Earlier today, Mid Worcestershire MP Nigel Huddleston spoke in Parliament following the Prime Minister’s Humble Address, a speech to mark the 90th birthday of Her Majesty The Queen.
“Mr Speaker, I am honoured and humbled to be able to follow Honourable and Right Honourable Members, and the Prime Minister, in congratulating Her Majesty the Queen on her 90th Birthday - and on 90 years of tremendous service for her country and the commonwealth.
How fortunate we are to be British. To have a Head of State in this complex modern age who is admired and respected throughout the world.
The contribution her Majesty has made to the standing of the United Kingdom in the world is hard to over-estimate.
From my own view, the Queen’s greatest contribution has been to be a steadying influence in British life through good times and bad – the one guaranteed constant in all of our lives. She has become the nation’s grandmother.
At the age of 45, I am precisely half the age of the Queen. Yet when I was born she had already been Queen for 18 years and she had been a public figure for many years before that.
Indeed, like so many members of the royal family, the Queen has led her entire life in the public gaze.
She sat for pictures almost from birth.
Her father became King when she was just ten years old.
She made her first radio broadcast on BBC’s Children’s Hour when she was just fourteen.
And she made her first solo public appearance when she was sixteen.
Indeed she has been a lady of so many firsts.
She was the first British Monarch to visit China, Australia and New Zealand, the first to address the US Congress and the first Head of State to have opened two Olympic Games.
She made the first televised Christmas broadcast in 1957, was the first monarch (and one of the first people in the world) to send an email in 1976 during a visit to an army base.
It is to her Majesty’s credit that while being a figure of great stability, she has also moved with the times.
As we entered the digital age, the Royal email address was launched in 2007, as was the Royal Channel on YouTube.
The Royal Twitter account went live in 2009 and the Royal Facebook page in 2010.
This gives the Royal household the opportunity to connect with a whole new audience on a far wider scale than ever before.
Today, the British Monarchy has 2.2 million followers on Twitter, 2.7 million likes on Facebook
A Google search for “Queen Elizabeth II” returns over 21 million results; for “the Queen” returns 214 million results - and while many others (past and present) can claim that generic title you have to go to page 6 of the search results before you come to any other topic than Her Majesty (incidentally and not surprisingly, it is a Pub).
The Queen is one of – if not THE – most recognisable figures in the world, and yet (as we have heard) one of her former protection officers, Richard Griffin, has shared a most endearing story of the time when Her Majesty came across a group of American Tourists while walking near Balmoral.
The Queen was wearing a headscarf and tweed coat at the time - and the tourists asked if she lived in the area to which she replied that she had “a house close-by”.
They then asked her if she had ever met the Queen. To which she replied:
“No” – Before pointing at the policeman and adding. “But he has…”
So many people have personal stories of their own interactions with Her Majesty. She has met hundreds of thousands of her subjects; and millions have seen her face to face at one of the many great festivals and events that she attends each year. In 2012, during Jubilee year, many residents of Worcestershire met Her Majesty when she opened the Hive library and history centre in Worcester – and attended a reception at the Guildhall.
Such personal interactions are one of the main reasons why she is so incredibly popular.
Opinion polls show that Briton’s consider Queen Elizabeth II to be our greatest ever monarch (despite some tough competition); She has reigned over a new Elizabethan age – and we are fortunate to have shared it with her.
On behalf of my constituents, the loyal people of the faithful City of Worcester and the people of Worcestershire I wish Her Majesty a very Happy 90th Birthday.”
For more information contact Nigel Huddleston on 07789983719 or his Parliamentary office on 0207 219 5814.