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Jake Berry tribute to Queen Elizabeth II: Conservatives mourn the passing of the Queen along with the entire nation

Jake Berry tribute to Queen Elizabeth II: Conservatives mourn the passing of the Queen along with the entire nation

Queen Elizabeth II smiles at Windsor Castle (Alamy)

3 min read

Nothing could have prepared me for the outpouring of admiration, personal testimony and grief that members of the Conservative Party up and down the country felt at the news. 

I was told by an experienced old hand that my inbox was going to be busy. This advice was given in what feels like a different age.

Nothing could have prepared me for the outpouring of admiration, personal testimony and grief that members of the Conservative Party up and down the country felt at the news. 

For decades and centuries to come, her life of service and devotion will be held up as a shining example of the best of Britain

Hundreds of emails; thousands of comments on social media. The times when Her Majesty visited. The times Her Majesty unveiled. The times Her Majesty was there for us. 

As politicians she was there for us every year, in person, to outline her government’s priorities for the forthcoming parliamentary session. She stood above the fray of political discourse, but dominated it with her presence, her experience, her duty to help those in positions of power who needed her wise counsel. 

And so it turned to us on that Friday and Saturday following her death. Politicians had had little time to digest the news; shock was the prevailing emotion, and the words spoken were raw, unfiltered and uttered from the heart. 

What we heard were the same messages I had read from Conservative members. 

Her Majesty was there, a constant presence in our ever-changing world. 

As time moves on, the grief will make way for a more reflective, celebratory understanding of an amazing woman and her amazing life of service. 

As more voices add to the chorus of personal testimony, the picture becomes richer. We discover more about Her Majesty’s impact upon every corner of her realm. 

For me, I will always draw upon the initial outpouring from members of the Conservative Party to remember this period.

The grandmother who had watched every Queen’s Speech. Her Majesty was there for her. In her living room, every Christmas. 

The young man involved in charity; Her Majesty was there for him. 

The council members, too many to count, who had a sleepless night before Her Majesty visited. Her Majesty, time and time again, was there for them.

In response to this outpouring, I, as chairman of the Conservative Party, have a simple message. Her Majesty’s legacy will live on. 

For decades and centuries to come, her life of service and devotion will be held up as a shining example of the best of Britain. 

When we, in our lives, strive to put a cause above our own interests, when we work tirelessly for our families, or when we help others, know that we are following in the footsteps of Her Majesty. 

We are left in good hands. King Charles’ speech the day after her death evening was a signal that he, like his mother, will be there for us all. 

We grieve, as her Majesty said, for the price for true love. 

Mourning and grief will subside. In its way will be left gratitude. Gratitude for what Her Majesty gave to us, what she taught us, what she sacrificed for us.

Jake Berry is chairman of the Conservative Party and Conservative MP for Rossendale and Darwen

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