Ian Blackford pays tribute to Queen Elizabeth II 'Queen of Scots'
The SNP Westminster leader described Queen Elizabeth II as “a steady hand guiding the ship and the perpetual symbol of stability”
SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford has spoken of the “affection which the Queen had for Scotland and that Scotland had for the Queen”.
Mr Blackford, who addressed MPs in the Commons wearing a kilt, paid tribute to Queen Elizabeth II as “a steady hand guiding the ship and the perpetual symbol of stability”.
He said: “She was a monarch who reigned with compassion and integrity and established a deep connection with the public.
“And the affection which the Queen had for Scotland and that Scotland had for the Queen, cannot be under-estimated.”
He added: “The relationship between Scotland and the Queen was one of shared admiration.
“Indeed, whilst she was everyone’s Queen, for many in Scotland, she was Elizabeth, Queen of Scots.”
The MP for Ross, Skye and Lochaber continued: “Over the coming days people up and down these islands will seek to come to terms, in their own private way, with the loss of one of the true constants in all our lives.”
“In that regard my thoughts are also with… (the) Prime Minister, just days into office and having to come to terms with the enormity of the loss of the head of state and show the leadership that is now required in her position.
“We can also help but dwell on the late Queen, who right to the end, fulfilled her duty by appointing the new Prime Minister.”
“But of course, many will feel this as a deeply personal loss, for the Queen’s continuous and abiding presence, and the leadership she has shown over seven decades, will be the enduring marker to the remarkable tenure as our head of state.
“Her Majesty the Queen has been head of state for longer than most of us have been alive and the majority of us have never known a public life without the Queen at the helm.
“For many she has been a steady hand guiding the ship and the perpetual symbol of stability.”
Queen Elizabeth II's roots in Scotland, he said, “run deep”, adding: “It is clear that these family ties gave way to a great and enduring affection and Scotland was a place that was truly held dear to her, not only in an official capacity, but in a private capacity as well.
“It is well known that Balmoral, with its beautiful and atmospheric scenery, was the Queen’s favourite home.”
He added: “It is clear that Balmoral has been a place of peace and sanctuary for her throughout her whole life, and perhaps particularly so, following the death of her husband, life companion and love, His Royal Highness, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.
“It is therefore perhaps fitting that she has met her final peace at Balmoral, a place where she found such enjoyment and comfort.”