons.
"The Lymington Times has helpfully listed four notable visits she paid to our part of Hampshire, including in 1979 to mark the 900th anniversary of the New Forest and in 2012 as part of her diamond jubilee tour.
"Multiply those visits by well over 600 constituencies and the scale of her efforts, on visits alone, is colossal."
He went on to say that in the same way as the New Forest had been "touched and toughened" by the impact of war, Princess Elizabeth’s formative years were "shaped and strengthened" by the conflict.
"Her family’s involvement with the Services, already so strong, could only increase,"
Mr Lewis continued.
"While others directed the operations of the military, the allegiance of those forces was to her and her alone. This is more than symbolic; it is an essential guarantee of the constitutional independence of the military.
"I am very fortunate to represent so many people with past, present or potential service in the armed forces of the Crown. One such constituent – my partner’s father – received his Distinguished Flying Cross from the hands of the Queen as long ago as 1955 during the Malayan emergency. He was struck by the depth of her knowledge even then – it went far beyond the formalities of an investiture.
"We can truly be thankful that, at the top of society, she chose to be its servant. She adapted to change, yet always seemed the same. She did her duty unfailingly and was, in short, an inspiration to the nation."
[ … ]
The Houses of Commons and Lords suspended usual business on Friday, following the Queen's death the day before aged 96, to hear tributes from MPs and peers.
New Forest District Council will hold a special meeting today (Monday) at 6.30pm to allow members to pay tribute to the UK's longest serving monarch. They will be invited to reflect on her 70-year reign and offer their condolences to her family.
[NOTE: To view this speech being delivered, click here.]