For only the third time in her 70-year reign, Queen Elizabeth missed the state opening of parliament this morning. Due to the British monarch's ongoing mobility issues, the Queen pulled out of the ceremonial event. (The other two openings she missed were when she was pregnant with Prince Andrew and Prince Edward.)
The Queen gave the authority to Prince Charles and Prince William, as counsellors of state, to open Parliament on her behalf. The other two counsellors are Prince Andrew and Prince Harry, who are no longer working royals. In her absence, Prince Charles also read the Queen's Speech. Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, was also in attendance.
Prince Charles has accompanied his mother to the opening of parliament in recent years, but this is the first time he read the speech. The speech lays out the government's agenda for the year, and typically includes an announcement of bills and plans. Watch the full Queen's Speech 2022 here:
The Queen, who turned 96 last month, most recently made a public appearance at Prince Philip's memorial service at the end of March. Due to her health issues, Charles has stepped in for her on numerous occasions lately, including the Easter Maundy Service, Remembrance Sunday, and the Commonwealth Day Service. The opening of parliament is the biggest event to date that the Queen has missed.
Buckingham Palace said last week that the Queen's attendance at Platinum Jubilee events in June will only be confirmed on the day itself, but that she is looking forward to participating in the celebrations. The unofficial celebrations kick off this weekend with the Royal Windsor Horse Show, where 10 of her great-grandchildren will be participating in the "Gallop Through History" performance.
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