Royal History in the Making: Prince Charles Just Took Over Queen Elizabeth’s Role at Parliament for the First Time
For the first time ever, Prince Charles stepped up and took center stage at the State Opening of Parliament.
On Tuesday, the heir apparent showed up in place of Queen Elizabeth at the Palace of Westminster to deliver her opening speech, due to the 96-year-old monarch's continued issues with mobility. And Charles's son, Prince William, who also in attendance for the first time, joined his father in representing Her Majesty. Typically, Prince Charles accompanies his mother as she carries out her role at the State Opening of Parliament, but this marks the third time the queen has skipped the special event in her 70-year-reign.
In case you missed it, Buckingham Palace announced on Monday that the queen delegated this role to her son and grandson by issuing a Letters Patent—a legal document that gives exclusive rights to someone else. The official statement also confirmed that it was for health-related reasons. It read, "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."
It continued, "At Her Majesty's request, and with the agreement of the relevant authorities, The Prince of Wales will read The Queen's speech on Her Majesty's behalf, with The Duke of Cambridge also in attendance."
At the ceremony, Prince Charles and Prince William sat on either side of the Imperial State Crown, while Camilla Parker-Bowles sat a few feet away from her husband. During the 11-minute speech, the royal laid out the government's legislative agenda, referring to the administration as "Her Majesty’s government."
He said, "Her Majesty’s government will ensure the constitution is defended. Her Majesty’s ministers will restore the balance of power between the legislature and the courts by introducing a Bill of Rights. Legislation will prevent public bodies engaging in boycotts that undermine community cohesion." And to conclude, he referenced the upcoming celebrations at her Platinum Jubilee, as well as the Commonwealth Games.
Due to the queen's health setbacks, Prince Charles had to step in for his mother on multiple occasions, including Remembrance Sunday and the Commonwealth Day Service. But on a brighter note, it sounds like the monarch will definitely make an appearance for next month's Platinum Jubilee.
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