I can still remember the street party we held for the Queen’s coronation.
Even all these years later.
I remember the sheer joy of the occasion and the smiles on everyone’s faces.
Throughout the Queen’s childhood she was never expecting to wear the crown.
Even after her father unexpectedly became King, she could not have imagined her time would come so soon.
At 25 years old she had the weight of the nation put on her shoulders.
I am sure that her faith gave her strength.
When she became Queen, she declared that she would be devoted to our service for her whole life, whether it was long or short.
This was a promise that she kept until the very end.
Only this week appointing her 15th British Prime Minister.
And perhaps fittingly, her last appointee was her namesake.
The Queen visited St Helens several time over her reign.
I remember the first time shortly after the coronation.
It brought immense excitement to the town.
One time she visited Pilkington’s, a local glass factory that is part of the fabric of our town.
I was fortunate enough to meet the Queen during my time in local government.
She was very pleasant.
She had a smile to light up a room.
She gave off a warmth that put everyone at ease.
Queen Elizabeth II gave her life to serving this country and its people.
She set an example to all of us in public service.
An example that we should always strive to follow.
We are all of us, Elizabethans.
This has been the second great Elizabethan age.
May her example be a legacy to us all.
May she rest is peace.
God save the King.