Boris Johnson pays tribute to Queen ahead of Platinum Jubilee celebrations: 'No monarch has ever served so well'

Mr Johnson made the comments during an address to Parliament earlier today

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No monarch has ever served the country “so long” and “so well” as the Queen, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said.

Addressing Parliament to pay tribute to Her Majesty ahead of her Platinum Jubilee, Mr Johnson said: “Since the Palace of Westminster was founded more than 1,000 years ago, it has seen war and peace, plague and plenty, the rise and fall of empires and all kinds of revolutions: scientific, industrial, political, ecumenical, stylistic.

“And almost 50 monarchs – in trying to rank the achievements of those monarchs it must be admitted that not all of them set exemplary standards of personal behaviour and quite a few were removed violently and prematurely from office.

Boris Johnson and the Queen
Boris Johnson and the Queen

“But in our history, no monarch has ever served this country so long as this one with the first Platinum Jubilee ever but far more importantly, no monarch has ever served it so well.”

The Prime Minister added: “In her 25,677 days as Queen, Her Majesty has undertaken more than 21,000 official engagements in well over 100 countries.

“She has granted royal assent to some 4,000 pieces of legislation sent to her by this House, hosted 112 state visits and been served by 14 British Prime Ministers… so far.

“Across all her realms, she has offered counsel and wisdom to more than 170 heads of Government, including two generations of Trudeau… so far. She’s the holder of at least seven world records, including the most summer Olympiads opened by one person.

“Although, only one such ceremony did she parachute out of a helicopter in a pink dress. And of course, there was one Olympic medal ceremony where she could claim to have bred both the rider, the Princess Royal, and the horse.”

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer

He continued: “It is not so much what she has done as the way she has done it. Getting the best out of people, inspiring them to serve others and to serve their communities, helping to create that invisible thread of pride and allegiance that tugs on all our hearts and makes us happy to serve or at least to do something for our country in the way that she serves this country.”

While Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer shared an anecdote about his visit to Buckingham Palace to receive a knighthood when paying tribute to the Queen ahead of the Jubilee.

Sir Keir told the Commons: “For the son of a toolmaker and a nurse growing up in a town just outside the M25, being invited to Buckingham Palace to receive a knighthood was never really in the script. It was an incredibly special moment, my parents said it was the proudest day of their lives.

“But there was a catch – my parents couldn’t bear leaving their dog at home. So in the car that drove through the gates of Buckingham Palace was my mum, my dad and our family dog. Not some small dog, but a Great Dane barking so loudly that the car almost shook from side to side.”

He added: “The image of the Queen’s corgis coming face to face with it flashed through my mind. To this day, I am grateful to the Royal Guard that my dad persuaded to watch over him during the ceremony.

“He had an audience with our family dog, so that my parents could have an audience with Prince Charles.”