Your Majesty, Mummy,
The scale of this evening’s celebration – and the outpouring of warmth and affection over this whole Jubilee weekend – is our way of saying thank you – thank you from your family, the country, the Commonwealth, in fact the whole world.
On behalf of us all, I wanted to pay my own tribute to your lifetime of selfless service in pictures, in words and in light.
Your family now spans four generations. You are our Head of State. And you are also our mother.
Your “strength and stay” is much missed this evening but I am sure he is here in spirit… My Papa would have enjoyed the show and joined us wholeheartedly in celebrating all you continue to do for your country and your people.
Looking back, we think of the countless State occasions that are milestones along this nation’s road. And you will think of red boxes, filled with Government papers, at the end of the day.
You will remember those who have led this country. Indeed, all the countries you serve. And leaders across the entire world.
How things have changed… We think of all you have done to make the Commonwealth such an important force for good. You continue to make history.
And there was still time for fun amongst the work. We might have been celebrating that Derby winner this evening… next year perhaps? But I know what really gets my mother up in the morning is all of you, Ladies and Gentlemen – all of you watching at home. Represented here tonight in this great audience.
Your Majesty, you have been with us in our difficult times. And you bring us together to celebrate moments of pride, joy and happiness.
Maybe this year, it really is coming home?
You have met us and talked with us. You laugh and cry with us and, most importantly, you have been there for us, for these seventy years. You pledged to serve your whole life - you continue to deliver. That is why we are here. That is what we celebrate tonight. These pictures on your house are the story of your life – and ours. So, Your Majesty, that is why we all say “thank you”.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I know The Queen is watching these celebrations with much emotion, having, I hope, finished her marmalade sandwich, including immense regret that she cannot be here in person with us this evening. But Windsor Castle is barely twenty miles away. If we cheer loudly enough, she might, might just hear us - so let's all join together with three enormous cheers for Her Majesty!