What we thought might never happen, has happened | Burnley MP Antony HIgginbotham column

The title for this column is always “Week in Westminster”, but that doesn’t seem to do it justice this week.
Watch more of our videos on Shots!
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

Because it isn’t about what’s happened in Westminster, it’s what’s happened across the country.

Last Thursday is a day we will all remember for the rest of our lives. The place we were when we learnt of Her Late Majesty’s passing.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

As I said when I spoke in the House of Commons on Saturday, it was her remarkable way which meant that for most of her reign we were able to forget just how important

Burnley MP Antony Higginbotham at the royal proclamation in BurnleyBurnley MP Antony Higginbotham at the royal proclamation in Burnley
Burnley MP Antony Higginbotham at the royal proclamation in Burnley

she was to us. But we are now remembering.

Since the news was announced we have seen our country mobilise in the most extraordinary way. A way we can all be immensely proud of.

Parliament was immediately suspended; the television coverage changed in an instant; plans for the Royal Funeral were announced and, most importantly, people found ways to pay their respects.

With Books of Condolence opened in towns and villages right across the country – including in our own borough – there is a sense of grief that I think has taken us all by surprise.

But that grief is slowly giving way to thanks.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Thanks for the incredible life that The Queen led, and the duty she gave to us all.

Over the weekend we also saw the Accession Council meet and Proclamations read out, announcing His Majesty King Charles III as our new Sovereign.

It was a real privilege to attend the services in Preston and Burnley for these.

And most movingly of all, on Wednesday Her Late Majesty was taken from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Hall, where she will Lie in State so the nation can file past. I suspect there are few that have been able to walk past her there without a tear rolling down their cheek.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The Elizabethan age is now over, and a new Carolean age has begun.

What we thought might never happen, has happened. And our country has transitioned in a dignified and respectful way.

Now, we celebrate a new monarch who we know has a special place for our borough in his heart.

I hope all residents have been able to find comfort in this last week, as well as paying their own respects to Her Late Majesty.

On Monday we will say our final goodbye as her funeral is held in Westminster Abbey.

There may well be calls from some to abandon the monarchy, but they will never come from me.

God Save The King.