Pendle MP who served as Vice Chamberlain (HM Household) pays his respects to Queen Elizabeth II
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Mr Stephenson also recalled the many times he had spoken to the monarch during his time as MP.
He said: “Her Majesty the Queen’s contribution to the UK over her long reign has been immense. My thoughts and prayers and the thoughts and prayers of people across Pendle, the UK and the Commonwealth are with the Royal Family at this time.
“For this news to come so soon after thousands of people across Pendle took part in events to mark Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee is especially tragic.
“Over the coming days there will be many tributes to Her Majesty. Having had the privilege to serve as Vice Chamberlain of Her Majesty’s Household 2018-2019, helping provide a link between Parliament and Buckingham Palace, I had the honour of meeting Her Majesty on several occasions and even telling her a few things about Pendle.
"On every occasion we met I was struck by her interest in current events and her life-long service to our nation. As our longest-reigning monarch and the world’s longest-serving head of state, she had an incredible insight into current affairs and was a great symbol of continuity in a rapidly changing world.
“I remember vividly a discussion we had about the online abuse that Members of Parliament often face on social media. Her Majesty recalled a conversation she had had with Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web, and talked knowledgably about the subject, despite social media being something most people in their nineties would know or care little about.
"We also discussed interviews that had been on the BBC News at Ten the night before demonstrating Her Majesty’s desire to stay on top of current events and understand how people across the country thought about different issues. All these meetings took place with Her Majesty standing throughout and were often sandwiched between multiple other official engagements she was undertaking.
“I last met Her Majesty on July 19th this year when I was sworn into Her Majesty's Most Honourable Privy Council. This was our first ever meeting online, but at 96 years old she was still working and was all over the detail of the agenda. This was Her Majesty’s last ever privy council meeting.
“Despite massive change happening during her reign, support for the monarchy remained consistently high, as did her personal popularity. Seeing all the flags and bunting across Pendle during the Jubilee, I know that many local people wanted to show their appreciation to a remarkable woman.
“God save the King and the Queen Consort!”
East Lancashire had the honour of receiving the three most senior Royals in 2012 as the Queen celebrated 60 years on the throne.
Her Majesty was joined by the Duke of Edinburgh and HRH the Prince of Wales for a day-long tour of the town to mark the Jubilee.
The trio arrived by barge and spent the morning walking around the Weavers’ Triangle and Victoria Mill before heading off to the UCLan/Burnley College Campus in Princess Way and then Turf Moor.