Prince Charles compares MP’s murder to Russian ‘aggression’ as Southend becomes a city

UK

Prince Charles has likened the Russian invasion of Ukraine to the killing of Sir David Amess as he fulfilled the MP’s long-held wish of making his constituency town of Southend a city.

As he handed over the document which turned the Essex town into a city, he said: “What we saw in the terrible tragedy in Southend was an attack on democracy, on an open society, on freedom itself.

“We are seeing those same values under attack today in Ukraine in the most unconscionable way.

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The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall arrive at the Civic Centre in Southend-on-Sea attending an official council meeting to mark Southend-on-Sea becoming a city. Picture date: Tuesday March 1, 2022.
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The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall arrive at the Civic Centre in Southend

“In the stand we take here, we are in solidarity with all those who are resisting brutal aggression.”

Tireless campaign to make Southend a city

Sir David, who held the seat of Southend West for the Conservatives from 1997, was stabbed to death during a constituency surgery in Leigh-on-Sea last October.

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The 69-year-old had campaigned tirelessly to make Southend a city.

The prince said “no one could have given more” than Sir David “for the values which underpin society we share”.

The Prince of Wales meeting the public as he arrives on Southend seafront to unveil a new eco-friendly Pier Train and attend a reception for volunteers and community leaders at Sands By The Sea Restaurant. Picture date: Tuesday March 1, 2022.
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Charles and Camilla unveiled a new eco-friendly Pier Train

“Values,” he added, which “appear all the more precious at this present time when we see, more starkly than for many years, the appalling suffering and devastation caused when the path of violence is chosen.”

The Prince of Wales, acting on behalf of the Queen, handed over the Letters Patent, which seals the change, to Southend’s mayor, Margaret Borton, at a council meeting on Tuesday.

Lady Julia Amess (centre) is presented with the freedom of the City of Southend on behalf of her late husband MP Sir David Amess, by Southend's mayor, Margaret Borton (left), after the Prince of Wales formally presented Southend with the Letters Patent which grant it city status, on behalf of the Queen and following the death of the Southend MP. Picture date: Tuesday March 1, 2022.
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Lady Julia Amess (centre) is presented with the freedom of the City of Southend on behalf of her late husband

Lady Julia Amess was given the freedom of the city on behalf of her late husband.

Charles and his wife, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, then went to the seafront to unveil a new eco-friendly pier train named after Sir David.

Days after Sir David’s death, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that “Her Majesty has agreed that Southend will be accorded the city status it so clearly deserves”.

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