Queen Set To Carry Out Her First Major Public Ceremonial Duty After Prince Philip's Passing Today As She Attends Scaled-Back State Opening Of Parliament Supported By Charles
May 11, 2021 by apost team
The queen is going to take on her first major public ceremonial duty since the passing of her husband, Prince Philip the Duke of Edinburgh, when she attends a scaled-back State Opening of Parliament on May 11.
Philip, who was the nation's longest-reigning consort, passed away a few weeks ago, aged 99 on April 9. The duke spent decades accompanying his wife to the grand occasion, taking his place on an ornate golden throne directly at his wife's side.
The queen, 95, has kept up with her work as sovereign at Windsor Castle even though she has been mourning the loss of her beloved husband of 73 years.
Her appearance at the State Opening will be the queen's first official time in public while in her role as the UK's head of state, and her first event outside of Windsor Castle since Prince Philip's passing just over a month ago.
Her son Prince Charles and his wife Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, will join the queen at the event, but there will be considerably less pomp than usual due to current and recent events. The queen, wearing a normal day dress and hat, is set to travel from Buckingham Palace to the Palace of Westminster via car.
Charles has already been at his mother's side for the last three state openings in December 2019, October 2019, and June 2017. He took over for his father after Prince Philip fell ill with an infection and then retired from his public duties as a royal in 2017.
Prince Philip died on April 9, 2021, and was laid to rest in the Royal Vault at St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle on Saturday, April 17, 2021. The late prince was buried alongside former kings of England and other royals, the Associated Press reported. Images from inside the funeral, where only a select group of 30 people could attend due to coronavirus restrictions, showed Elizabeth sitting alone in the chapel. The queen was said to be heartbroken after losing her "strength and stay."
Philip's passing ended his reign as the longest-serving royal spouse, having served alongside Queen Elizabeth II for 65 years and having been married to the monarch for 73 years in total. His singular and incredible life continues to be remembered and celebrated by his family. Now that the official mourning period is over, the queen is getting back to her royal duties.
Her first appearance in public at an official event will be the State Opening of Parliament. This event is usually the most colorful event of the parliamentary year and follows traditions and customs that date back centuries. The queen officially marks the beginning of the parliamentary session as she delivers what is called the Queen's Speech. In this speech, she will set out and describe the government's legislative plans for the upcoming year. The reigning political party's representatives usually prepare the speech.
The State Opening is usually known for its grand pomp and splendor, involving hundreds of people, elaborate dresses and costumes, and several ceremonies. It will be scaled back this year due to the pandemic.
For example, the queen will travel from Buckingham Palace to the Palace of Westminster in a Bentley limousine wearing a normal dress and hat, rather than by carriage and dressed in full royal regalia.
Members of Parliament, as well as members of the House of Lords, will be required to wear masks throughout the whole event unless they are exempt. Everyone attending will have to take a Covid test beforehand and will only be allowed to take part if they have a negative result.
Significantly fewer politicians and guests will be attending compared with previous years. Diplomatic or non-parliamentary guests have not been invited at all. As a result, only 108 people, including the queen, are expected, as reported by the Daily Mail. The norm for previous State Openings has been around 600 guests.
Another change is that the current Lord Chancellor will not hand the speech directly to the queen as is the usual custom and instead place it on a table in front of Queen Elizabeth instead, the BBC reported.
There will also be no military street liners along the queen's route to parliament or along the sovereign's staircase inside Westminster. Neither will there be a military band or Guard of Honour waiting outside the Palace of Westminster or taking part in the procession from Buckingham Palace.
For this State Opening, Queen Elizabeth will also not wear the heavy Imperial State Crown. It will instead be carried separately on a cushion and take its place on a table nearby, the same way it was done in 2019.
The queen last wore the crown, which is comprised of more than 3,000 gemstones and weighs in at roughly two pounds, for the 2016 State Opening.Queen Elizabeth, Prince Charles (2019), (WPA Pool/Getty Images News/Getty Images)
What do you think about the ceremonial State Opening of Parliament? Do you think this is too much pomp or are you interested in seeing it in all its glory? Pass this along to fellow royal fans to find out what they think!