The Senedd’s presiding office Elin Jones has welcomed King Charles and the Queen Consort to Cardiff Bay, as Senedd members gathered to offer condolences on the death of his mother, The Queen.
Sharing memories of The Queen’s last visit to Wales, just 11 months ago, Ms Jones said that Her Majesty had been on ‘fine form’ and had gently encouraged the friendly rivalry over her choice of the Pembrokeshire Corgi over the Cardigan Corgi.
Speaking at the session, Ms Jones said, “On behalf of the entire Senedd, I would like to extend a warm welcome to His Majesty the King and Her Majesty the Queen Consort on your first visit to the Senedd since the Queen’s sad passing. We extend our warmest condolences to you and your family.
“We welcome your Majesties to our Senedd today and we offer our sincerest condolences on the sad death of your mother, the Queen. We know that so many of the people we represent have been saddened, even shaken, by her loss and hold you and your family in their hearts and prayers at this time.
“As we meet here today to offer our motion of condolence, it is poignant for us to think that the Queen’s final visit to Wales was only 11 months ago at the official opening of our sixth Senedd. The Queen was on fine form that day. Many members shared their anecdotes of that visit when we met to pay tribute to the Queen and discussed our motion of condolence in the Senedd on Sunday. And as she left us, eleven months ago, I hope that Her Majesty carried with her the beaming smile of Ffion Gwyther, the last person she met that day in Wales, the young actor from Furnace Llanelli, who smiled broadly as she handed the Queen a posy.
“The stories and tributes paid by members to the Queen when we convened on Sunday were warm and witty. As you may imagine, there were many mentions of corgis - her constant, lifelong Welsh companions. Corgi, a Welsh word. Literally small dog. And of course the members here representing Pembrokeshire were particularly keen to champion her preference for the Pembrokeshire corgi. And the member for Ceredigion, me, was silent, and ever so slightly jealous, of the Queen’s choice of the Pembrokeshire corgi over the Cardiganshire corgi.
“The Queen was with us for each of the six official openings of this Senedd – and on each occasion, she noted the growth of our powers and the actions that we had taken on behalf of the people of Wales. She respected this Senedd as an expression of the democratic will of the people of Wales.
“The Queen was with us in 1999 for the opening of our first fledgling Assembly. She has shared our journey of devolution. She partook in each of our 6 openings, commenting each time on the development of our powers and in becoming a ‘national parliament’ Senedd Cymru. The Queen respected this Parliament because she respected the democratic choices of the people of Wales. She saw us come of age and was interested in our next steps.
“From Glyndŵr’s first Senedd of the fifteenth century in Machynlleth to the one in which we are gathered today, our story is old but our democracy is young and ambitious.
“It is my sincere hope that the modern relationship between this Senedd, this country and the Royal Family will be rooted in respect and sustained by understanding.
“The story of our land, our nation, is a long one, but the story of our Senedd is new and modern. Our eyes are on the future, and I am confident that our co-operation with you, the King, and with the royal family, will reflect that.
“And as we remember today the Queen’s enduring commitment to our parliament, we also look forward to the King’s future association with the Senedd and our work on behalf of the people of Wales.”