I and many across Lewisham East have felt a profound sense of loss since the news broke on Thursday that Her late Majesty the Queen had passed away.
Even if you were not a monarchist, I am sure you can appreciate the immense sacrifice and devotion the Queen gave to this country.
The Queen made an effort to connect with the public and she was no stranger to Lewisham. I remember fondly her visit with her husband the late Duke of Edinburgh to open the Broadway Theatre, in Catford in 2002 during her Golden Jubilee year.
I also immensely enjoyed her Platinum Jubilee this year. I referred to that during my tribute to her in the House of Commons. You can watch my speech here. I discussed how we all owe her a debt of gratitude for a lifetime of public service and how she brought communities together across the country, for instance the best street party I ever went to was for her Silver Jubilee in 1977!
Whilst her passing has deeply upset many of us across Lewisham, during her lifetime she gave us all so much cause for joy and celebration.
King Charles III has risen to the demands expected of him. His speech at 6pm on Friday was incredibly moving, so too was the Presentation of Addresses by both Houses of Parliament to His Majesty the King that was held this morning. It was a privilege to be there to represent Lewisham East. Our Country has suffered an enormous blow by losing our Queen, so I wish him nothing but the best as he begins his reign.
Long live the King.