Prince Charles delivers the Queen’s speech for the first time

With the Queen forced to withdraw on Monday due to repeated mobility issues, the 73-year-old Charles arrived at the Palace of Westminster to read the government’s legislative agenda.

Charles, who had attended the opening of Parliament at his mother’s side in recent years, began to read each bill by saying: “Her Majesty’s Government…”

The official opening of Parliament is an event of grandiose pomp and Queen’s Festival that traditionally sees the Queen travel to the Assembly in a state coach, accompanied by soldiers riding in ceremonial uniforms, while the Imperial State Crown and other regalia travel in the chariot of their King.

The Queen wears the robe of state before leading a procession to the upper chamber of the House of Lords where she sits on the throne and formally opening a new session of Parliament, reading a letter written by the government outlining its legislative plans.

The Queen has missed the occasion only twice during her 70-year reign – in 1959 and 1963, when she was pregnant with her sons Andrew and Edward.

The Queen, who has missed a number of public engagements since being hospitalized for one night last October with an unspecified illness, had to issue “patent letters” authorizing Charles and William to play their part in the constitutional event.

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