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Why isn’t there a State Opening of Parliament this year?

May and June tend to be busy times for Her Majesty The Queen, June, especially with the Trooping of the Colour, Garter Ceremony and Royal Ascot in quick succession, and this year, has the added complication of her Grandson getting married in May as well.

But, something is missing from the usual itinerary – the State Opening of Parliament, this is the occasion when Queen Elizabeth attends the House of Lords prior to business and gives a speech detailing the laws her government intend bringing before the two Houses, Commons and Lords.

The decision to make this a two-year parliament was not one made to make like easier for The Queen. As reported by Royal Central last June, the decision to make this Parliament a two-year one was taken by the Prime Minister, Theresa May.

In simple terms, because the bulk of legislation at the moment is concerned with Brexit negotiations. Though with the way negotiations are going, it could be an interesting Queen’s Speech in 2019 when this Parliament concludes, and another begins.

Though referred to as the State Opening of Parliament, it is more a session within that as a “Parliament” in this connection refers to the five-year term.

It is the only time that all three elements of Parliament – The Monarch, The House of Lords and the House of Commons are in the same room, and one of the few times members of the House of Lords where their robes.

The Queen’s Speech is not something that members of the public can watch live within the chamber, however, there are guests which are usually High Court Judges, Ambassadors and High Commissioners some of which chose to come in national dress.

As we look forward to the next State Opening of Parliament in 2019, there is something else we must consider. With Prince Philip retiring from a great deal of public appearances he may not be by her side at the State Opening, but this indeed has happened on a number of occasions before.

Will The Queen attend Parliament on her own, or will she choose to ask Prince Charles to accompany her – as one day it will be his turn to begin making the speech?

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