'She united us': London Mayor pays tribute to Queen Elizabeth II at City Hall remembrance service

"She offered a calm, understated leadership" - London Mayor pays tribute to the Queen at a remembrance service in London


The mayor of London has paid tribute to the country's "unifying" Queen at a remembrance service at City Hall.

Sadiq Khan praised the late monarch's "good humour, authentic humility and human touch" in a speech to London Assembly members.

"The outpouring of grief, sorrow and affection that we've witnessed since the devastating news reached us of her late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II's passing shows how many lives she touched with her singular grace and powerful example of dignity and duty," he said.

He described the Queen as having a "unique and unrivalled" capacity to bring people together.

"She offered continuity and a calm, understated leadership," he said. "She resolved tensions that out society had often struggled to and she did so with subtlety and style.

"Yes, there was still the pomp and pageantry but it was combined with parachute jumps and paddington bear. That good humour, that authentic humility and that human touch was what endeared her to us all."

Recalling his personal connection to the monarch, the mayor revealed one of his favourite childhood memories was watching the Queen's Silver Jubilee procession from his hometown estate in Tooting, and said he would never forget his "pride" at later becoming a member of the Queen's Privy Council.

Of the new King Charles III, he said: "I have every faith he will follow the golden example set by his mother."

The Queen’s coffin will make a poignant journey to Buckingham Palace later on Tuesday, while the King travels to Northern Ireland for the first time as monarch.

Thousands of soldiers took part in a full rehearsal for the procession of the coffin in central London in the early hours of Tuesday.

A senior British Army officer said on Tuesday that participating in the procession is "our last opportunity to do our duty for the Queen".

"For everybody on parade it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity," said Major General Christopher Ghika, of the Household division.

"It’s a very sad day, but it’s our last opportunity to do our duty for the Queen and it’s our first opportunity to do it for the King, and that makes us all very proud."


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