Tribute Speech by Dr Kieran Mullan MP

House of Commons, Saturday 10th September 2022

It is a privilege for me to pay tribute to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II today on behalf the people of Crewe & Nantwich and the surrounding villages.  

Crewe and Nantwich MP, Dr Kieran Mullan

I did not have the honour of meeting the Queen.  

Her Majesty was due to visit Bentley in my constituency shortly before the lockdown in 2020 curtailed her duties.   

The anticipation and excitement I had at the prospect will be of no surprise to anyone.   

But in a testament to her decades of service and the diligent attention she paid to every corner of her realm, her majesty has visited the area numerous times.  

In 1972 she opened Leighton Hospital. 

In 1987 she opened Crewe’s Heritage Centre and visited Crewe works.

In 1995 she was greeted by 200 South West Cheshire Scouts at Crewe Station. 

And in 2010 she visited Reaseheath College in Nantwich.  

As others have said, a visit by the Queen, the handshakes, the conversations, even just distant glimpses stay in people’s memories.  

Leighton Hospitals longest serving member of staff, Phil Malam, now aged 69, talked about the visit as part of the hospitals recent 50th anniversary celebrations.   

The visit took place just a few days after the then 19-year-old began work as a hospital porter.  

He wrote  

 ‘It was a very special day – I remember we lined the corridor and the Queen spoke to quite a few of us as she walked past. She was really interested in what we did and thanked us – a lovely lady.”  

That is just absolutely typical of how people describe interactions with the queen.  

“She was really interested in what we did and thanked us. “ 

Over 70 years I can’t even begin to imagine the number of conversations, the handshakes, the school and hospital openings, the state occasions, the visits by dignitaries, the tours abroad.  

70 years of unwavering service to this country and her people.  

Always interested, always smiling, always polite.  

In the age of celebrity, where to be famous is to be of interest TO others. 

The most famous woman in the world was more interested IN others.  

What drove her was a sense of duty and as others have said, her wish to keep that promise she made at just 21, to devote her life to our service. A promise solemnly made and solemnly kept.  

Why does that stir such strong sentiment in us?   

I think because we know our failings as humans are often rooted in selfishness of some kind or another.  

Our desire to be important, to achieve things, to be celebrated, to think mostly of ourselves and our family and friends.  

When someone extends the bonds of service to an entire nation as the queen did, to people she would never meet or know, when we see someone embodying the best of what it means to be human, the opposite of selfishness, I think that inspire us.  

It gives us a glimpse of what we are all capable of.  

That is why I admired the queen.  

But as she embodied us, the millions who undertake acts of community and voluntary service embody her as well.  

The Scout leader, the children’s Sunday league football coach, the park run and marathon steward, the Parish Councillor, the Samaritans Helpline volunteer, the litter pick group member, all follow her example. 

And now I look at that final picture of her taken this week and in retrospect I think there was a deeper meaning to that final act of service than I realised at the time.  

Right at the end of her life, when perhaps for the rest of us our own comfort would come first, Her Majesty was absolutely determined to again put that promise first.  

One last desire to help her people and her prime minister, entering another period of difficulty and uncertainty, to do so taking that first step, with her yet again at our side.  

Now rest in peace your majesty.  
God save the king.