LONDON, May 26 — British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will pay tribute to Queen Elizabeth on Thursday ahead of four days of celebrations next week to honour her 70 years on the throne, describing her as the nation’s rock.
Elizabeth, 96, marked seven decades on the throne in February, and nationwide events to commemorate her Platinum Jubilee, including a thanksgiving service and a music concert outside Buckingham Palace, will take place from June 2 to 5.
In parliament on Thursday, politicians will deliver their tributes to the queen in a “humble address”, with the debate opened by Johnson.
“Today we pay tribute to a head of state whose length of service and dedication to duty to are simply without parallel,” Johnson will say according to extracts released by his office.
“The only monarch most of us in this country have ever known and the rock to which our nation and our people have been anchored throughout all that the past 70 years have thrown at us.”
Elizabeth became the queen of United Kingdom and more than a dozen other realms including Canada, Australia and New Zealand on the death of her father King George VI on Feb. 6, 1952, while she was in Kenya on an international tour.
Johnson will say the people of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth of Nations, the group of 54 countries which the queen also heads, would be unabashed in celebrating not the institution but the individual who wore the crown.
“This remarkable woman who by God and her right has led her country through good times and bad,” he will say. “Who has dedicated her life to her people, to her beloved Commonwealth, to the very idea of what a constitutional monarchy can and should be.”
The four days of celebrations begin next Thursday with the traditional ‘Trooping the Colour’ military parade in central London, and will also include a service at London’s St Paul’s Cathedral on Friday, a concert outside Buckingham Palace the next day, and a pageant through the British capital on Sunday. — Reuters