THINKING back several weeks to September 8, it seems that for many of us, this was the last time that life felt truly normal.

When news came through that Her late Majesty was in ill-health, the Scottish Parliament united in hoping for the best, while fearing for the worst.

Later that evening, when the devastating news arrived that Her late Majesty had passed away, I doubt that any of us were prepared for how we would feel.

The depth of emotion we have seen in response to these tragic events makes it clear just how respected and loved Her late Majesty was, not just to people across the United Kingdom, but to people across the world.

Her late Majesty may have been a monarch to millions of people, but her influence and legacy stretched far beyond the boundaries of the United Kingdom and Commonwealth.

Personally, I was honoured to have the opportunity to pay my own respects in Edinburgh when Her late Majesty was carried via procession to St Giles' Cathedral.

I then witnessed an address to the Scottish Parliament from His Majesty King Charles III, and the following week I had the opportunity to pay tribute to Her late Majesty with a speech in parliament.

Having travelled to London during the final days of the period of national mourning, I was touched by the outpouring of emotion from all those who stood in line for hours to pay their respects, and by the countless flowers that were laid at sites across the capital.

But I must also put on record my appreciation for all the civil servants, armed forces members, and many others who worked so hard to ensure Her late Majesty's funeral was truly an occasion that was befitting of our longest ever reigning monarch.

I had the privilege of meeting Her late Majesty on more than one occasion, most notably when I received my MBE at the Palace of Holyrood House in 2016.

As with many who had the honour of meeting her during her 70-year reign, I remember my brief conversation with her very well.

Her late Majesty was often described as being friendly, approachable, and quick-witted, and I was pleased to discover that this description is entirely accurate.

Many of us have fond memories of Her late Majesty, but we must remember that while she was a monarch to most of us, to others she was a mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother.

My thoughts and prayers go out to the royal family at what must be a difficult and emotional time.

Over recent weeks, many different people have written many different words on this subject.

It is difficult to know what could possibly be added to the tributes that have been made by all those to whom Her late Majesty was clearly so very important.

But after all that has been said, one thing is completely clear: The world will never forget Her late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

God Save The King.