Britain’s heirs Prince Charles and Prince William on Tuesday replaced 96-year-old Queen Elizabeth, who missed the grand set-piece event with health issues, amid the fanfare and spectacle of Parliament’s opening.
With the Queen being forced to retreat for the first time in nearly 60 years, Charles stepped into the Palace of Westminster to read out the government’s legislative agenda, the first time he had performed such a huge constitutional duty.
The Queen, the world’s oldest and longest-reigning monarch, has been absent from nearly all high-profile public events in recent months. He was forced to miss speeches due to recurring mobility issues.
Charles, who had attended Parliament openings with his mother in recent years, wore the uniform of an admiral to read the agenda from the throne. While the Queen would announce “the will of my government”, Prince Charles said “Her Majesty’s government will…”.
The State Opening of Parliament is an event of immense fanfare and pageantry, which traditionally sees the Queen traveling the assembly in a state coach, escorted by cavalry in ceremonial uniform, while the Imperial State Crown and other regalia hold their Travel ahead in the car. own.
The ceremony, which takes place in the spring or after a national election, marks the centuries-old separation of power between the Crown, the elected House of Commons, the House of Lords, and the judiciary.
The monarch dons the state robe before leading a procession to the upper house, where he formally opens a new session of parliament, reading a speech by the government outlining its legislative plans.
She reads the document in a formal and neutral tone to avoid any feeling of approval or disapproval of the policies, a view also adopted by her son on Tuesday.
Charles sat next to the Queen’s crown and his eldest son William and his wife Camilla, wearing red formal robes, gave speeches to parliamentarians and lords.
The Queen has missed the occasion only twice during her 70-year reign – in 1959, and in 1963, when she was pregnant with her sons Andrew and Edward.
In order to authorize Charles and William to play the role on her behalf, the Queen had to issue a ‘Letters Patent’. A palace source said that no other tasks were assigned by Elizabeth.
The Queen is expected to be seen in public during four days of festivities to mark her platinum jubilee in June.
Buckingham Palace said last week she was planning to attend most of the major events during the celebrations, but her attendance would not be confirmed until that day.
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