Your Excellency, Prime Minister, Ladies and Gentlemen.
I count it a great privilege to be standing here tonight, representing The Queen in Jamaica on her Diamond Jubilee. Her Majesty has asked me to extend her great good wishes to you all, and is sorry that she can’t be here – so you’re stuck with me… but don’t worry, cos every liddle ting gonna be aright!
It is many years since The Queen first came to Jamaica – 59, in fact. Ever since then, this island and its people have retained a very special place in her heart. Your vibrancy and vigour, your wonderful welcome to visitors and your island’s natural beauties – all combine to make Jamaica unique. The Queen recognised this early in her life, and has communicated her very high regard for Jamaica and Jamaicans to successive generations of her family.
As a representative of the younger generation, I see fully what my Grandmother means. This is truly an exciting place to be. Jamaicans are exciting people to be around – especially when they run the 100 metres in 9.58.
If I may, just for a moment, I would like to take this opportunity to pay a personal tribute to my Grandmother. For me, as for millions of people around the world, her lifetime’s service to others is truly an inspiration.
But she combines all her virtues as a leader and as a Head of State, with those of being a wonderful, caring grandmother – to whom we, her grandchildren, are utterly devoted.
It just leaves me, therefore, to say on behalf of The Queen how grateful Her Majesty is for the heartfelt way in which Jamaicans have embraced her Diamond Jubilee and are helping her to celebrate it.
As for me, I haven’t been here for long, but – wow – if I had, I’m not sure my Grandmother would get me back.
Thank you, Your Excellency, Prime Minister, Ladies and Gentlemen.