'She did her bit' - Veterans pay thanks to the Queen for her lifelong service

  • Watch: ITV News Meridian's Kit Bradshaw reports from the RBLI village

Veterans at the Royal British Legion Industries village at Aylesford have praised Queen Elizabeth for her years of service.

Many of them met Her Majesty in 2019, in what would be the late monarch's last visit to Kent.

At the time, the royal helped celebrate a special anniversary for the charity, which offers vital support to former armed forces personnel.

She spent time chatting with veterans and their families at the site, where she wore a purple outfit along with one of her distinctive hats.

The Queen meets veteran, John Riggs, as part of her visit. Credit: ITV Meridian

On Monday, 12 September, many told ITV News Meridian how they fondly remember that day and how immense the Queen's legacy is.

Ray Chopping, a dental technician in the RAF, said he would never forget the time he met with the Queen.

Ray served between 1953 and 1957 moved to the RBLI village in June 2019, just a few months before the Queen visited.

He said: "I shall remember it to the end of my days. And, you know, I think the country has appreciated the work she did.

"Right from when she was a young woman, especially all the work she did in the war.

"She was in the women's army corp, driving lorries... she did her bit."

Their comments come as King Charles III vowed to "faithfully follow" the Queen's example of "selfless duty" in first address to Parliament.

In an address to around 900 Lords and MPs, the King quoted William Shakespeare as he described his mother’s legacy and spoke of feeling the “weight of history” as he stood inside the historic room.

Speaking from a gilded lectern, he said: "As Shakespeare says of the earlier Queen Elizabeth, she was ‘a pattern to all princes living’."

He continued: "As I stand before you today, I cannot help but feel the weight of history which surrounds us and which reminds us of the vital Parliamentary traditions to which members of both Houses dedicate yourselves with such personal commitment, for the betterment of us all."

The King vowed to "faithfully follow" his mother's "example of selfless duty" in his new role, as he described Parliament as the "living and breathing instrument of our democracy".

"While very young, Her late Majesty pledged herself to serve her country and her people and to maintain the precious principles of constitutional government which lie at the heart of our nation," he said.

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