Shannon pays respects to Westminster during Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral
Strangford MP Jim Shannon said he was “overwhelmed” by the mountain of cards and gifts left in Green Park and Buckingham Palace following the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
Mr Shannon said: “It was an absolute honor and privilege to travel to London last week to pay my respects to Her Majesty.
“I decided to head over when my office assistant Naomi booked her annual leave and bought a flight to go over and pay her respects to Her Majesty.
“We walked together and indeed met many others from Northern Ireland who felt the same way and paid our respects as Naomi left her poem with thousands of other tributes in Green Park.
“We then went to Buckingham Palace and took a moment there before going to Westminster Hall to pay our respects.
“I think I know Westminster Hall well and I walk back and forth between halls very often to get to debates, and yet there was something incredibly different about this room. It didn’t feel the same.
“It was an awesome, universal stillness that came down – it felt very awesome. While in some ways I was aware of others around me, in other ways I felt it was just me and that beautifully decorated lonely coffin with the state crests glittering in the darkness.
“It felt like a blanket was wrapped around me, excluding me from everyone else, and the emotion of saying goodbye to my Queen – whom I had served in uniform and in the House of Commons for many years – was very raw.
“It was so strange to be part of the company’s grief and yet feel so isolated in my own feelings.
“I have felt this emotion at the various community events I have attended, culminating in Sunday night in Conway Square when hundreds of people took part in an act of respect and memory of a Queen we all adored.
“Sitting at home with my wife Sandra on Monday watching the funeral, those emotions once again surfaced as we watched the removal of the sceptre, orb and crown and watched as a new chapter in the story of this one began great nations began as we sang God Save the King.
“I believe that our monarchy will continue to thrive as we learn the lesson of The Queen’s Mystery – to put God first and the rest of the service, devotion and duty that come as the fruits of that relationship.”
“I pray that in their grief our King and Royal Family will know the very real presence of God and His impact on their lives.
Shannon takes the oath on Ulster Scots to King Charles III. to swear allegiance at Westminster
Jim Shannon MP Strangford took his oath of allegiance to King Charles III.
He said: “I vividly remember the first time I took the oath of office to Queen Elizabeth as Member of Parliament and the absolute honor I felt representing the people of Strangford.
“And I felt that same honor 12 years later when I swore my oath to King Charles. The oath felt strangely familiar yet different as I renewed my vows to the monarchy and yet didn’t speak my Queen’s name.
“Yet it was with unwavering loyalty and fidelity that I took the oath to my king in Ulster Scots, my native tongue.
“The language of Ulster Scots is a beautiful language and I am proud of my history and heritage and grateful to the speaker for allowing me to take the oath in the language so many of my constituents speak and understand.”
Mr Shannon said: “As we navigate a world without Elizabeth the Great, I remain proud to be British and to serve the House of Windsor under King Charles III.
“And I am proud to serve the people of Strangford in the world’s largest seat of democracy, the United Kingdom.”