The Queen has given her speech at the State Opening of Parliament despite appearing to have the remnants of a heavy cold. The Monarch looked to be breathing more rapidly and heavily as she took her place on the Throne in the House of Lords at the start of the ceremony and was heard to cough before the speech began.
Elizabeth II, who is now 93, set out her government’s plans for the coming parliamentary session in the Queen’s Speech after the pomp and ceremony of her arrival at the Palace of Westminster for the event. However, she appeared tired and slightly under the weather throughout the whole occasion and her voice at times sounded hoarse as she delivered the speech.
The Queen was accompanied by the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall for the ceremony which traditionally begins a new parliamentary session. The royals travelled from Buckingham Palace to Westminster in the Australian State Coach, making their way through rain soaked London streets.
The Monarch’s entrance into the Palace of Westminster was made privately and she emerged into the red and gold corridors of power to make her way to the Robing Room. There she prepared for the ceremonial procession to the House of Lords.
The Queen did not wear the Imperial State Crown for the Opening of Parliament. Instead, that was carried at the head of the procession on a red velvet cushion by the Marquis of Cholmondeley. Her Majesty instead wore the George IV Diadem for the occasion. Once the Queen had taken her place on the throne inside the Lords, the Crown was placed on a table to her right hand side. The Prince of Wales sat next to his mother while Camilla took a seat to her husband’s left.
The Queen’s Speech was delivered in the presence of the Commons who made their way to the ‘House of Peers’ for the occasion. The Queen then returned to Buckingham Palace.
Her Majesty has been back in London for just a few days having spent the summer at Balmoral with the Duke of Edinburgh. The Prince of Wales has only just returned to England himself – less than 24 hours before the State Opening, Charles attended a series of events in Rome marking the canonisation of Cardinal John Henry Newman.