Queen remembered in Commons as MPs gather for tributes – Truss to swear oath to new King

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Regular parliamentary business has been scrapped as the UK officially enters a 10-day period of mourning. Instead of debating laws and amendments to legislation, MPs will gather in the House of Commons this afternoon to pay their respects to the woman who reigned over Great Britain for the last 70 years.

Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle confirmed last night that tributes would take place from midday today, with the House sitting until 10pm.

Unusually, MPs will also gather at the weekend, with the House of Commons sitting tomorrow as well.

The decision for the House of Commons to sit on a Saturday was made last night due to the sheer number of MPs wishing to pay their respects to the late monarch.

The Prime Minister is expected to open the debate before Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer shares his own memories and reflections on the life of Queen Elizabeth II.


Both made statements yesterday evening following the announcement of her death touching on her life of service.

Speaking in Downing Street, Ms Truss described the Queen as the “very spirit of Great Britain” before adding: “Queen Elizabeth II was the rock on which modern Britain was built. Our country has grown and flourished under her reign.

“Britain is the great country it is today because of her.”

Sir Keir said the nation would “always treasure Queen Elizabeth II’s life of service and devotion to our nation and the Commonwealth; our longest-serving and greatest monarch”.

Today’s tributes are expected to be far less formal and filled with anecdotes about her time on the throne.

Tomorrow’s session of Parliament will open at 2pm when senior MPs such as the Prime Minister and Sir Keir in his role as Leader of His Majesty’s Loyal Opposition will take an oath of allegiance to the King.

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Every MP will have the option of taking an oath to the King at a later date but are not obliged to.

Saturday’s session will end with a “formal humble address” to the King, “expressing the deep sympathy of the House” following his mother’s death at Balmoral on Thursday, the House of Commons said in a statement.

The House of Lords has similarly suspended all normal procedures and will gather today and tomorrow for peers to share their stories of the Queen.

Parliament is not due to then sit again until after the end of the official mourning period and the Queen’s funeral.

Sir Lindsay Hoyle said in a statement last night: “For all of us, the Queen has been a constant presence in our lives – as familiar as a member of the family, yet one who has exercised a calm and steadying influence over our country.

“Most of us have never known a time when she was not there. Her death is not only a tragedy for the Royal Family, but a terrible loss for us all.

“During her 70 years on the throne – and even before that, as a teenager, reassuring and engaging with children and families disrupted by the Second World War – she has given our lives a sense of equilibrium.

“While her reign has been marked by dramatic changes in the world, Her Majesty has maintained her unwavering devotion to the UK, the British Overseas Territories and the Commonwealth of Nations – and her gentle authority and sound reason have been felt throughout.”

He added: “She has been a mother, grandmother and great-grandmother – but she has been our Queen, and we will miss her beyond measure.”

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