MPs sit on Saturday for only sixth time since 1939 for tributes to Queen

The House of Commons is expected to sit until around 10pm on Saturday.

MPs sit on Saturday for only sixth time since 1939 for tributes to Queen Parliament TV

MPs will pay tribute to the Queen as the House of Commons sits for only the sixth time on a Saturday since 1939.

Tributes were paid to the late monarch on Friday at Westminster, with Prime Minister Liz Truss and Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer opening the proceedings.

They were joined by senior figures including former prime ministers Boris Johnson and Theresa May, the Father of the House Sir Peter Bottomley, Mother of the House Harriet Harman, and the SNP’s leader in Westminster Ian Blackford.

However, a Saturday sitting of the Commons has been arranged to facilitate as many MPs as who wish to do so to pay their own tributes to the monarch.

It will see the House sit from 1pm on Saturday, with a small number of senior MPs taking the oath to the King.

All other MPs will have an opportunity to take the oath when the House returns at a later date.

Tributes to the Queen will then follow, with the House expected to take place until approximately 10pm.

The sitting will mark only the sixth occasion in which the Commons has sat on a Saturday since 1939.

The last time that MPs sat in the Commons on a Saturday was when Brexit negotiations were ongoing, during the early months of Boris Johnson’s premiership in October 2019.

On the prior occasions, MPs sat on Saturday, September 2, 1939 at the outbreak of World War Two.

They then sat on Saturday, July 30, 1949 for summer adjournment debates.

On Saturday, November 3, 1956, MPs attended the Commons over the Suez crisis.

During Margaret Thatcher’s premiership, the Commons sat on Saturday, April 3, 1982 following the Falkland Islands invasion.

Speaking on Friday, Speaker of the House Sir Lindsay Hoyle praised the Queen for her ‘magnificent service” as he said that she had seen 57 complete sessions of Parliament and 18 general elections during her reign.

“Almost all of us in the House have experienced no other Monarch on this country’s throne but her late Majesty,” he told MPs.

“There indeed, only a score or so Members in this House will have already been born, let alone who can recall a time when she wasn’t The Queen.

“She is wedded in our minds with the Crown and all that it stands for.

“After accession in February 1952, she first came to the Palace of Westminster to open the session of Parliament in November 1952, when Winston Churchill was the prime minister and speaker William Morrison was in the Chair, almost 70 years ago.

“57 complete sessions of Parliament have passed since then and as she was was here to open all but three of them, as parliamentarians we have celebrated with her her Silver, Golden, Diamond Jubilees and of course, marked her Platinum Jubilee this year in which the lamp standards have been unveiled in New Palace Yard.

“In this place, her reign saw ten different speakers occupy the Chair. During her reign, there were 18 general elections and I’m sure the Prime Minister will remind of us how many of her predecessors she welcomed to, and always I am sure, with quiet wisdom.

“As the longest serving monarch this country has ever known, she would have been assured of a notable entry in our history books, even were it not for the magnificence in which she undertook the role as Queen, but for her magnificent service and what a service that entailed.

“Not just as head of the nation, but head of the Commonwealth, head of the Armed Forces, and supreme governor of the Church of England.”

Sir Lindsay told the Commons that memories of the Queen will be filled with an image of a “gently smiling dedication” shown throughout her lifetime.

“Over her reign, she has seen unprecedented social, cultural, technological change. Through it all, she was the most conscientious and dutiful of monarchs,” the Speaker continued.

“But while she understood the inescapable nature of duty, which sometimes must have weighed upon her heavily, she also delighted in carrying it out for she was the most devoted monarch.

“As well as Queen, she was a wife, a mother, a grandmother and great-grandmother, roles she carried out with the same sense of vocation as well as human kindness as the role of Queen.

“Her life, without unhappiness and troubles, but our memories of her will be filled with that image of a gently smiling dedication that showed throughout her life.

“Indeed, while this is a time of very considerable sadness, those memories of a noble, gracious lady who devoted her life to her family, the United Kingdom and those nations around the world whom she served as Queen will bring us some consolation and joy.”

The Speaker concluded: “My deepest sympathies are with His Majesty the King and others members of the Royal Family to whom I commend all our sincere condolences and support at this very, very sad time.”

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