The Queen’s Speech is being held in Parliament on Thursday, but it will be taking place in a slightly different manner to usual.
After an election, Her Majesty the Queen opens Parliament for a new session. Part of this process involves the reading of a speech by the Queen, the Queen’s Speech. The speech will set out the government’s legislative agenda, and this has to be read before either the House of Commons or House of Lords can conduct any business.
The speech and it’s surrounding ceremony is usually seen as a major event, attracting fans of the Royal family from far and wide. This time around, the ceremony is expected to be somewhat less spectacular.
According to the Parliament website, there will be a number of key differences, including;
- The Queen will not wear the crown or the usual ceremonial robes – instead, she will wear a day dress and hat.
- The Prince of Wales will wear a day suit at the ceremony rather than a service uniform.
- No horse-drawn carriages will be used, but instead, cars will be used for the travel of the Queen and the Imperial State Crown.
The differences are due in part because of the ceremony being so close to Christmas, but also due to the unusual circumstances of the election. A Queen’s Speech was held in October, not long before the election was called. The policies set out in the speech are likely to be somewhat similar to those announced in October.
Downing Street has also announced that the speech will include measures to enshrine in law an NHS funding settlement. The settlement should see the health service receive an extra £33.9bn per year by 2023/24, plus a further £1bn for social care in each year of the new parliament.
Following the reading of the speech, the House of Commons and the House of Lords will return to work and debate the contents of the speech.