Today was the State Opening of Parliament, during which The Queen addressed the House of Lords and the House of Commons with the agenda for the upcoming year. I confess that UK politics confuse me even more than American politics, but one thing I can tell you: Her Majesty does not write her speeches for the State Openings of Parliament–in fact, it is always the Prime Minister’s agenda that she presents during this ceremony. I think this is why David Cameron currently faces criticism for the lack of economic stimulation measures in The Queen’s speech. One of the beneficial items discussed, though, was extended parental leave rights, meaning a mother could transfer her leave to her partner so she could return to work. You can watch the video of Her Majesty’s speech here.
The State Opening of Parliament is the one public event of the year during which Her Majesty wears her crown–the Imperial State Crown, to be exact. The Imperial State Crown is not the one with which she was crowned (that would be St. Edward’s Crown), but makes an annual appearance for this ceremony. You can read more about the crowns and their significance at my new favorite site, “Royal Order of Sartorial Splendor.”
The Queen has attended the State Opening of Parliament on all but two years of her reign–the years in which she was pregnant with her two youngest sons. To my knowledge, Prince Philip has always been at her side at the event, a stalwart supporter.
Best wishes to our Gloriana, celebrating her 59th State Opening of Parliament! Here is to a brighter future for the United Kingdom.