Queen pulls out of State Opening of Parliament
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The Prince of Wales laid out the Government’s legislative agenda yesterday in his first Queen’s Speech as the 96-year-old monarch missed the event for just the third time in her 70-year reign. He was joined by his wife, the Duchess of Cornwall, and son, Prince William, for the momentous event.
Wearing his Admiral of the Fleet uniform, adorned with medals and an honour insignia, Charles exchanged a few words with his wife before entering the Palace of Westminster.
According to a lip reader, Jeremy Freeman, the Duke of Rothesay, complained as they got out of the car.
He told the Mirror that Charles told Camilla: “Oh my word, that was uncomfortable.”
The Prince of Wales could later be seen gesturing to Camilla on which side she should stand.
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Speaking about that moment, Mr Freeman claimed the Duke of Cornwall said: “Your side.”
The event, which is the only regular occasion in which the monarch, House of Lords and House of Commons meet, includes several historic practices.
The current ceremony, including the Irish State Coach, can be traced back to 1852 during Queen Victoria’s reign.
Viewers will also recall that MPs slam the door in the face of Black Rod in a ritual which came after King Charles I attempted to arrest the so-called Five Members in 1642.
However, the Duke of Cornwall’s inclusion in the Queen’s Speech comes some 60-years since Her Majesty last missed a State Opening of Parliament.
Buckingham Palace issued a statement which revealed Her Majesty would not be attending the State Opening of Parliament on Monday.
The statement said: “The Queen continues to experience episodic mobility problems, and in consultation with her doctors has reluctantly decided that she will not attend the State Opening of Parliament tomorrow.”
In fact, the Queen has only missed the event twice during her first.
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The first occasion came in 1959 when she was pregnant with Prince Andrew.
The second came in 1963 when she was waiting to welcome Prince Edward to the Royal Family.
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