“Crown me, please, Your Majesty” — MP recalls plucky Allison’s appeal to the Queen
The tale relates to a ten-year-old girl from Letwell, who, the Queen’s visit in 1977, was dressed in a purple velvet cloak, holding a plea for the Queen printed on a cardboard sign.
Mr Stafford said: “It read: ‘Dear Queen of England, please crown me Queen of Aston Fence School. Love Allison’.
“As the Queen passed by, she duly obliged.
“Taking the sign, Her Majesty asked Allison, ‘So, you want to be crowned, do you?’
“Then, carefully picking up the home-made crown, held on a velvet cushion by Allison’s page boy, seven-year-old Mathew Orton, of Woodhouse Mill, Her Majesty regally placed it on Allison’s head, thus crowning her the queen of Aston Fence School.
“That anecdote, like many from across the country, encapsulates what Her Majesty meant to Rother Valley, the United Kingdom and the world.
“Despite all the grandeur, the pomp and ceremony, and the serious constitutional role that she played, Her Majesty’s most winning qualities were humour, kindness and the famous mischievous twinkle in her eye.
“She was a cultural icon, but beneath it all, she was the nation’s grandmother.
“She loved all of us, and was beloved by all of us in return.”
Mr Stafford, who later laid flowers at Buckingham Palace on behalf of his constituents, praised the Queen’s “unwavering service”, as well as as “her calmness and stoicism during difficult times; and the continuity and stability she offered our country and our people”.
He said: “She personified the virtues of loyalty and humility, never complaining and setting a towering example for world leaders, future monarchs and ordinary people alike.
“She epitomised the concept of a constitutional monarch and took this responsibility incredibly seriously, thus cementing the role of the constitutional monarchy in this country, remaining above politics yet imparting profound wisdom to unnumerable prime ministers and parliamentarians over seven decades.”