For the first time in seven decades, The King’s Speech opened Parliament.
Charles III, with Queen Camilla, oversaw the traditional beginning of the parliamentary year in a ceremony filled with tradition.Embed from Getty Images
Their Majesties travelled to the House of Lords in the Jubilee State Coach. His Majesty was in Admiral’s Uniform while Her Majesty wore her Coronation dress and the George IV State Diadem.Embed from Getty Images
The Princess Royal was also in attendance in her role as Gold Stick in Waiting. Her Royal Highness joined the procession in a State Landau.Embed from Getty Images
King Charles and Queen Camilla were welcomed to the Palace of Westminster where, earlier, tradition dictated that the cellars be searched, a reminder of the Gunpowder Plot which saw Guy Fawkes attempt to blow up the opening session of parliament in 1605.Embed from Getty Images
As the Lords gathered for the opening, The King and Queen made their way to the Robing Room where they assumed their Robes of State. Both wore the same robes as at the Coronation. King Charles III’s Robe of State originally belonged to his grandfather, King George VI, while that of Queen Camilla was first used by Queen Elizabeth.Embed from Getty Images
King Charles then put on the Imperial State Crown which had been brought to the Palace of Westminster earlier in its own procession.Embed from Getty Images
The King and Queen processed into the House of Lords. Black Rod had walked to the House of Commons to ask its members to attend the opening session. As is traditional, the door was slammed shut before Black Rod banged on it three times to demand admittance.Embed from Getty Images
The last time a King’s Speech was read in the House of Lords was in 1951 in the reign of King George VI. His grandson, Charles III, sat on the throne to lay out the government’s plans for the coming parliamentary year. As always, The King did not write the speech. His Majesty, as always, read out words written by ministers.
Following the speech, The King and Queen processed out of the Lords and returned to Buckingham Palace.