There will be major changes to this year’s State Opening of Parliament due to the snap general election due to be held in the UK in June.
In a heavily dressed down affair, Her Majesty will not wear her Imperial Crown or Robes of State this year, and will also arrive in car instead of a carriage.
Also absent from the annual ceremony this year will be the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall. It is expected that they will return to their positions beside the throne in 2018.
There are two reasons for these changes – most notably that the ceremony has been rescheduled with short notice due to the early election.
The ceremony usually takes place in May, however, with no Parliament to be opened, there is little choice but to rearrange for June.
This means the army will have little time to prepare for the state procession as Trooping the Colour takes place just a couple of days before Her Majesty opens Parliament.
Whereas this explains why there will be no carriages or procession, it does not answer why Her Majesty will not wear her crown or robes.
The simple explanation seems to be that at the age of 91, The Queen is cutting down on some of the more gruelling tasks.
Weighing two and a half pounds, the Imperial Crown contains 2,868 diamonds, 273 pearls. 17 sapphires and 17 emeralds. Instead of being worn on the monarch’s head, it will be carried into Parliament along with the sword of State and Cap of Maintenance.
The 2017 State Opening of Parliament will take place on June 19, and is expected to be the first time in over 40 years where The Queen has not worn her crown.