Y Cyfarfod Llawn



In the bilingual version, the left-hand column includes the language used during the meeting. The right-hand column includes a translation of those speeches.

The Senedd met in the Chamber at 15:00 with the Llywydd (Elin Jones) in the Chair.

Statement by the Llywydd

Welcome all to this special meeting of the Senedd as we gather to pay tribute to Queen Elizabeth II, following her death in Scotland on Thursday evening. May I ask Members to stand to observe a minute's silence as we remember Queen Elizabeth II?

A minute's silence was held.

1. Motion of condolence and tributes to Her Majesty The Queen

To propose:

That this Senedd expresses its deep sadness at the death of Her Majesty The Queen and offers its sincere condolences to His Majesty The King and other Members of the Royal Family. We recognise Her Majesty’s enduring commitment to public service and duty, including her support for many Welsh charities and organisations, and her lifelong association with Wales and its people.

Motion moved.

We gather here today to pay tribute to Elizabeth II, a head of state for over 70 years. The motion of condolence that we agree today will be presented to His Majesty the King when he visits the Senedd on Friday.

Elizabeth II took office 47 years before this Senedd was created. Today, it falls to us to be the Members of the first ever Welsh Parliament to pay tribute following the death of a head of state. 

As in all Parliaments, our views represent the diversity of views of the people we serve. Our opinions differ on very many aspects of Welsh life, and although our views may differ on the institution of monarchy itself, they will differ little on the way Elizabeth II executed her role as monarch over her lifetime of public service, how her wisdom and dedication to office was valued, and how we mourn her sad loss and hold her family in our thoughts. Elizabeth II looked for what united, rather than what created division. We too can seek that unity today in our condolence. 

On six occasions at our Parliament's opening ceremonies over the past 23 years, the Queen sat here amongst us as she fulfilled her constitutional duty as the head of state. She was here only 11 months ago on her final visit to Wales, confirming our democratic legitimacy as one of her Parliaments. We thank her for her service to Wales.

I now call on the First Minister to lead our Senedd's tributes to Elizabeth II.

Thank you very much, Llywydd. For 70 years, we have always known that this time would come. But, ultimately, it came swiftly and unexpectedly. It's difficult to believe now that we were gathered here in the Senedd just a short few months ago to celebrate the unique achievement of the Platinum Jubilee. The Queen was unwell, following her years of service and self-sacrifice. Old age does not come alone. However, she was still active and full of energy. The history books will note that this sixth Senedd was the last of the four Parliaments of the UK to be opened by Queen Elizabeth II, less than 12 months ago.

Now we know that it was the Queen's own personal decision, back in 1999, to come to Cardiff to open the first term of the Assembly. She did that ignoring the advice provided to her. She returned here for the final time over 20 years later, in accordance with that personal commitment to Wales and its democratic institutions.

Llywydd, in a remarkable life, the last 24 hours of the Queen's reign were amongst the most extraordinary. No-one who watched it unfolding will forget the sight of someone so determined to fulfil her constitutional obligation, confirming a new Prime Minister, something that only she could undertake, despite the unavoidable impact on her reserves of strength. Nothing more could have clearly expressed the overriding sense of duty, which was amongst her greatest characteristics. And this, of course, only the final service, the final image in an unbroken series of more than 70 years. Time will not forget the image of her sitting alone, in dignified and determined observation of health regulations, at the funeral of her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh. It is one amongst so many of the defining images of her reign.

Llywydd, in July of this year, on behalf of the Senedd, I had the privilege of delivering a gift from the people of Wales to the Queen to commemorate that Platinum Jubilee. Many of us here will know already about the Pontfadog oak, a tree that had stood on Cilcochwyn farm in the Ceiriog valley, possibly for as long as 1,200 years. It was uprooted in the great storm of 2013, but miraculously, thanks to the astonishing skills of specialist staff at the great gardens of Kew, five new oak trees, each one identically genetically the same as the original, have been coaxed back into life. Here, in our own maturing botanical gardens in sir Gâr, resplendent in the July sunshine, these new oaks were prepared for their new destinies: some to stay at Llanarthne, one to be planted at our own COVID memorial woodland in north Wales, and one to be established as a Jubilee gift at Chirk castle, the closest castle in Wales to the site of the Pontfadog oak itself. Enduring through the ages, an apparently permanent part of our lives, offering shelter and sustenance beneath its enormous boughs, there is a real sense of unity between this gift from the people of Wales and the life it honoured and celebrated. And a sense of the future, Llywydd, too, because the new Pontfadog oak was received on behalf of the Queen by the then Prince of Wales, today's King Charles III. Now as it takes root, it will stretch forward into a new life of service and one with particular affiliations to Wales.

We offer our sincerest sympathies to the new King and his family. Our thoughts are with the new Prince and Princess of Wales. We wish them every success in this new chapter in their lives of service. In Welsh, there is a proverb: colli tad, colli cyngor; colli mam, colli angor—to lose a father is to lose advice; to lose a mother is to lose an anchor. We wish them strength to grieve in their loss, and we send them and their family our best wishes for the future.

In June, we spoke in this Chamber of the stresses of a life lived so unrelentingly in the public gaze—every moment captured, every remark dissected, every smile or frown a story. Now that story comes to an end; the life that gave rise to it stilled in the peace which that final sleep will bring to us all.

We have assembled here following this morning's proclamation ceremony, the first for more than 70 years here in Wales. It reminds us that, even as we look back, we must look forward and use the strength we have here in this democratic forum of Wales to fashion that future, by drawing inspiration from those who have helped to make us what we are. 


The leader of the Welsh Conservatives, Andrew R.T. Davies.

Thank you, Presiding Officer, and my party's group and I support the motion before the Senedd this afternoon. On hearing the news on Thursday, after seeing the images of the Queen obviously accepting the new Prime Minister and putting her into office, it was news that none of us thought was going to happen within 48 hours of those images coming out. Indeed, a lifetime of service stood before us in those images, at the age 96 and sadly in failing health, and we could all see that she thought her duty was to receive the Prime Minister, and appoint the Prime Minister, so the country could have that stability and continuity that her reign has given for 70 years, and our condolence goes to the family and all those who cherish the memory of Her Majesty the Queen.

It is a fact that, when she was born, she was not destined to assume the throne, because her father and mother, the Duke and Duchess of York, were, obviously, second in line to the throne, and the abdication threw the family into the spotlight and, ultimately, the succession of the throne in the 1950s. But there was never a quibble, there was never a qualm, there was never a moan; it was always in public service and duty that Her Majesty put herself first for the country, the Commonwealth and, as was then, the empire. As her speech in 1947 emphasised, public service was first and foremost in all her thoughts. And in particular, here in Wales, we've seen that time and time again, with all the organisations that she had been patron to and, ultimately, supported, whether they be large or small organisations, such as the Royal Welsh, the National Eisteddfod, the Welsh Rugby Union, and numerous villages and towns, supporting them grow in their maturity and grow in their dynamic. As the First Minister said in his remarks, we stand taller today by having the reign of Her Majesty the Queen and the 70 years that she gave to the throne and to this great country of ours. And it is a fact that, ultimately, when you look back, none of us will most probably see such a reign again in our lifetime, and such a dedication to service.

There was an example given of that service when she visited the victims of the terrible bombing in Manchester recently. Many of us would be shocked by the images that came from that bombing in Manchester, but Her Majesty, putting everyone at ease when she was speaking to them in the children's hospital in Manchester, focused on the victim and why that victim wanted to go to the concert and what they were expecting when they got to the concert, rather than haunt them by asking them to relive the terrible thing that they'd gone through with the bombing in the Manchester concert. And that emphasised to me a lady who was in touch with her people. I've had the good fortune to meet Her Majesty on several occasions, and each and every time she had that unique gift of being able to focus on you as the individual, have you at the centre of that conversation and make you feel that you're the person, the only person, talking to her in that room.

And it does remind me of a story at the 2011 opening of the Senedd, when your predecessor, Rosemary Butler, was showing Her Majesty around, and she introduced me to Her Majesty, and she said, 'That's that naughty farmer that I'm constantly reprimanding.' And in her mind, Her Majesty, as quick as a flash and with a sparkle in her eye said, 'Well, all farmers are naughty, aren't they?' Again, that humility and that ability to put you at ease when you spoke with her really, really emphasised a person who cared about the people, who had faith and confidence in her and her actions to make sure this country progressed right the way from the steam age to the electric age in trains, from the telegram to the internet. We can press a button today and see the images before us, whereas, before, we heard about the coronation from people who were alive at the time of the coronation—they'd have to go to their next-door neighbour, sit with crossed legs and watch that small portable black-and-white television. Today, any of us, to get that news, get that image, just takes the phone out of our pocket and sees those images straight away in front of us. But yet, she was a monarch who stayed relevant right the way through the ages, right the way through that 70 years of service. And let's not forget that, through the ill health of her late father, the King, she took a mighty, mighty burden on her shoulders to carry the monarchy through the time of her father's ill health, and she never ever once moaned. I think we all could take the words of Paddington Bear in the Jubilee, when he said, at the end of that wonderful clip, 'Thank you for everything you do'. Well, I will change it to say, 'Thank you for everything you did'. God save the King.


Llywydd, on behalf of the Plaid Cymru group in the Senedd, I stand to express our sadness and to extend our deepest sympathies to the royal family, following the death of Queen Elizabeth.

The tributes paid to the late Queen Elizabeth over the past number of days have been legion, but one comment by a former royal courtier, quoted in a piece by Alastair Campbell, stood out for me: that the Queen understood 'the communism of humanity'. Now, that is a startling claim; its substance, its subject and its source. Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II was, by definition, by royal proclamation, to all of us, radically different. When she was just a mere princess, Life magazine talked of the 500 million people and the 14 million square miles over which she might one day rule. Even as empire faded, she lived in palaces, rode in gold carriages, traversed the globe in royal yachts and planes—a fairy-tale existence when compared to the everyday life of virtually all others. And yet, for countless millions, there was a sense of mutual connection—almost a personal relationship. In the words of the unnamed courtier:

'They know she is different, but they also know she is the same, eats the same things, breathes the same air, understands them and wants them to understand her.'

It's the Queen herself that best captured this sense of affinity, in the words she used about Princess Diana, in the days after her tragically untimely death:

'No-one who knew Diana will ever forget her. Millions of others who never met her, but felt they knew her, will remember her.'

They're words that ring true now for Queen Elizabeth, as they did then for Diana. In that speech, the Queen spoke to us, in her words, 'from the heart', not just as monarch but as matriarch. Who among us can even begin to imagine what it is to be royal? But many of us will know what it is to be a grandmother or grandfather, to lose a parent, to comfort a child in pain. We all cope with loss 'in our different ways', the Queen said then. Now, we mourn her own passing—again in our different ways; many, as a mark of veneration, of a servant Queen who lived and died as the very personification of duty, decency and care. Some will identify simply with the family and its grief, feeling, perhaps, in this moment of public sadness some personal echo of private loss. And, by no means few, particularly among older generations, will have felt a deep sense of dislocation, of saying goodbye to a part of themselves, as Queen Elizabeth has been a permanent reference point.

The Queen's constancy and the comfort that could bring in often turbulent times has certainly been a recurrent theme, yet Queen Elizabeth could often confound those who saw her as one-dimensional, imprisoned by the past or other people's expectations.

George MacLeod, the socialist firebrand and ardent pacifist, founder of the Iona community, was appointed by the Queen formally as royal chaplain and informally as Prince Philip's verbal sparring partner. She disagreed with Mrs Thatcher's refusal to impose sanctions on apartheid South Africa, as well as her policies of austerity at home. And, in an unscripted aside to you, Llywydd, on her last visit to the Senedd, she rightly castigated politicians for often being all talk and no action on the global climate crisis.

In 2011, on a historic first visit by a British monarch to the Irish Republic, she shocked pretty much everyone by laying a wreath and bowing her head at the garden of remembrance in Dublin, honouring all those who gave their lives in the name of Irish freedom. In a speech at Dublin castle, she declared,

'With the benefit of historical hindsight we can all see things which we would wish had been done differently or not at all.'

That was greater candour and contrition over the sins of Britain's past, at least in these islands, than has ever been demonstrated by most of Britain's political leaders, and much of our media.

Tomorrow, the Queen will lie in state at St Giles' Cathedral in Edinburgh, where George MacLeod was once assistant. He went from there to work with the poor in Glasgow and on to Iona, helping to rebuild the historic Abbey, which the Queen visited and supported financially—controversially so, given the pacifism of its founder. There are 48 kings buried there, alongside one former party leader, in a clutch of simple stones on a tiny windswept island, a symbol that however we are born, however we live, we die as part of one common family: the ultimate communism of humanity, the fundamental oneness of us all and of all things.

The eternal unity of earth and heaven.

MacLeod talked about thin places where there was just a thin tissue dividing the material and the spiritual, where heaven and earth seemed to touch. But, there are thin moments too, liminal moments, thresholds between the life with a loved one we have lost, and the life we are about to begin without them. It's in these moments of profound absence, as we stand at a crossroads of change, that somehow we feel the greatest presence of the person that has passed. The poet Seamus Heaney once compared the death of his own mother to the felling of a great tree, like the Pontfadog oak the Prif Weinidog referred to. 

'The space we stood around had been emptied / Into us to keep, it penetrated / Clearances that suddenly stood open. / High cries were felled and a pure change happened.'

For some, this will be a moment of great anxiety, but perhaps, Llywydd, as Queen Elizabeth begins her final journey and we consider what the future holds, we can follow the Queen's own injunction in that great Dublin speech to 

'bow to the past but not be bound by it.'


Diolch yn fawr iawn. On behalf of my party, the Welsh Liberal Democrats, we extend our deepest sympathies on the loss of Elizabeth II. Elizabeth II has been one of the very few constants in all our lives in the 70 years of her reign. As the world around us changed, Elizabeth II was ever-present throughout; she provided stability and certainty for many. The passing of Elizabeth II without a doubt marks the end of a very long and indeed seminal chapter in the history of our nations. Elizabeth II was a living reminder of our collective past, a constant marker of duty, courage, warmth and compassion, not just here in the UK, but globally.

Throughout her life, Elizabeth II served the country with the absolute greatest dedication, honour and dignity. Her faith was dynamic and strong. She was a woman of example to all of us women, not just here in Wales, but across the world.

I had the great privilege of meeting her only once, on the opening of the sixth Senedd here last October, and my short anecdote is indeed a farming one, like the leader of the opposition. I was introduced as the Member representing mid and west Wales, a large area of Wales, and I think I said something like, 'We have more sheep than people in the area I represent'. Her sharp and quick response to me was, 'Well, how do you know what their views are?'

Her address to the Commonwealth at just 21 years of age, when she said:

'I declare before you all that my whole life, whether it be long or short, shall be devoted to your service',

is an ethos and principle I know we all here hold dear. And Elizabeth II's example of public service is one that we can all aspire towards. Her address to the country during the early part of the coronavirus pandemic—that we would all meet again—shows the extent to which the Queen reflected for many the national mood. In that same vein, many will remember Elizabeth II's visit to Aberfan in 1966, and recall her sharing in the grief felt by the people of Aberfan. As someone recounted after the disaster,

'It felt like she was with us from the beginning.'

She was a stateswoman like no other.

Her Majesty was a friend to Wales, and many here in the United Kingdom, the Commonwealth and further afield will miss her greatly. Our thoughts and prayers, of course, are with the royal family, but also people in all corners of the United Kingdom who have been touched by the charitable work and leadership of Elizabeth II. The wave of sympathy that we've seen from people and politicians across the globe demonstrates how many lives Queen Elizabeth II touched, as well as the hope, the dignity and the honour that she embodied for so many. Just as Her Majesty the Queen stood shoulder to shoulder with us as society changed, we now look to His Majesty the King as he seeks to lead the nation with the same dignity, honour and commitment as Elizabeth II. God save the King. Thank you.


News of the passing of Her Majesty the Queen has left the nation in a state of profound sadness and loss. The Queen was a constant presence in most of our lives. Her first Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, was born in 1874; her last Prime Minister, appointed only a few days ago, was born in 1975, 101 years later. That alone just exemplifies the length of time that she has devoted to the service of her people, both here and abroad.

The Queen was sustained by faith and driven by duty. Some of my fondest memories of Her Majesty were watching her each Christmas address the nation. My family's entire Christmas Day revolved around the Queen's speech. Her message was always one of hope; it was heartfelt, optimistic and inspirational. In often turbulent and worrying times, the Queen stood strong, providing confidence and reassurance that all would be well in the world. Regardless of her own personal circumstances, health issues and, more recently, the passing of Prince Philip, our Queen stood strong, nurturing and uplifting during times of hardship and struggle. Her speeches were elevating, refined and, above all else, relatable to all of us in one way or another.

As a young child I was asked often by family and friends, 'So, what do you want to be when you grow up?', to which a five-year-old Natasha Asghar used to confidently look them in the eye and say, 'I want to be the Queen.' Naturally, I realised fairly quickly that the role was not one that was open for applications. I adored the Queen for her hard work, her poise under all circumstances, and the love that she held for her country. As politicians here in the Welsh Parliament, we can only aspire to do what she did, for as long as she did, with the same level of grace, dignity, patience and kindness. Her sense of civic duty, community and charity were incredible, and her contribution to the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth will provide a lasting legacy.

Our Prime Minister, Liz Truss, said in her tribute that the Queen was a tremendous inspiration to her, and I could not agree with her more. The Queen was a fantastic role model for countless women across the globe, from various backgrounds and ethnicities, admired and loved for her wisdom, dignity, grace and patience. It was an honour to meet Her Majesty when she came to Cardiff for the opening of the sixth Welsh Parliament. It was a moment that I will cherish for the rest of my life, and I know that many of my colleagues sitting here amongst us today, here in the Welsh Parliament, will too as well. On behalf of myself and all of the residents of south-east Wales, the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth, I would like to thank Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II for her lifetime of dedicated and devoted service.

I know only too well the pain that one experiences on losing a parent, and my thoughts and prayers are with the King, his brothers, his sister and the rest of the royal family at this very sad time. The Queen always told us to be strong through times of hardship, and today we all need to uphold the strength and courage she possessed to bear her loss. The highest tribute to the dead is not grief but gratitude. To quote Ralph Waldo Emerson,

'The purpose of life is...to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.'

That can certainly be said of Her Majesty. May she rest in peace. Her kindness was legendary, her smile was contagious and her memory will live on in our hearts forever. 


It's a privilege, Presiding Officer, to speak here today on behalf of the people of Blaenau Gwent. Blaenau Gwent, like all other parts of our country, heard the news on Thursday with a sense of deep sadness and a profound sorrow. We lost not only our monarch, but also our north star. Her Majesty was a constant throughout our lives. As the night sky turns around the north star, so we have all witnessed down the decades a changing world, a changing country and changing society, and throughout it all, our Queen has remained that fixed point to whom we know we can turn, whether we need sustenance or guidance. 

Whatever challenge we have faced down these decades, the Queen would be there, sometimes saying the words that summed up the public mood, speaking the words that the rest of us would struggle to find. But, more often, she would not only reflect what the public needed to hear, but also was able to lead. Presiding Officer, it was a life of service that has shaped all of our lives but which has also defined an age. She spoke to us of our history, and over recent days, we've all seen those grainy black-and-white videos of her returning from Kenya at the death of her father. And that looks like an age ago, with Churchill, Atlee and Eden waiting at the airport to greet the young Queen. But she has been there throughout the whole of that time.

And in many ways her own longevity has emphasised this sense of continuity and stability. She brought us all together. She didn't simply speak to us, she spoke of us and for us. This length of service is matched only by her depth of commitment and her values of service. The First Minister spoke on Thursday of the Queen's values, the values that drove her to wear a uniform in the 1940s, and the same enduring commitment to public service and the people of this country and the same values that meant that she was performing her public duties days before she left us. 

We will all have memories of Her Majesty. She visited Blaenau Gwent in April 2012, as part of the celebrations for her Diamond Jubilee. Her visit brought great joy to people throughout the borough. Her smile made us smile. Her service and her devotion to duty inspired us in Blaenau Gwent, and we remembered that day earlier this year when we celebrated her Platinum Jubilee.

Many of us have spoken already this afternoon about her visit here to this place last October, and we saw again the impact of the Queen on us, because we all sat here in this Chamber and the tv screens around us showed her arriving at the building outside. And we all felt that same frisson of electricity when we saw that familiar figure at the door, and taking her seat in this Parliament's Chamber. We all listened in silence to her words that afternoon, and then we spoke to her afterwards. And in speaking to her afterwards, of course, we saw the other side—the human face that we've all came to know and love.

The smile that we can see in the images around the Chamber today needs no description, because we can all see it; we all recognise that smile. Somebody this weekend spoke about a mischievous twinkle in her eye sometimes, and we can see that and we recognise that, because the same stateswoman that sat down with Presidents and Prime Ministers and leaders, the same stateswoman that bestrode the twentieth century also sat down and took tea with Paddington Bear.

She knew and understood the people of this country. She had that sense of being able to reach out. There are still people here who believe that the monarch leapt out of a helicopter with James Bond a decade ago. [Laughter.] You can imagine officials saying to her, 'Don't do it, Your Majesty, you shouldn't be doing this', but you can also imagine the Queen saying 'no'. 'It's good to see you, Mr Bond. I keep a marmalade sandwich in my handbag.' The ability to reach out, the ability to speak, the ability to understand, the ability to be a part of who we are as a society, the ability to make us feel at ease, the ability to make people smile, it's a rare gift—it's a very rare gift. I can see 59 politicians who wish they possessed it. Let me say this—. Sixty if you count me, of course. [Laughter.]

Let me say this: we recognise what we've lost and we recognise what we've been lucky to see. We recognise that in losing Her Majesty in this last week, we've lost more than simply a monarch. We've lost somebody who's been that guiding star throughout all of our lives. And when I think about Her Majesty, I do think about that human side, I do think of that smile, as well as I think of her words.

And let us, Presiding Officer—. Let me finish this afternoon with her words. She spoke to us every Christmas, of course, and we listened to those words. In 1991, of course, another time of change—we'd seen enormous change in Russia at that time, for example—she said this:

'But let us not take ourselves too seriously. None of us has a monopoly of wisdom and we must always be ready to listen and respect other points of view.'

Her Majesty knew how to lead, she knew how to listen and she knew how to reflect what was best of Wales, the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth. May God bless her and her soul, and may we also say 'God Save the King'.


I stand today to share the nation's grief following the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth. Our thoughts at the moment are with those who have felt that loss so deeply—the royal family, those who loved her, and those who served and worked in her name. The Queen was loved and respected by many in the UK and across the Commonwealth, and Preseli Pembrokeshire was no exception. During her reign, she often visited Pembrokeshire, meeting local leaders, community leaders and schoolchildren, and she was always greeted with love and warmth by the people. 

Now, many have taken to social media since her death to share images of those visits, and to tell of their experiences in meeting her. Those glimpses are truly encouraging and are a warm reminder of the huge human connection that she had. Of course, like everywhere else, flags across Pembrokeshire are flying at half mast as communities come to terms with the death of our dear Queen.

Llywydd, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth had a profoundly deep impact on families right across the world. My own family was indeed one of them—so profound in fact that, as some of you know, my middle name is Windsor, named after the royal family as I was born in the year of the then Prince of Wales's investiture back in 1969, so the Queen and the royal family touched my family very deeply indeed.

I count myself incredibly fortunate to have had the honour of meeting Her Majesty on a few occasions. Every time I did, she was warm, compassionate and humble, and always very interested in what I was doing. Just to be in her presence was an honour, and I will carry those memories with me for the rest of my life.

As a nation, we are all fortunate to have had her calm and steady presence throughout our lives, as she diligently led us through times of great historical change. Whether that change was political, economic or social, she provided continuity and comfort to so many. In those periods of darkness, she was our light.

In times of great celebration, like Victory in Europe Day or the London 2012 Olympics, she was always with us. The leader of the opposition mentioned the heart-wrenching tribute from Paddington Bear following her passing, a reminder that the world really was holding her hand.

As the First Minister said, the image of Her Majesty at the funeral of her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, will be forever etched into our minds. A figure silent and stoic in the face of immeasurable sadness and grief, facing loss alone just as many did during the COVID pandemic. She embodied the whole nation.

But, after that dark period, it was the Queen who brought the nation together again with her Platinum Jubilee celebrations, celebrations where neighbours embraced one another at a street party and beacons were lit; an extraordinary display of community cohesion at a time when the nation really needed it.

In one of her other infamous annual Christmas broadcasts, she said this:

'When life seems hard, the courageous do not lie down and accept defeat; instead, they are all the more determined to struggle for a better future.'

So, as we come to terms with Queen Elizabeth's passing, perhaps the greatest tribute we can all make is to emulate her great dedication and service to the people whom we represent, and work as hard as we can to better our country and support our constituents. As a former British Prime Minister said in the last few days, she was the world's greatest public servant.

We now enter a new period of British, and indeed global, history. To His Majesty King Charles III, I offer the same oath of service and dedication as I did to Queen Elizabeth II. Let us unite in our grief and face this new chapter in our nation's story together. May our beloved Queen rest in peace and rise in glory, and God save the King.


Diolch to the staff at the Senedd for enabling today's recall motion to take place. It's difficult to find words worthy of marking this bleak occasion. Though we knew this day would come, no amount of preparation is enough. To encapsulate 70 years of dedication, respect and unwavering devotion to a kingdom and her people is an impossible task. Not born for the throne, she was the impossible Queen; now, for many, she is impossible to replace.

Since hearing the news on Thursday, I've thought long and hard about why so many of us, having not met Her Majesty, feel such a deep-rooted personal connection to her. Why is it that we feel she is part of the family and not just part of the furniture? What is it that builds and maintains our implicit trust in her?

In a life dedicated by propriety, anyone can be a royal, but it takes a certain character to be a Queen. On a voyage that set sail in 1952, with the mist of war still loosely hanging over the mountains of our island, the 25-year-old Queen Elizabeth had the weight of the world on her shoulders, with her coronation being the first to be broadcast live on television. There were, inevitably, choppy waters ahead, but the captain of our ship had devoted her whole life, no matter how long or short, to our service, from the plain-sailing first tour of the Commonwealth to bucking traditions on royal unchartered waters to China, and conducting a monarch's first ever walkabout when visiting Australia; through the storms of Aberfan, of war, of the Troubles and the terror, to the regattas of the London Olympics, the Jubilees and thousands upon thousands of royal visits, including up the river to Rhondda in 2002. During the serenity of family love, the raging of fire at Windsor, the shallow criticism and the depths of death and despair, with every change of the first mate, 15 Prime Ministers in total, and the rapid flow of power to our Parliaments, and when there was no lighthouse to guide us through the rocky waters of the pandemic, Her Majesty, steadfast at the helm throughout, through wave after wave of happiness and sadness, was a symbol of strength and unity and of hope, a symbol of courage, of peace and of humility, with a dose of wit and humour when needed, the one constant for generation after generation of us. This, to me, is why we feel that personal connection.

I am fortunate enough to hold dearly my own personal connection to Her Majesty. One of my proudest achievements is being awarded the British empire medal, recognising my contribution to communities in Rhondda. It's a real honour to have received this accolade under the reign of Queen Elizabeth II. We'd be hard pressed to find a better example of leadership, a better example of inspiration to do the right thing, and a better example of modesty and honesty in the face of regret.

To a family who have lost a mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, my heart, and the hearts of the residents in Rhondda, are with you during this time of mourning. For His Majesty the King, we look forward to welcoming you to Rhondda during your reign. To Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, God speed to you on your final voyage. We will always hold you dear in Rhondda, and we will forever be grateful for your unrivalled years of service. Thank you. Diolch o galon. God save the King. 


As those who have visited my office, or had the misfortune of watching my contributions virtually during the pandemic, will be able to attest, I have two photographs of Her Majesty the Queen in my office. They're on display in my office alongside other treasured photographs of my family. The reason for that is because the Queen felt like a member of my family, frankly. My mum is named after the Queen. Her name's Elizabeth, or Liz, as her friends like to call her. She was born in 1952, which, of course, is the year in which the Queen took the throne. But the fact that the Queen was constantly on the television and we were constantly reading about her life—and we'd have the ups and downs in family life—made it feel as though she was part of our home, that we had a close association with her—that personal connection that other Members of the Senedd have spoken of.

Yes, of course, she spoke to the nation in times of national crisis and uncertainty, including during the pandemic, and she always brought those words of comfort and encouragement. Like other families in this Chamber, and millions of people around the world, every Christmas we would sit as a family and watch Her Majesty the Queen address the nation in her Christmas broadcasts. So, the news that the Queen had passed away felt like a huge personal blow to me and to many people, no doubt, in this Chamber. And of course, it was a huge personal blow to many people in my own constituency, who've been in touch in order to express—and to ask me to express on their behalf—their deepest condolences to King Charles III and his family on their behalf.

I can remember the very first time I saw the Queen in the flesh. It's quite a thrill, isn't it, when it hasn't happened before. It was during the Golden Jubilee tour, and the Queen was due to arrive in Eirias Park at the stadium, and I was given a ticket—I think I was the deputy mayor or something in Towyn and Kinmel Bay—or the mayor couldn't make it and he'd passed the ticket on. I turned up to this place, and there were thousands of people in the stadium. We were all waiting for the royal couple to arrive—Her Majesty the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh—and there was a compère, if you like, for the event, who was getting us all to do Mexican waves. It got to a point where, as is sometimes the case, there had been a bit of a delay. So, he was trying to string this thing out, getting us to do more and more Mexican waves. But, eventually, the hush came, because news got to us all that Her Majesty the Queen and her car had turned into the park. There was silence, just for a brief moment, before the crowd erupted with cheers because the Queen had arrived. And that excitement was exactly the same every time I ever saw the Queen. 

There are many different words that have been used in this Chamber and in other Parliaments and in other tributes to Her Majesty the Queen in recent days: duty, service, longevity, dedication, honour—I made a list of a few of them just in the Chamber today—dignity, grace, patience, commitment. But the one thing that I think speaks most to me about the Queen, the one word I would use to describe her, is her devotion. Every time I look at those pictures in my office, I think of the Queen's devotion, her devotion to her nation, to her peoples, not just here in the UK, but around the world and in the Commonwealth, her devotion to our armed forces—and, of course, she was the commander-in-chief of the British armed forces and the colonel-in-chief of both the Royal Welsh and the Welsh Guards—and her devotion to her family. 

The one conversation I ever had with the Queen was back in 2011, and it was on the occasion of the opening of the Senedd. We had been gathered for a lunchtime meal across the way in the millennium centre, and Members of the Senedd were ushered with their guests into a room upstairs on the first floor in order to meet Her Majesty. It was quite a press in that particular room, and I found it quite difficult, because I'm a little shorter than some, to muscle my way through the press in order to make it over to the Queen. So, I did what every good person who's a hanger-on tries to do; I hung around and waited for people to have their chats with the Queen and move on. And eventually, of course, the crowd began to dwindle and Her Majesty the Queen was suddenly there. Of course, you're not allowed to approach the Queen, are you? You have to wait for Her Majesty to speak to you. And she approached me and my wife, Rebecca, and she began to talk. And she was making all of the small talk that the Queen was able to do so tremendously well, but there was an opportunity, when she asked about what I did before I got elected to the Senedd and all of those things, there was an opportunity for my wife to talk to the Queen, and my wife spoke about our children at the time, who used to love watching Prince William go up in the search and rescue helicopter, above our house on occasions, in north Wales, because, of course, he'd been based at RAF Valley for a time, working as a search and rescue pilot. And the Queen's face just lit up, because she was devoted not only to her nation, country, people, the armed forces; she was devoted to her family. She loved her family. For all its faults, like every family in this room, she loved her family. And when she spoke about her grandson, Prince William, her face absolutely lit up. 

And of course, she was not just devoted to her family and her country and all of those other things; she was devoted to God. She made that pledge at the start of her reign. She made pledges in the coronation, and she made pledges throughout her life, to serve God in the best way that she could, to be the best monarch that she could be. She very much fulfilled that role of being the defender of the faith, which was one of her official titles. She championed the Christian faith that was so central to her life. She spoke often of it, of course, during the Christmas broadcasts. But, even as recently as last month, she spoke of her Christian faith in a letter to the Lambeth Conference. And in it, she said this: 

'Throughout my life, the message and teachings of Christ have been my guide and in them I find hope. It is my heartfelt prayer that you will continue to be sustained by your faith in times of trial and encouraged by hope in times of despair.'

Well, I want to say this: thank you, your Majesty, for inspiring me and my faith over the years, and that of millions around the globe. We appreciate your service, and I'm grateful to have had you as part of my family over the years that I have been brought up.

And I say this to the new King, Charles III: thank you for your service to us, as our Prince of Wales, over more than five decades. I, for one, have appreciated that service and know what an excellent ambassador the new King has been for us during his tenure as Prince. And I say God save the King, and may God bless our new Prince William and Princess Katherine as they take on their new roles.


Thank you for the opportunity to say a few words in our national Senedd at the beginning of a week that will culminate in the funeral of the late Elizabeth II, and I do so as the Plaid group business manager and the deputy leader of the Plaid Cymru group, and also as the Member of the Arfon constituency. My constituency includes the town termed 'the royal town of Caernarfon'. And it's a very special town—a town where the Welsh language is alive and well, a town full of history, and a town which has very long and very old links with the monarchy, in a number of ways, stretching back over 700 years. 

I join with Members in the Chamber by extending my condolences too to the family of the late Queen Elizabeth II in their grief. The world's attention is focused upon them at the moment, as they cope with the deep sadness that comes with losing a loved one. 

Much has changed over the last 96 years. And yet, for the last 70 years, one constant has remained, with solely the one person undertaking the role of queen throughout that period. Doing one job constantly for such a long time is quite a feat. It's also a feat for her to join a very male world at an early age and to succeed in holding her own for the majority of the time, it would appear. She was extremely visible in her role, and, in the early days, it was unusual to see a female on a public stage so frequently. She lent credibility to the role of women in public life. Women's lives have changed dramatically over the past 96 years, but many challenges still remain unfortunately, and the shift towards gender equality remains stubbornly slow. 

Elizabeth saw enormous change during her long life, and it is appropriate that we reflect on those changes by using her life and the occasion of her passing to look back over her lifetime. We, in this Chamber, will interpret the last seven decades according to our varying points of view, of course, and come to different conclusions depending on those perspectives. But it is appropriate to use this period for reflection. It is also important to use the time to look forward, to look forward to focus on prioritising those things that are important for us in such a troubled world. Elizabeth II knew what she needed to do. She did what was asked of her for a very long time, and, now, she is at peace. 

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II was a permanent feature of our lives for so long, combining continuity with change, example with empathy, and dignity with dedication. She achieved so much, and I will miss her presence among us, personally, greatly. When my wife and I were introduced to the Queen at successive official openings of the Senedd, she always made an effort to make everyone feel special. I was waiting for the delivery of my original digital hearing aids when I was first introduced to Her Majesty. She asked me a question; I said 'Pardon?' She repeated the question; I said 'Pardon?' again. In desperation and in breach of protocol, I asked her a question about her visit to Mold the preceding day. She answered with dignity and understanding. After overhearing my wife championing her, she held onto my wife's hand when my wife was subsequently introduced to her. As you know, when you shake her hand, it's normally brief. My wife had to wait until she agreed to let go of my wife's hand. On another occasion, when everyone in a line-up except my wife was introduced to the Queen, Her Majesty made sure that my wife was included. 

Her Majesty was truly the Queen of Britons—y Cymry—and the British nations, descended from the Welsh princes, Rhys of Deheubarth and Llywelyn the Great, the first via her descent from William Carey and Mary Boleyn, and the second via her descent from Henry VII. Henry VII came from an old, established Anglesey family, which claimed descent from Cadwaladr, who was in legend the last ancient British king. Elizabeth II was a direct descendant of Henry VII via his daughter Margaret, the older sister of Henry VIII. In her Jubilee speech to the UK Parliament in 1977, the Queen stated:

'I number Kings and Queens of England and of Scotland, and Princes of Wales among my ancestors.... But I cannot forget that I was crowned Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.'

As the UK's longest serving monarch, after reigning 70 years, the Queen's impact upon the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and on realms and territories, is of huge significance. We must unite in our grief and take strength that both our country and the Commonwealth are better places today for her long reign and life of public service. Eight countries came together in 1949 to form the modern Commonwealth. Her Majesty became head of the Commonwealth after being chosen for this role by Commonwealth member countries when she became Queen three years later. Since then, the Commonwealth has grown to become a free association not of eight countries, but of 56 independent and equal member countries. I thank Her Majesty for her service.

I know what it's like to lose a parent. I know what it's like to lose a mother-in-law. My mother-in-law also passed on this year aged 96, and always felt an affinity, because of their year of birth, with Her Majesty. My condolences go to Her Majesty's family and loved ones. God bless Her Majesty. Long live the King.


Jane Dodds and Siân Gwenllian have already mentioned the important role that the Queen had as a female leader. It is difficult for us to understand that, in 1952, public life was completely dominated by men. It wasn't until 1958 that women could be appointed to the House of Lords. And, when in 1966 Harold Wilson wanted to appoint Shirley Williams as a Minister in the Department of Labour, the Permanent Secretary lobbied against it. Even when Harold Wilson took absolutely no notice, this so-called servant of the Crown still refused to communicate with her directly. Incredible. So, when she took over, aged 25, in this male-dominated world, she obviously had to be really assertive to ensure that she wasn't just ignored as somebody who didn't need to be taken account of. Because she was intelligent and very hard-working—she read all her briefs, unlike some other people [Laughter.]—she quickly established herself as someone who knew what she was talking about and needed to be taken account of. 

We have titbits of information about what went on in those weekly meetings with the Prime Minister of the day, but there are no records of these conversations. But, clearly, 70 years dealing with Prime Ministers undoubtedly gave her a unique insight in how different political leaders dealt with the larger-than-life characters in their Cabinets. Whilst at home, she had to be inscrutable—that was the constitutional deal—about what she thought about the issues of the day, she did use her international role of representing Britain to give us an unparalleled insight into the workings of Government and to become a really accomplished diplomat.

As the French President reminded us last week, we talk about 'our Queen' or 'your Queen', as he was saying, but in France it's simply 'vive la reine', because she is the Queen of the whole world. She is the most recognised person in the world, despite social media. So, it was a little bit disconcerting for me when I visited a primary school in June to be asked by this child was I the Queen. But my office said, 'Of course, you won't have that problem any longer.'

Her passing, we have to remember, marks the final break with somebody who had direct experience of Government during the second world war, and the suffering and sacrifices that were made to overcome the Nazis. Indeed, she was extremely anxious about the first visit that she was asked to make to Germany in 1965, 20 years after the end of the war. She simply didn't know what the reaction either at home or in Germany was going to be. But she had the courage to go anyway and was rewarded with huge crowds who came out to greet her in Berlin and elsewhere.

One of the things that she did most successfully was to enable Britain to make that transition from being an empire into being a country amongst many European nations. She was largely responsible for smoothing the transition of these now independent countries into the Commonwealth of Nations that Mark Isherwood has already referred to. This Commonwealth gave her a platform for expressing ideas that constitutionally she couldn't have uttered in a domestic context. In her 1983 Christmas broadcast, she said:

'in spite of all the progress that has been made the greatest problem in the world today remains the gap between rich and poor countries and we shall not begin to close this gap until we hear less about nationalism and more about interdependence. One of the main aims of the Commonwealth is to make an effective contribution towards redressing the economic balance between nations.'

Well, the balloon went up. Enoch Powell objected hugely, and so did the right-wing press. But the press statement that followed said:

'The Christmas broadcast is a personal message to her Commonwealth. The Queen has all her people at heart, irrespective of race, creed or colour.'

These are really important statements. And behind the scenes, her role in the Commonwealth was to bridge the gap between the position of the UK Government and the rest of the Commonwealth countries, particularly over things like the unilateral declaration of independence by Rhodesia, where it was felt that the Wilson Government was prevaricating over opposing this breakaway when they thought that a black rebellion would have been dealt with by sending in the military. Equally, the Commonwealth was in the process of breaking up in 1986, when the Thatcher Government was refusing to impose sanctions on South Africa, which was demanded by all the other Commonwealth countries. The Queen managed to keep it together by engineering a compromise with the famous working dinner before the heads of state meeting, which enabled them to get involved in getting the apartheid regime to realise it had to release Mandela.

She had Empire Day renamed Commonwealth Day. That was one very important thing. But also, when talking about religion, in 2012, she had the Church of England bishops kicking off. The Queen initiated the multifaith Commonwealth Day observance, reflecting the fact that there were far more Muslims and Hindus than Christians in the Commonwealth. She made it clear that there was no conflict between her role as head of the Church of England and defender of religious freedom:

'The concept of our established Church is occasionally misunderstood and, I believe, commonly under-appreciated. Its role is not to defend Anglicanism to the exclusion of other religions. Instead, the Church has a duty to protect the free practice of all faiths in this country...the Church of England has created an environment for other faith communities and indeed people of no faith to live freely.'

She promised peace and reconciliation in Ireland, as Adam has already referred to, and, importantly, also made that symbolic handshake as a symbol of reconciliation with Martin McGuinness. A commonwealth of nations is so much more satisfying and relevant to delivering a just and peaceful transition out of our climate emergency than any military alliance, and we can but wish Charles III pob lwc in fulfilling the very big shoes that he must now put on.


On behalf of the people of Aberconwy and, indeed, my own family, we send our deepest condolences to His Majesty the King and all members of the royal family on their sad and sudden loss.

Throughout my life and those of many of my constituents, we've only known one monarch. She has been an incredible constant; the staff providing stability to people around the world. As Her Majesty stated during her Christmas broadcast in 1957,

'I cannot lead you into battle, I do not give you laws or administer justice, but I can do something else, I can give you my heart and my devotion to these old islands and to all the peoples of our brotherhood of nations.'

Her faith as a Christian was inspirational and true. Wales has also felt that same love and devotion. What greater sign of that than the heartache and sadness so many are now experiencing on our loss? It is emblematic of the love we show to her and the admiration she very much deserves. Our Queen was a shining light and a beacon of hope.

In Aberconwy, it is greatly appreciated that she supported Welsh agriculture and our farmers. What stronger evidence of her love of the Welsh countryside and farming than her service as honorary president of the Royal Welsh Agricultural Society? As fellow Members will be aware, it is a tradition of very long standing that the sovereign is intimately associated with the armed forces, and it is therefore a matter of pride for me that my constituency continues to play an important role in training for the army and cadets at Capel Curig and Llanrwst.

Aberconwy is also home to the queen of Welsh resorts, and I will certainly treasure forever my memories of Her Majesty our Queen visiting Llandudno and other parts of Aberconwy on several occasions. I recall the excitement when she graced us with her presence as part of the Silver Jubilee tour in 1977. There was cheering, children waving flags, and a sailing display in the bay, which fascinated her. Children sang in beautiful Welsh to entertain the royal couple. That admiration of our Queen has never diminished.

Whilst we may be at the end of the Elizabethan era, her example will continue to inspire my life and that of my constituents and citizens globally. I am wholeheartedly grateful that King Charles III has now devoted his life to continue with this his dear Mama's role of providing stability and love to people around the world. May God bless you and grant you eternal peace, Ma'am. We, as your true and loyal British subjects, will never forget you. We will support your heirs and successors in your good name. God save the King.


As we come today to what I know as the debating Chamber, it's really good that we're coming together today, putting aside politics for once, and I'd like to recall the words of the late Jo Cox, where she said that

'There's more that unites us than divides us.'

We're here as sons, daughters, some of us parents and grandparents, just as the Queen was a granny as well, and we talk about how we can connect with the Queen, and we see that we really do connect.

I'd like to pass on my condolences to her family, to the royal family, today. She has been a constant in our lives. I remember going to the Jubilee street parties as a child and then continuing to organise community events as well, and it's about that great spirit of community togetherness, I think, that's really, really important. I remember going to Mold high street, taking my youngest with me, and there was much laughter and excitement there as we were all trying to squeeze onto the pavement just to watch the Queen go by in a car and catch her wave. I remember going with other volunteers to Llandudno, and it was an event that the Queen was going to, and just thinking how lovely that all these volunteers were together, and the sense of community. It's that, really, that brings the warmth as well.

Last year, it was a great privilege to meet the Queen as a new MS in the Senedd. We were in a big group, weren't we, as she was coming along, and I was thinking, 'Oh my word, what will I do if she wants to talk with me or ask a question? What have I got in common with the Queen? What can I say?', not knowing the protocol, really, as a newbie. But, I remember her coming along with the Llywydd and talking about having meetings via Zoom and how she had learnt to manage them, and I was thinking, 'What have I got in common? I know, dogs.' And, as she came nearer, I said, 'When I have my Zoom meetings at home, I sit with a dog either side of me, and often they do try and join in with conversations on Zoom', as you have heard as well. And then I was just thinking, 'How many times has she had to do that over the years, in so many different predicaments, trying to think on the spot, 'What can I say to this person? What have we got in common?' There's the humour she's brought, especially in her later days, as Alun said earlier, with James Bond, and I was thinking, 'What else have I got in common with the Queen?' Well, I also carry sandwiches in my handbag, as she revealed to Paddington Bear, especially on my long train journeys up and down. So, I just think there's that great humour, connecting with people, that's so important as well that she had.

And also, I'd just like to say what a great example of leadership to women everywhere, and I look at that as well as inspiration. So, may she rest in peace. Condolences to her family. I look forward to welcoming King Charles here to the Senedd later on in the week and to north Wales.

I'd like to express my own gratitude and admiration for the late Queen. I suspect we'll all remember here the first time that we met or saw the Queen for the very first time. It was 11 July 1986, as a 12-year-old, when it was my first time to see the Queen in person, when she undertook a tour of Montgomeryshire, visiting Machynlleth, Llanidloes, Newtown, Montgomery, Berriew and Welshpool. My memory of that day is the smiles on people's faces, looking overjoyed as the Queen made her way up the street in Newtown. But my greatest memory was not of the smiling faces of people, it's the smiling face of the Queen. That's what stuck in my mind, and when the Queen came back to the Senedd last October, it reminded me of that day: the Queen with that big, beaming smile again—that infectious smile that she had.

And the Queen had a great way of just putting people at ease—often people feeling nervous about meeting the Queen for the first time, as Carolyn has just spoken to. The Queen had a great way of showing interest in people’s lives, asking the right questions to put people at ease, but, above all, I think it was her infectious smile that really put people at ease and created that warm atmosphere. And the Queen had a humour like no other, and, of course, over the last few days, and in the Chamber today, we've heard stories, haven’t we, of the Queen and her mischievous and fun nature, and that’s been a comfort, I think, to many who have such strong affiliation to the Queen. We've heard about the Queen working alongside James Bond, the Queen taking tea with Paddington Bear, and the sandwich in her handbag, like Carolyn has in her handbag as well. But we heard about these stories, and I think that's the true Queen. The Queen was somebody who was serious when she had to be, but was also somebody who was fun as well when it was appropriate.

So, on behalf of the people of Montgomeryshire, I send my deepest sympathy to His Majesty the King and members of the royal family. Her Majesty gave her life to duty and to service. Throughout difficult times and crisis, the Queen remained constant, so, thank you, Your Majesty, and God save the King.


It is an honour to be able to stand here and speak on behalf of the people of my region. Our thoughts and prayers are very much with His Majesty the King and the royal family as we mourn the passing of the greatest and longest serving monarch the world has seen, Queen Elizabeth II.

For most of us, Queen Elizabeth II is the only monarch that any of us have known. She has always been there, a constant and consistent guiding light through bad times and good. Many people have been confused over the past few days about how strong their grief has been and are only now realising the impact and huge role that our Queen has had in all of our lives. It’s only when we face the reality of loss that we truly understand what has gone.

Queen Elizabeth II was a truly remarkable individual who completely dedicated her life to serving us, the British people, those of the Commonwealth and overseas territories. Her devotion was epitomised in the famous speech in Cape Town in South Africa, where she said,

'I declare before you that my whole life, whether it be long or short, shall be devoted to your service, and the service of our great imperial family, to which we all belong.'

And she achieved that, and I, for one—and, I know, everyone here—am enormously proud that Elizabeth II was our Queen. Even this Tuesday, of this week, we saw the Queen do as she's always done, at 96 years of age, and fulfil her duties with the strength, the grace and honour that she'd become world renowned for, by having an audience in person with her new Prime Minister, Liz Truss, illustrating the depth of her devotion to duty. Elizabeth II's devotion to duty was always palpably obvious throughout her reign. At the age of 19, she enlisted during world war two to serve in the women’s Auxiliary Territorial Service, and this was just the beginning of a life of commitment to our country and our people. Her biggest duty, of course, then started at the mere tender age of just 25. At 23, when I was elected here, I felt the weight of responsibility of office, but the enormity and magnitude of responsibility on her young shoulders is hard to fathom. She not only handled it, she stood strong and steadfast, upholding and promoting all that is great about our country for 70 years.

I and, I'm sure, so many are glad that the Queen saw in her Platinum Jubilee this year, with celebrations in my region and beyond fit for a Queen who's done such an incredible amount for our country over these years. I was delighted to share those celebrations with my own children and be able to explain to them the depth of gratitude that we owed the Queen and why. As the longest serving monarch in British history, the Queen invited 15 Prime Ministers to form a Government. At her coronation, the Commonwealth had eight member states; today, there are now 56. It’s incredible. During her reign, Queen Elizabeth II modernised the monarchy, adapting to the times and turning it into the much-loved institution that it is today, with enormous global reach. We have all seen this from the speeches and the actions of the countries around the world since her death, and it has been befitting of Elizabeth the great.

It wasn't just her sense of duty, stabilising influence and wise counsel that defined her; her wit, humour and caring nature also came to personify her reign. And the Queen constantly surprised, as we all saw with that tea with Paddington and the James Bond escapades, bringing a warmth to the role that only served to further strengthen the monarchy and its place in our modern world.

And what an exceptional role model she was to women and girls—to me and to girls all over the world—and a strong role model for all of us. It has been an honour to have met the Queen on multiple occasions. I feel tremendously lucky and I will cherish it forever, remembering her wise words to me and that twinkle in her eye. God bless the Queen. May she now join her husband, rest in peace and rise in glory. My thoughts and the thoughts of the residents of south-east Wales and of our nation are now with His Majesty the King and the royal family as they mourn the loss of their dear mother and grandmother. God save the King. 


On behalf of the people of Islwyn and the many Gwent valleys, towns and communities that I represent, I also want to say 'thank you' to our faithful servant, Queen Elizabeth II for her long, dignified reign over all her peoples. I've been struck by many tributes, but, as Jenny Rathbone has said, it was the French President, Emmanuel Macron, who stated, 

'To you, she was your Queen. To us, she was The Queen.'

A symbol of unity, and therein a symbol—a blessed symbol—of hope. 

Today as a representative of this place at the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, I have witnessed first hand on many occasions the very real appreciation and the deepest respect in which she is held. The Commonwealth nations and territories spanning the globe have been vocal—[Inaudible.] The outpouring of that grief has been global. Today, we live in a dangerous world and an ever-volatile world, which at this moment has lost a guiding, ever-constant star. For over 70 years, Queen Elizabeth II has led by example. She has demonstrated by her actions a public service of the very highest devotion. Our late Queen's passing has produced a deep and profound sense of loss, a collective sadness and a stillness rooted in her constancy to us all. She held her Christian faith with deep devotion and carried out the highest public duties in this land until the very, very final hours. And we feel such sadness because, quite simply, she was collectively loved. 

Llywydd, in this political arena, in this Chamber, there is often much fire and disagreement. That is the natural order of political debate and it cannot change, and nor should it. Queen Elizabeth II, however, delivered a stillness and calm that many have spoken of, a pure public service of a different scale, tone, timbre and, behind the smile and that twinkle that many have referenced, a deep wisdom. Our Queen was driven by a fierce sense of dedication, as many have referenced, to her vows to serve her subjects dutifully. She did so decade after decade until her passing. A woman—a strong woman—often in her younger years, as others have talked of, surrounded by men who felt they knew better. She was a woman in a man's world, setting an example to all. And from this man's world, in 1952, this woman, and then mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, walked with world leaders and spoke to and influenced world leaders for over seven decades. 

The Queen, as one of the world's greatest leaders, remains with us all. But yet, throughout the nations, she was often felt to be the very fabric of Britain, of itself Christmas, of the living room, and, for so many families up and down our United Kingdom, she touched the hearts and minds of all she interacted with. She did lead by example and we must all seek to follow that example. She was resilient and so we must be resilient, and cry—I feel the emotion in the room today. On occasion, many here have cried, even those who felt that they would or could not. But as sadness washes over, we see smooth succession of the Crown that she guided, and we go forward together as the United Kingdom, and we move forward now with pride. Queen Elizabeth, we have and will sing our gratitude to you. Diolch yn fawr, and we will reward your loyal service with the words you want to echo around this land, 'God save the King'. 


I would also like to offer my sincerest condolences to His Majesty the King and the entire royal family on the passing of the much-loved Queen Elizabeth. I was outside the country when I heard the tragic news. We were visiting family in Kashmir when we heard late on Thursday evening that our monarch had passed away. It was a moment of deep sadness and terrible sorrow, not just for me and my immediate family, but throughout Srinagar, Kashmir and all across the Indian sub-continent, for she was not just our Queen but also the head of the Commonwealth. The grief we feel at her passing is felt just as keenly across the globe, from the West Indies to the East Indies and beyond; nations that have foresaken British rule still regard the head of our great nation with affection, respect and love, for Her Majesty was the greatest of public servants, dedicating her life and entire being to the service of our nation and our family of nations. 

For over seven decades, she had guided us, led us and nurtured us. She had been both a trailblazer and a steadying hand for times of joy and sorrow. When she took the throne over 70 years ago, the Commonwealth, as everybody has said, represented just a handful of nations, and the UK was still suffering the after-effects of the world war. But, her steadfastness, dedication and selflessness have helped to transform our nation and our Commonwealth, which now represents around a quarter of the world's population. And even though she was the head of the Church of England, people of all faiths and none mourn the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, defender of faith. God bless you, Your Majesty. May you rest in everlasting peace. Amen. 

The heartbreaking news that our beloved Queen, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II had passed away shook the people of our nation to the core, as it did across the Commonwealth and, indeed, the world. On behalf of thousands of people across the Monmouth constituency, I offer also sincerest condolences to the King and the royal family at this saddest of times. We all feared that this sad time would come at some point, but we hoped it would never arrive. Now it's here, a huge emptiness pervades our lives as it is so difficult to comprehend life without our Queen, such was the immense love we had for this remarkable lady, and that love won't leave us. 

For over 70 years, Her Majesty was a constant—a word we've used a lot today, but there's no better word to describe it—in our lives, a steadfast influence, a pillar of unwavering strength transcending multiple generations and inspiring people across the globe. During her reign, the longest ever for a British monarch, the United Kingdom, and indeed the world, has changed beyond imagination. Queen Elizabeth II ascended the throne, as we know, following the end of the second world war, a period in which the world was realigning itself following that devastating, horrific period. And despite numerous events of historical significance occurring during her reign, Queen Elizabeth provided the country and the world with stability, leadership and empathy. 

During the good times and the bad, Her Majesty was a symbol of the spirit of the country, providing inspiration and hope for millions of people. Despite the enormous weight of pressure and expectation that many of us could not begin to imagine bearing down on her, Her Majesty never lost sight of what was important: the people and communities across our United Kingdom and the wider world.

Alongside her beloved husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, the Queen met thousands of people across every corner of the globe. She was adored and respected like no other, and was a worldwide unifying force of good and love. Her Majesty oversaw the development of the Commonwealth—that hugely important family of nations—in an ever-changing world, and she was the figurehead of many organisations and charities, and her loss will be felt by so many. Her sense of duty, humility, selflessness and devotion to the United Kingdom and all of the Commonwealth will remain an example to us all forever. Her death is a colossal loss to the nation and, indeed, to the whole world. Thank you, Your Majesty, for your boundless commitment and love; may you rest in peace. God save the King. 


The issue about being called at this point in the debate is finding something original to say, but I will do what others have done and reflect on my own personal reflections and memories of Her Majesty. Particularly, in this Chamber in 2016, I was sitting probably where Jack Sargeant is sitting now, directly opposite the Chief Executive, which is where the Queen was sitting, and she was looking directly at me. I have to say, Llywydd, I feel uncomfortable when you look directly at me. [Laughter.] At that point in time, I wasn't sure whether she had a frown on her face—I wasn't sure whether I had upset her, and I was thinking, 'Oh my God, I've upset her—it's probably because I'm wearing a red tie'. But, at a certain point during the course of the session, that smile broke out, and she did actually give me—and I'm not making this up—a reassuring smile. So, I could rest easy for the rest of that session, and think, 'One thing I haven't done is upset the Queen'. And I don't know about you, Llywydd, but I may have upset you in the past. [Laughter.]

There are those of us in this Chamber who have particular political views—those who are in favour of the status quo, who wish to see the status quo continuing, and those of us who wish to see a challenge to the current democratic arrangements of this nation. But, what we've seen in the Chamber today has been those who have those different views seen reflected in the head of state their views too. I think the leader of Plaid Cymru made a rather pointed speech, which reflected some views that may not be reflected by those of the leader of the opposition, who saw in the Queen his own political perspectives. I think that is a gift of the head of state: to be able to do that and to be able to be a truly apolitical head of state in whom we can see ourselves reflected and, in this Chamber, unite ourselves in admiration.

That involved a huge a sacrifice of her life—her personal life—through the course of those 96 years. In the very last days of her service, she was in service to the country; we saw those pictures at Balmoral two days before she died. As others have mentioned their own family, I was taken back to my grandmother's death at Caerphilly miners, and she was active until the day before she died. I remember the family gathering around—I was there with my parents—and she passed away in Caerphilly miners hospital. The difference was that we, as a family then, had time to grieve in private and in peace, and the King does not have that luxury. The next days for the King are ones of work and duty, and they will not stop until his final days. I think the King can take comfort from the regular visits he made to his mother during her last days, but at the same time, he can take comfort in the condolences that have been offered in this Chamber today. He has a very public role; it's incredibly difficult to carry through the legacy of his mother, but we can support that through what we've said here in this Chamber.

I do just want to think about the King and some of the visits he's made to my constituency. He's visited the Caerphilly miners hospital, and I did manage to tell him that I was born there. We did have a conversation about it, and I've got to say that he was very genuine and a very warm person, and I think he is well suited to the role he is now in. He has those challenges, although he did alarm us at one point when he started walking off down St Martin's Road on his own, without any police protection; indeed, a couple had walked past him without realising who he was. I think that that will change now that he is King.

His duty now, his job, is to demonstrate the same thing that his mother did: that when we see him, we see our own views reflected, but not in a way that others see our views reflected—that they are universal, that he is a politically impartial head of state. That will be the challenge for the future of our democratic country. For those of us who want to see change, and those of us who wish to see status quo, what happens next will depend upon that. But I think that we can be united today in saying, 'God save the King'.


May I join other Members, too, in firstly saying how warming it is to see Members from across the political spectrum coming together today to mark our respects and pay tribute to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II? This unity of spirit reminds me of back when I was a teenager, and I will make some personal reflections as well. When I was a teenager, the Queen visited my school in Colwyn Bay, and it turns out that this was referenced by Darren Millar a moment ago, as she visited my school in Colwyn Bay at Eirias Park. What struck me from this visit was not the deputy mayor of Towyn and Kinmel Bay doing the Mexican wave. What struck me from this visit, apart from how clean the place suddenly became, was the breadth of people who came to see her—all people from different ages, different backgrounds, different races, different creeds. Even in my younger age, as a teenager, I clocked that she was a uniting figure—somebody who brought people together. 

This was again exemplified during the COVID lockdowns. If we remember, Her Majesty gave an incredibly moving speech that, for me personally, gave me great strength through a very difficult time for my family. And I will quote the lines that really struck a chord with me. Her Majesty said:

'Together we are tackling this disease, and I want to reassure you that if we remain united and resolute, then we will overcome it...We should take comfort that while we may have more still to endure, better days will return: we will be with our friends again; we will be with our families again; we will meet again.'

Those words were so important for so many at that time, and united us together again. Her power and ability to unite was a clear demonstration of the level at which she conducted herself, changing with the times as she needed to, earning the respect and admiration of so many.

The other area that I would like to pay tribute to today is the example of service and duty that so many here have already mentioned. She set a great example for us all. She carried out her role with dignity and respect, serving her country and her people right until the very end, as we saw last week. This, of course, stems from her time—and people have already quoted this—as a 21-year-old, when she declared:

'I declare before you all that my whole life whether it be long or short shall be devoted to your service.'

Perhaps the biggest difference between the Queen and the vast majority of us is that she kept her promise. She kept her promise before she was Queen and through her 70 years of reigning. Her Majesty worked with 15 Prime Ministers, and I'm sure that some were more difficult to work with than others. She conducted tens of thousands of royal engagements, she was patron and president of over 600 charities, and of course was our longest reigning monarch of all time. Her Majesty set the best possible example to every single one of us. That's why, when I took my oath of allegiance to be sworn in as a Member of this Welsh Parliament, it was the utmost pleasure to swear my allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Her Majesty devoted her life to this country—a rock for so many for so long. Thank you, Ma'am, for your unwavering service, and God save the King.

I'm sure that Thursday, 8 September will be etched into all of our memories, as we remember the moment and the place where we heard the news of the death of our beloved and devoted sovereign. It is remarkable that most of us here in this Chamber will have known no other monarch, since our Queen had devoted almost her entire public life to the service of our country. Our feeling here today can be summed up as one of great sadness, but also of shock: sadness at her passing, but shock that someone who has been so much a part of our national life is no longer with us. I give my deepest and most sincere condolences to Her Majesty's family as they come to terms with the loss of not only their Queen, but their mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. As someone who believes strongly in the unifying role of the monarchy, I've always been struck by her devotion to public service, her unbounding energy for the peoples of every Commonwealth nation, her tireless work supporting charities, and her steadfast loyalty and devotion to her faith as a Christian, to her family and to the people of the United Kingdom. 

It is right that our country remembers her with all the love and kindness that Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II deserves. [Interruption.] 

It is with great sadness that I stand here offering my condolences, but it is also a joy to say how deeply fortunate we were to all have her as our Queen. She was, I believe, and will remain for many generations, a true embodiment of Great Britain and an inspiration to us all. Thank you, your Majesty, for your service. May you rest in peace and God Save the King.


Grief and sadness are incredibly powerful emotions—incredibly powerful. They can unite people though at times of discord and bring people together. It's happening right now at this moment in time as people are expressing their sadness and their grief for Her Majesty the Queen, and, as Sam Rowlands identified, in her life, the Queen had an unparalleled ability to unite people, at all times not just at times of terrible suffering. To unite people is perhaps the most important duty that anyone in authority can fulfil, and nobody has done it better than the Queen. The people of our country, the Commonwealth and beyond have lost a Queen who was the rock of stability in our often troubled existence, but to live in hearts we leave behind is not to die, and so, Her Majesty the Queen, her goodness and her kindness will go on living in hearts around the globe.

I'd like to thank you for giving me the opportunity to speak today on what is such an important and significant time in our country's history, and indeed for recalling the Senedd today to give Members the chance to pay their tributes to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. And on behalf of the people of the Vale of Clwyd, I'd like to pay tribute to Her Majesty and thank her wholeheartedly for her 70 years of stoic service to the people of Wales, the United Kingdom, and indeed the world. She wasn't just the Queen of the United Kingdom, 14 Commonwealth countries and a global figure, she was also a family figure, a mother, a grandmother and great-grandmother, who will be sorely missed by those who knew her intimately, and by people both near and far.

I was born in 1988, which means that my memories of the Queen are mostly of her advancing years, but many people will remember a beautiful young princess who declared in Cape Town in 1947 that no matter how long or short her life may be, she would dedicate her life to serving the Commonwealth, and, my goodness, has she achieved that. Times were different in the 1950s, very different, and indeed they have changed a lot over the decades. We were still recovering in the wake of world war two back then. But what the Queen has demonstrated is an amazing sense of versatility and moving with the times. She sent her first e-mail in 1976, filmed her annual Christmas message in 3D in 2012, and sent her first tweet in 2014, and most recently attended Zoom meetings during the COVID-19 pandemic. Not too bad for somebody in their 90s, I must say. 

Fifteen Prime Ministers have served the Queen over her 70-year tenure. Presidents, Prime Ministers, First Ministers and politicians come and go, but what she has demonstrated is being a constant figure in people's lives, no matter what the politics of the day are, and being a safe and reassuring pair of hands that people could rely on whatever was happening in their lives. 

Like most people, I never thought I'd have the chance to meet the Queen, but the opportunity presented itself in this very place in October 2021, during the opening of the sixth Senedd, which turned out to be her very last visit to Wales. She asked me what I did before I became a Member of the Senedd. And when responding to Her Majesty, I was struck by how engaged and interested she was in what I had to say, which showed me that, still, after 70 years of public duty, she was as enthusiastic as she had been all those years before in Cape Town. And that was a quality that never eroded over the years, which is why she will always remain a deeply iconic figure.

And I would like to conclude my contribution today with a short, but well-known poem, written by a bard of her beloved Scotland. 'An honest woman here lies at rest, the friend of man, the friend of truth, the friend of age, the guide of youth; few hearts like hers, with virtue warm’d, few heads with knowledge so inform’d; if there’s another world, she lives in bliss; if there is none, she made the best of this.'


This week, we sadly lost who, I think, is our greatest ever Briton. She was a leader of our nation, but also a mother, a grandmother and a great-grandmother—a badge that she wore very proudly until her very last day with us. She was someone who spanned generations, acting as a bridge with the past, as well as simultaneously evolving as times did. I know that people across Wales are feeling and are hurting right now at the loss of a figure that they may never have met, but will have meant so much to so many. Whether it was sharing a few brief words with Her Majesty, being in attendance when she visited some of our communities, or even just a letter or a card in the post congratulating us on a personal milestone or achievement, people simply never forgot the interactions that they had with her. For meeting her was a memory that would last a lifetime, and a story retold to friends and family a thousand times over.

The only time that I ever had the privilege of meeting Her Majesty was in this building, just under a year ago, when she came to open our Senedd. I didn't know I'd get the chance to meet her that day, but, as I left the Chamber through that door just behind me, I found myself ushered into a line of MSs, and out of the other door came Her Majesty, accompanied by the Llywydd, who introduced her to Members. The first politician she would meet, of course, would be Janet Finch-Saunders, perhaps the closest the Queen ever came to a meeting of equals in her 70-year reign. [Laughter.] But the interaction that I had with Her Majesty, a few moments later, albeit brief, would be one that would stay with me for a lifetime.

Because to think of her simply as a monarch would be to completely miss the point. What she was was a builder, a builder of bridges, because whether you voted Labour or Conservative you had one Queen; whether you were born in the UK or came here to build a better life, you had one Queen; held a faith or didn't, young or old, supported Swansea City or Cardiff City; whether you're a unionist or a separatist; whether you're a monarchist or a republican, you had one Queen. Sometimes, when we lose someone in our lives, we realise we took for granted the things that they did for us and only notice them when they're not around any longer.

What is most remarkable to me is, if you really think about what we asked of her as a country to do for us when she came to the throne, we asked her to step above it all, to represent everyone, to never put a foot out of place, to cross divides in a society, that could sometimes feel that it was more divided than ever, and to lead by example, preaching love and forgiveness to a nation that wasn't always ready to do it, and we asked it all of her at just 25 years of age. She wasn't just the Queen of this country or, indeed, the Queen of the Commonwealth, she was the Queen of the world: the Queen. She was global before the world was, and she used that status to celebrate us, to represent us and do us proud. So, Queen Elizabeth, I say, 'Thank you and God save the King.' 

I, like many others in this Chamber today, thought this was a speech that none of us would have to make. When the sad announcement came of the passing of the Queen, it left a void in our hearts and a shared grief with people right across our country and the world, as we paused together to remember the greatest servant the world had ever seen. My thoughts and prayers, along with all my constituents, are with His Majesty the King and the whole royal family, and also with the people of our country and the Commonwealth, as we come to terms with the loss of a beloved sovereign and our grandmother of the nation.

Despite the sadness and grief, I am glad that we are able to come together and remember the extraordinary life of Her late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. As many have said, she has lived a life that was well-lived, and she fulfilled her promise to serve with dignity and devotion to our nation and the Commonwealth to the end of her very long life. She was a Queen for all parts of the United Kingdom and all parts of the Commonwealth, and she was an inspiration to many people right across the globe.

I would like to take this opportunity to remember the links Her Majesty had with my home, and the people of Brecon and Radnorshire. In 1947, before becoming Queen, she was honorary president of the Royal Welsh Agricultural Society, and in 1952, she became patron of the Royal Welsh, and made a number of visits to Llanelwedd throughout the years, including marking the centenary of the Royal Welsh in 2004. In 1955, the Duke of Edinburgh, as he always did, accompanied Her Majesty on a royal tour of Wales—her first as monarch. Their first stop? Of course it had to be one of the best places in Wales: Brecon.

She visited Brecon on a number of occasions, including a service to celebrate the diamond jubilee of the diocese of Brecon and Swansea at the cathedral in 1983. On her Golden Jubilee, she visited Dolau in Radnorshire on the royal train, where she was met with smiles and happiness from all who attended, and I'm very glad to say the royal train arrived on time. To mark her own Diamond Jubilee in 2012, Her Majesty visited the Glanusk estate and was welcomed by children from over 50 schools in the area. Her Majesty braved the rain, meeting and greeting as many people as possible with that infectious smile. The Duke of Edinburgh, for most of the visit, observed, quite wisely, at a distance from a Land Rover window, always there supporting Her Majesty the Queen.

I'm unable to cover all of her visits, but that selection shows the incredible breadth and depth of Her late Majesty's relationship with the people of mid Wales and the people of Brecon and Radnorshire. In all, she had a truly remarkable life, the likes of which we are unlikely to see again. It was an honour to meet her here in person at the Senedd on our first official opening. Her Majesty and I talked about her great passion of farming, and she knew an awful lot about venison prices, and she stood for five minutes asking me how it was going—something I will not forget.

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II was a person who believed in continuity and duty, and as the heavy burden of responsibility passes to His Majesty King Charles III, to carry on the history of a monarchy that dates back over 1,000 years in these islands, we can all draw comfort that the continuity of the monarchy provides stability, hope and a sense of pride, as we all now join together as one United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and all the Commonwealth nations to say, 'Thank you, Your Majesty, rest in peace on your last journey to meet your strength and stay again. God save the King.'


Thank you, Llywydd. I am grateful for the opportunity to contribute today.

On behalf of the constituents of Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire, I very much echo the words, comments and sentiments of those who have contributed today. Tributes to Her late Majesty the Queen have come from all four corners of the world, and many have spoken more eloquently and written more articulately about Her Majesty and her reign than I ever could, so it is her words that I use to describe her.

Her strength and stay was her late husband the Duke of Edinburgh, and so too was she the strength and stay of this country for 70 years. The motion makes reference to Her Majesty's enduring commitment, especially to charities and organisations. Since 1957, Her Majesty the Queen has been a committed patron of young farmers' clubs and the opportunities the movement provides for young people in rural parts of the country. The Queen met with YFC members over her many years of service, and presented awards at the royal show. As chairman of Pembrokeshire YFC, I thank Her Majesty for her patronage of this charitable organisation, on behalf of past, present and future members across the country. Let's also not forget the special link the monarchy has with Pembrokeshire, with ancestral roots stretching back to the birth of Tudor King Henry VII in Pembroke castle, and, of course, by Her late Majesty's side throughout her life were her most loyal and doting companions, her Pembroke corgis.

I will remember Her Majesty with profound respect and admiration, but as we mark the life and service of Her Majesty the Queen, we welcome His Majesty King Charles III to the throne. Earlier this summer, I had the pleasure of welcoming His Majesty, then Prince of Wales, to the town of Narberth in my constituency. Local schoolchildren greeted him with song, people lined the streets, and a few businesses were lined up for him to visit. The then-Prince took his time, unrushed, to speak with and shake hands with many of the hundreds of people who had come out to greet him. He spoke to the school choir and their conductor, and thanked them for their performance. And not only did he visit those businesses that had been lined up, but he, with complete ease, visited others that had not been. For the King, this was one of hundreds, possibly even thousands, of visits that His Majesty had undertaken, but, for the people who came out that day to see him, it was one day they will never forget. The legacy of Her Majesty's selfless dedication to public service, to the people, continues resolutely through her son. God save the King. 


Thank you, all, for your warm words and reflections on a life lived long and well. Many of you have alluded to the Queen's official openings of this Senedd. I recall the sixth opening in particular, which turned out to be her last visit to Wales. I remember that day with particular fondness. She was on fine form that day, undertaking her official duty with the usual aplomb, smiling, talking to Members, as we've heard, and especially interested in discussing with the many COVID champions from all over Wales. She wore a suit of peachy pink that day. I had on a dress with a dash of peachy pink too. We matched perfectly, apparently. And you've no idea how many people have asked me quite seriously whether we'd pre-arranged our wardrobe choices that day, as if I was in a secret WhatsApp group with the monarch. However, I'll never quite know whether the Queen noticed that day that I was wearing odd shoes. That was by mistake, by the way, not as some act of republican defiance. Neither am I sure that day whether she noticed that in one line-up she almost missed one Member completely because the curtsy was so low, or that another Member turned up in more than one line-up. If the Queen did notice these things, she kept smiling. 

As the Queen was about to leave, I ended up in a discussion with her and the now Queen Consort. It was described apparently by a live tv commentator as 'a Dyffryn Teifi Merched y Wawr huddle', whilst, in fact, we were discussing the lack of world leader attendance at COP26. I can share that with you because that conversation was overheard and ended up, as Adam Price said, as a front-page story around the world the next day: the Queen sharing her view on the subject of the day, tackling climate change. However, I won't share with you today my very last conversation with the monarch as we ascended in the lift. But I'm reminded of it as I look around this Chamber at the 60 Members here present and I think of what lies ahead for this Senedd. Suffice it to say she was interested in our future.

And therefore I'll conclude with the last words she uttered here in this Chamber, just 11 months ago: 'diolch o galon'. Diolch, thank you, to Queen Elizabeth II for a lifetime of service, effected with dignity and grace. May she now rest in peace. 

Motion deemed agreed.

That concludes today's meeting of tribute. We will meet again next Friday to receive King Charles III to our Senedd. Thank you. 

The meeting ended at 17:03.