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Our Man in Holyrood: Inverness and Nairn MSP Fergus Ewing pays tribute to Queen Elizabeth II following her passing this week

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Queen Elizabeth II and The Duke of Edinburgh during a visit to Elgin in 2014. Picture: Daniel Forsyth.
Queen Elizabeth II and The Duke of Edinburgh during a visit to Elgin in 2014. Picture: Daniel Forsyth.

Like many across Scotland, the United Kingdom, and the world, I join in feeling a deep sadness at the news on the death of her Majesty the Queen on Thursday, writes MSP Fergus Ewing.

I also offer my sincere condolences to his Majesty the King, the Queen Consort and the wider Royal Family for what I am sure is a very difficult time.

Her Majesty’s service over her long life and reign for more than 70 years, has been a constant in our national life and nothing short of remarkable, without precedent, and hugely appreciated both here in Scotland and throughout the Commonwealth. The tributes to Her Majesty the Queen from around the world are testament to the high regard in which she was held.

During her reign she performed her royal duties with great wisdom and dedication to the people that she served which I have always greatly respected and admired. It is quite remarkable just how selfless she was, in devoting her whole and long life to the service of others, and how those whom she met were put at ease, charmed, and impressed.

MSP Fergus Ewing.
MSP Fergus Ewing.

Her words have served to inspire us, on tough occasions they have comforted us and she has been a symbolic figure head of the values we across these islands hold strongly.

Read more: Businesses pay tribute to the Queen

Her Majesty had a great love and respect for Scotland. She took a close personal interest in the Scottish Parliament, at the Reconvening ceremony in 1999 and further Sessions, as well as building positive and valued relationships with all First Ministers.

She often enjoyed Scotland’s beautiful outdoors at her residence in Balmoral. Indeed, she took great interest in the estate there and spent much of her final happy years with the Duke of Edinburgh in the residence.

I do hope those memories are a form of comfort to her family at this time as she spent her final days in a place she held very dear to her that was filled with lifelong happy memories.

Of course, this is a moment of acute loss and profound sadness, but it also marks the end of era and a moment or enormous significance as King Charles takes the throne.

King Charles has had possibly the longest apprenticeship in history, and I am sure, having had discussions with him at two private audiences, when I served in the Scottish Government Cabinet, that he will follow her example. Like his mother, he loves and cherishes Scotland and cares passionately for the welfare of the people.

- Fergus Ewing is the SNP MSP for Inverness and Nairn.

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