London at dawn. The Thames is in full flood, its muddy waters turned to a deep blue by the cloudless sky above. The rising sun is picking out every detail of the Palace of Westminster, its honey-coloured limestone now golden, transforming what is too often a museum of pomp and empty circumstance into something startlingly beautiful. I’m standing on Westminster Bridge, looking east, towards the towers of the City of London, to Essex and Kent, and beyond to Europe.

I’m there to film a short message, and now as I watch the recording again, eight years later, I realise I look like someone who has ...


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