With the Queen forced to withdraw on Monday due to recurring mobility issues, 73-year-old Charles arrived at the Palace of Westminster to read out the government’s legislative agenda.
Charles, who had attended the opening of parliament with his mother in recent years, began reading each bill by saying, “Her Majesty’s government will….”
Prior to the event, there was a mixture of confusion among those sitting in the Chamber of the House of Lords as to whether or not Charles would sit next to or stand in front of a ceremonial throne. When he arrived and sat on the throne, there was audible amazement among those who watched in person.
The program for the day presented to those who had tickets to sit in the House of Lords had not been updated to reflect the fact that the Queen herself would not be in attendance, leaving some uncertainty as to how the events of the day would unfold exactly.
The State Opening of the Parliament is an event of immense pomp in which traditionally the Queen travels to the assembly in a state coach, escorted by mounted soldiers in ceremonial uniform, while the Imperial State Crown and other regalia travel forward in a carriage of their own.
The monarch dons the robes of state before leading a procession to the upper chamber of the House of Lords, where she sits on a throne and formally opens a new parliamentary session, reading a speech written by the government outlining its legislative plans .
The Queen has missed the opportunity only twice during her 70-year reign – in 1959 and 1963, when she was pregnant with sons Andrew and Edward.
The Queen, who has missed a number of public appointments since she was hospitalized overnight for an undisclosed illness last October, was forced to issue a ‘Letters Patent’ to authorize Charles and William to play her part in the constitutional event. to feed.
Traditionally, government and opposition leaders use the Queen’s speech as a moment to put aside their differences and talk amicably as they walk from the House of Commons to the House of Lords. Starmer and Johnson, however, had their eyes fixed on them and exchanged few, if any, words.