Her Majesty The Queen has prorogued the 4th session of Parliament today in preparation for the State Opening of Parliament on 4th June and the speech from the throne on the Government’s legislative programme for the final year before the 2015 elections.
Lords Commissioners, chosen by Her Majesty to act on her behalf at the prorogation, suspended parliament’s business by reading out The Queen’s proclamation in the House of Lords at the close of business today in Parliament. The date for prorogation was decided in the Privy Council last month.
No Monarch has personally attended the prorogation since Queen Victoria in 1854. During the prorogation ceremony in the House of Lords, the titles of bills which have received Royal Assent (and thereby become law) are read out and answered with a traditional Norman French formula (“La Reyne le veult” if a bill has been given royal assent) after The Queen’s letters patent appointing the Lords Commissioners has been read out.
A speech from Her Majesty will then be read out by one of the Lords Commissioners from the woolsack in the Lords which will go over the progress the Government has made in the last session. Traditionally, the speech concludes with “my lords and members of the House of Commons, I pray that the blessing of almighty God may rest upon your counsels”.
Following this, the formal prorogation occurs when the Lords Commissioners declare Parliament prorogued “in Her Majesty’s name and in obedience to Her Majesty’s command”.