Like most people I was deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Queen Elizabeth II. Her Majesty has been a prominent figure in our lives for so long and has come to symbolise stability. It is difficult to imagine a world without her wisdom. We all knew the day would arrive, but for me the intensity of her passing was much greater than I had expected. So many people have told me they have been reflecting on her remarkable life of service, dedication, and commitment to her role as our Monarch and Head of the Commonwealth and Realm Countries. It’s a bit overwhelming when you consider the world leaders she has met, the number of issues she has confronted, and the changes that have occurred over her lifetime. Through all these changes, Her Majesty was a stable influence in our lives. She was our rock. Many of us felt we knew her well even though we may not have ever actually met her. She was, in a way, a personal presence in our lives. As a child, I remember my mother taking me and my siblings to sit on a footpath outside the Mercury Theatre in Auckland where The Queen was due to attend a performance. It seemed as though we had to wait for an eternity for the fleeting moment we saw her, but I still remember her arriving, getting out of the car, and giving everyone a quick wave as she made her way into the theatre. Many New Zealanders will have their own similar stories and recollections of The Queen and what she has meant to them. For many, especially younger generations, she will be remembered as a constant presence in their households over Christmas, as they tuned in to hear her annual address. She provided great clarity, strength, and had an ability to bring people together. My condolences to her family and all those who loved her. I am sure that in time they will take solace in knowing that she made a positive impact on so many people. We now face a future unfamiliar to many of us as we pledge ourselves to our new Head of State, King Charles III. A few years ago, I briefly met the King and I rest assured knowing that he shares his mother’s dedication to service. Long Live The King.
Authorised by Scott Simpson MP, 614 Pollen St, Thames