Her Majesty the Queen pays tribute to the people of Wales at the Official Opening of the Sixth Senedd

Published 14/10/2021   |   Last Updated 15/10/2021   |   Reading Time minutes

The kindness shown in communities all over Wales during the hardest days of the COVID-19 Pandemic was celebrated at the Official Opening of the Senedd, with COVID Community Champions – people who went out of their way to help or raise a smile in their communities over the past 18 months – attending.

The event was attended by Her Majesty The Queen and Their Royal Highnesses The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall, who met some of the community heroes in the Senedd.

The event featured both virtual and live performances, which highlighted the importance of people’s voices in shaping democracy in Wales and represented the hopes and aspirations for the next Senedd term.


Ffion Gwyther, one of the ceremony’s Covid Community Champions, hands a bouquet of posies to Her Majesty the Queen.


Addressing newly elected Members of the Senedd, Her Majesty the Queen said:

“We all owe a debt of gratitude to those who have risen so magnificently to the challenges of the last 18 months - from key workers to volunteers, who have done so much to serve their communities. They are shining examples of the spirit for which the Welsh people are so renowned, that I have personally encountered so many times.

"It is a source of pleasure that both The Prince of Wales and The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have lived in Wales and experienced its very special sense of community.

“The Welsh people have much to be proud of and over the next five years, I am sure you will continue to be inspired by their indomitable spirit, as you represent the interests of Wales and its people, make laws for Wales, and hold the Welsh Government to account.”


Children from Mount Stuart Primary, Cardiff Bay welcome the Queen.


Llywydd of the Senedd, Elin Jones MS said:

“Our work as a Senedd for the next term will undoubtedly focus on recovering from the covid pandemic. But there will also be many other challenges and opportunities – from playing a leading role in tackling climate change to promoting equality and fairness for all in Wales.

“Let our sixth Senedd be productive and innovative, and let us respect, at all times, each other as members and all the people we represent.”


Shahzad Khan, the Macebearer, leads the procession up the Senedd steps


First Minister of Wales, Mark Drakeford MS said:

“We come together for the formal opening of this sixth Senedd in the shadow of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, which has created so much sadness for so many families. Our thoughts today are with all of them.

“As we look beyond the pandemic, we recognise that we still have many challenges ahead but also many opportunities for a brighter future.

“We will use all our powers to promote prosperity, equality and wellbeing for everyone in Wales. And to turn ourselves to those other crises of our times – climate change and the loss of nature and biodiversity.”