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British RoyalsThe Queen

Where does Boris Johnson’s decision leave the Queen?


Picture by Stephen Lock / i-Images

Is it dangerous, just or what all government do? An affront to democracy, or bold and ambitious? The announcement that Boris Johnson has decided to bring a new Queen’s Speech before the Houses of Parliament, thus leading to the suspension of business at Westminster within days, has been greeted with surprise on all sides of the political divide. Plenty of reaction, much of it angry, has followed. So where does this leave the Queen?

Clearly, in a controversial situation. Her Majesty follows the advice of her ministers and Prime Ministers and right now they want her to call a halt to parliamentary business as of the week beginning September 10th 2019. On October 14th 2019, they want her to go to Westminster and deliver the Queen’s Speech setting out a new administrative programme.

The result is very little time for parliament to discuss the issue that has preoccupied it for three years, Brexit. Right now, Boris Johnson says the UK will leave by the deadline of October 31st 2019, most likely without a deal. In the last day, opposition politicians had outlined plans to stop that.

There has been widespread objection to the move to suspend parliament from UK politicians. The deputy leader of the Labour Party, Tom Watson, said the decision was ‘”utterly scandalous” and called it an ”affront to our democracy”. The new leader of the Liberal Democrat party, Jo Swinson, called it ” a dangerous and unacceptable course of action”. The Speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow, called it ”a constitutional outrage”.

There has been little comment from government ministers so far. However, the Chairman of the Conservative Party, James Cleverly, said that Boris Johnson was doing what ”all new governments do” as he sets out his administration’s plans in a new Queen’s Speech.

The Queen is currently at Balmoral. The Privy Council will meet there later.

About author

Lydia Starbuck is Associate Editor at Royal Central and the main producer and presenter of the Royal Central Podcast and Royal Central Extra. Lydia is also a pen name of June Woolerton, a journalist and writer with over twenty years experience in TV, radio, print and online. June has been a reporter, producer and editor, picking up several awards over the years. She's appeared on outlets including BBC 5 Live, BBC Radio Ulster and BBC Local Radio and has also helped set up a commercial radio station. June is also an accomplished writer with a wide range of material published online and in print. She is the author of two novels, published as e-books. She is also a marriage registrar and ceremony celebrant.