‘There are tears in our eyes’: leading Sheffield politician with MBE pays touching tribute to Queen Elizabeth II
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Councillor Shaffaq Mohammed, leader of Sheffield Liberal Democrats who was given an MBE for his political service, said he cancelled everything in his diary out of respect and has been mourning the loss of the monarch with his family who were devastated by the news.
He said: “We feel like one of our own has passed away if I’m being honest. We all have tears in our eyes.
“We know it’s an inevitable death but it’s particularly sad being someone as much respected as Her Majesty the Queen who has continued right throughout her life, taking over at such a young age and serving the country for 70 odd years.
“My daughter was saying at the jubilee they got all this stuff from school and ‘I’m going to keep them now forever’. It’s not just us of a certain age who are touched by Her Majesty the Queen, it’s also children are going to be incredibly sad.
“It just hits you…I went home and said to my wife ‘I can’t believe it’ and that was it, the TV was on and we were glued to it all night just watching and reflecting on our time when we visited Buckingham Palace.”
He added it was evident when travelling that the Queen was admired around the globe as well as at home.
“She is much respected not just in this nation but right across the world,” he said. “I remember when I went to Kashmir, where our family originates from, I was touched by the number of shops that had the picture of Her Majesty the Queen behind the counter.
“I remember asking some of the shopkeepers: you’re an independent country why have you got that picture there? They said because she’s also our Queen, not just yours.
“I came back and I was speaking to my late father and I said I can’t believe they have got pictures of the Queen. And he said, well, why wouldn’t they so many people from that part of the world now live and work in this country and have so many contacts and so many people respect the Queen.
“As he said, prime ministers come and go – the constant in all our lives has been Her Majesty the Queen.”
Remembering Queen Elizabeth II
Like many others, Coun Mohammed visited the Town Hall with his family to write in the book of condolence and lay flowers in the Peace Gardens.
In their tribute they wrote: “My family extends to yours deepest of sympathy with loss of our beloved Queen Elizabeth II.
“She has always been there during our lifetime. A shining example of eternal grace, wisdom and love for all of us. She will forever be in our hearts.
“May she rest in peace.”
The book of condolence is open for tributes at the Town Hall from Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm, until the day after Her Majesty’s funeral.
The online book can be found here: https://www.sheffield.gov.uk/your-city-council/messages-of-condolence
The local proclamation – the official announcement of the new monarch – for King Charles III will take place in Barker’s Pool from 1pm on Sunday, September 11, for South Yorkshire. It will also be shown on a big screen in the city centre.