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The Somerset Guardian, 21st September 2022

On Monday, I was immensely privileged to attend the State Funeral for the late Queen as Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy; a job I only hold because I am the Member of Parliament for North East Somerset. Thank you for allowing me this great honour. I am deeply conscious and grateful that I was only present at this extraordinary and most moving of events in our nation’s history because of you.

The Funeral Service was attended by over 2,000 people as the Family, nation Commonwealth and world paid tribute to Her Majesty’s unparalleled reign as our Liege Lord through her long, extraordinary life of duty.

The Service was conducted by the Dean of Westminster and the Sermon and the Commendation were given by the Archbishop of Canterbury. Apparently, the Queen herself had chosen her favourite hymns which were sung with gusto as her life was celebrated and her death mourned in Westminster Abbey, on the streets of London and Windsor and in four billion homes worldwide. At the request of His Majesty, the wreath on her coffin contained various flowers and foliage including myrtle, which was cut from a plant grown from myrtle in The Queen's wedding bouquet. A touching detail to honour her union with Prince Philip.

The military parade as Her Majesty travelled from Westminster Abbey to Hyde Park and then on to Windsor surrounded by vast crowds was remarkable. The symbols of sovereignty, the Imperial State Crown, the Orb and Sceptre on the coffin all reminders of temporal transience and constitutional continuity. In both respects, it was a most befitting, reverent farewell.

As The Queen once said: "We are all visitors to this time, this place. We are just passing through. Our purpose here is to observe, to learn, to grow, to love...and then we return home."

Finally, she returned home to Windsor Castle, her passage watched by her beloved Corgis and Fell Pony, Emma, who famously brought her so much joy. Here her mortal remains will rest in the hope of the resurrection while her soul by the mercy of God ascends to heavenly glory.

“Eternal rest grant unto her O Lord and may perpetual light shine upon her. May she rest in peace. Amen”.

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