She Will Be Sorely Missed in N. Wales; the People of Wales Pay a Warm Tribute to the Queen Mother Political Leaders Announce Urgent Recall of the National Assembly Churches Call for Special Prayers as Official Flags Fly at Half Mast
Byline: Eryl Crump and David Powell
FLAGS flew at half mast across North Wales yesterday as the region paid its own tribute to the Queen Mother.
Church leaders, politicians and general public alike spoke fondly and emotionally about the much-loved royal.
And the National Assembly is to be recalled to allow AMs to pay tribute to her. The Assembly was not due to reconvene until Tuesday, April 16, but Presiding Officer Lord Dafydd Elis-Thomas has summoned members, who are currently on their Easter break, to a special session to be held on Thursday April 4.
The statement from Lord ElisThomas's office read: "Following a request from the First Minister Rhodri Morgan, the Presiding Officer of the National Assembly Lord Dayfdd Elis-Thomas is recalling the Assembly for members to pay their respects to the Queen Mother.
"The Assembly is being recalled for a special session as 11.30am on Thursday April 4.
"There will be a short statement from the Presiding Officer and Assembly Members will be able to pay tribute to the Queen Mother.
"The Presiding Officer will also be sending a message of condolence to the Queen on behalf of the National Assembly."
First Minister Rhodri Morgan said: "It is with great sadness that I heard the news of the Queen Mother's death.
"She will always be remembered in Wales with great affection especially as she was Queen during the dark days of the Second World War.
She and the King showed fortitude and forthright courage when they remained in London during the Blitz. We send our sympathies to the Royal Family."
Plaid Cymru President Ieuan Wyn Jones said: "The death of the Queen Mother marks the end of an era and the conclusion of a remarkable life which witnessed so many landmark events of the last century."
Welsh Tory leader Nick Bourne said: "For 80 years she served her country with the utmost commitment and compassion. She has touched the hearts and lives of so many people and became a pillar of strength during this country's darkest times."
Lembit Opik, leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats, said: "She will be missed because of her sheer humanity, a role model for civic life, quite simply because her soul shone out in our times."
The Anglican Archbishop of Wales, the Most Reverend Dr Rowan Williams, said everyone would remember the Queen Mother as an example of stability, courage, wit and lightness of heart.
Dr Williams said: "Beneath the surface, she was a person of deep and undemonstrative faith which clearly informed all that she did.
"We shall be remembering her with great gratitude in our prayers this weekend.
"For the Queen, who has had two enormous bereavements in close succession, the message of Easter will have special power and resonance this year.
"The thoughts and prayers of all in the Church in Wales will be with the whole Royal Family."
Lord Wyn Roberts, formerly Conservative MP for Conwy, said it was sad that she should have died during the Queen's Golden Jubilee year.
He met the Queen Mother when he was Minister of State in the Welsh Office.
He recalled: "I remember meeting her at Lancaster House in London when she was in her eighties.
"She met hundreds of teachers from all parts of the Commonwealth and Europe and her strength came through. …