This afternoon, Friday, Mel paid tribute to Her Majesty in the House of Commons.
He said: ‘The Queen was a frequent visitor to the South West.
‘Most recently in Cornwall at the G7 summit she met Joe Biden for the first time. ‘One of the 13 US Presidents with whom she struck up an acquaintance.
‘And it was at the Royal Naval College in Dartmouth she was to meet her future husband Prince Philip for the first time.
‘That is something of which Devon can be proud.
‘I met the Queen a small number of times.
‘She was sharp, kindly, humorous (with a twinkle in her eye).
‘You could tell that she could be great fun.
‘And wise – based on her huge experience of life and the world.
‘And… just as everyone told me… she put you at your ease.
‘She was good to be with. It was the honour of my life to have spent just a little time with her.
‘We owe her a great deal.’
His speech can be watched at: https://www.melstridemp.com/queenelizabeth